Here's a recent text conversation from a friend.
Friend: Do you believe that if a person does not accept Jesus as the Son of God/died/crucified, etc... they will go to Hell?
Me: I believe in the parable of the Sheep and the Goats.
Friend: I'm not sure what that means. Do you believe it's possible for a Muslim to go to heaven?
Me: Yes, for sure. Because Jesus said it was possible. (I then sent him the parable of the sheep and the goats.) So, if you believe in Jesus, you believe Muslims can have eternal life. If you don't believe a Muslim can have eternal life, you don't believe in Jesus.
Friend: That's what I told my friend. He said no way
Me: Well tell your friend this one. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."
Friend: He's stuck on what Paul said. The only way to heaven is professing Christ.
Me: Yeah I’m down with that. But your friend isn’t professing Christ. Christ said Muslims could go to Heaven.
Friend: Where does it say muslims can go to heaven? My friend hates Muslims.
Me: That parable I sent you makes no mention of believing in Jesus and/or the cross and/or accepting Jesus and/or any of the things your friend says are required for Muslims to get in. It says people who feed people and clothe them, etc… have eternal life (not heaven but that's another discussion). I mean, seriously, ask your friend to explain that.
Friend: I agree. I wouldn't want anyone to go to hell. Eternity seems like an awful long time to suffer
Me: I wouldn’t make my worst enemy burn for 10 minutes. I can’t imagine a God who would for eternity. And I can’t be nicer than God.
Friend: I wasn't sure. Thought maybe I had it all wrong
Me: Well I mean you might. And I might. But, your friend might too. :)
Friend: True dat! I've fought my whole life. Lovin is a lot funner.