The Bible

The Book of Luke: How Does One Reach Heaven?

The book of Luke in the New Testament offers a promise of salvation. John the Baptist proclaims, from the book of Isaiah, that "all flesh shall see the salvation of God" (Luke 3.6). However, earlier in Luke, an angel says, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors" (2.14). These two quotes are among the many contradictions in Luke regarding how one is to find salvation. If God has favorites, then it would seem that not "all flesh" will go to heaven. Characters in the Bible wrestle with apparent inequalities of justice and how to guarantee a place in heaven. Although some parables in Luke appear to provide answers to this problem, there are conflicting examples that seem to indicate there is no clear way to reach heaven, and perhaps God intends for humans to not understand how.

After reading the angel's message that "those whom [God] favors" will live in peace, one could assume that in order to "be saved," one must come into God's favor, or at least be "with" him. However, that task is difficult, especially since it is unclear what it means to be "with" God. Jesus says, "Whoever is not against you is for...

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