Pastors state that one must believe in Jesus in order to go to heaven. What does "believe in Jesus" mean and how do you support your answer? I've asked Christians, but they most often respond that it simply means believing events occurred (God sent Jesus; Jesus died for our sins) or information such as being the son of God. Belief in events or information doesn't make much sense to me.
People often quote John 3:16, but I've read that and I found they always cut it short. They leave out the key points at the end about loving the light and hating the dark. When Jesus is asked what it takes to get into heaven after telling the story of the Good Samaritan, he gives a very clear and concise answer about it being all about loving everything that's outside of your self (your neighbors and God). So does believing in Jesus simply mean loving everything that's outside yourself? Does this imply that non-Christians may be just as likely to go to heaven as Christians based on their ability to love?
Luke 10: 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[h] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[i] 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
If "belief in Jesus" is what it takes to go to heaven. And if Jesus says what it takes to go to heaven is loving everything outside yourself. Then it follows that belief in Jesus equates to loving everything outside yourself. Therefore non-Christians can go to heaven without even knowing who Jesus is.