I don't know how, but people say this all the time: "He cannot go to heaven because he does not believe in [insert your Prophet or God's name here]." Frankly, I would have checked out of my faith if it took such a position. Thank God (or Allah) that it doesn't.
If I'm going to take Jesus seriously, then I have to conclude that it's very difficult for rich people to get to heaven. And as an American who lives a fairly comfortable lifestyle, I know he's talking about me!
Over the years as a community pastor, like most pastors, I attended to death, funerals and grieving in my town. Over the years, many times, the grieving would pull me aside and say, "Preacher, I had this dream..."
Dear Pastor Paul, When I was eight I was taught two things in the same week. The first was that accepting Jesus was the only path to heaven; and the second was that there were a billion people in China who had never heard the name Jesus.
My deep sadness about my mother's death and absence from my life has been somewhat lessened by imagining that when her soul left her sick and failing body last December 21st, it entered some such lovely scene somewhere.
"One minute, you're standing behind some scofflaw trying to get eleven items through the ten times or less line; next thing, you're the main character in one of those jokes where the representatives of three different social classes are being asked a leading question by St. Peter."