I have a friend who's constantly trying to get me to go to his church, and he finally admitted to me that the reason is because he is convinced I won't go to heaven unless I belong to his church. Where does he get this?
I don’t doubt your friend’s sincerity – but the Bible doesn’t teach that God’s salvation is limited to only one particular church or denomination. In my travels, I’ve met committed believers from almost every conceivable church and denomination, and this has helped me appreciate the many channels God uses to get His work done.
Our salvation depends on only one thing: our relationship to Jesus Christ. Many people think that their salvation depends on themselves and how good they are. They think that if they are only good enough, then God will let them into heaven. They know they aren’t perfect – but (they say) shouldn’t God reward them with salvation if they just try hard enough?
But this isn’t what the Bible teaches. The Bible tells us that God is absolutely pure and holy – and even one sin would be enough to banish us from His presence. The Bible says, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13). Can any of us claim to be sinless? Of course not.
This is why we need Christ. He came from heaven for one reason: to save us from our sins. He was without sin, but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He took upon Himself the death and Hell that we deserve. Now He offers us salvation as a free gift, if we’ll only turn to Him in repentance and faith. Are you trusting Christ alone for your salvation?