Which Way are You Going? by Mike Corthell
If people really want to go, and really try all their lives, I think they will get in; for I don’t believe there are any locks on that door, or any guards at the gate. I always imagine it is as it is in the picture, where the shining ones stretch out their hands to welcome poor Christian as he comes up from the river. But I have to tell you this; that the Bible says God will judge all people righteously.
It seems there will be a stricter judgment for those who have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ than those who have never heard. Paul tells us that those who have never heard of the law are not imputed sin under the law. Paul also tells us that those who follow the law (e.g., practicing Jews) will be judged by the law. The people who have never heard of the law are judged by the law of God which He has placed into their hearts.
I know there are many Christians who say that all those who die without faith in Christ will be relegated to spend eternity in Hell - even if they have never heard the gospel. I think scripture suggests otherwise - that we are judged on the basis of what we know and how we act upon it. This is not any sort of ecumenical theology or "all ways lead to God." Those who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and have refused to believe have rejected Him, and, as such, will fall under the condemnation of God, because they have rejected His provision for our disobedience. Therefore, atheists are still without excuse in rejecting God. Those who perpetrate evil, even without the knowledge of the gospel, will likewise be condemned, since they have violated their God-given conscience. In the same way, those who play the "religion game" of going to church on Sunday, but living apart from a relationship with God, will be condemned.