(Original post by mc1000)
As an intelligent Christian (no jokes about the oxymoron please), I believe there are plenty of non-believers who do
get into heaven.
The Bible makes it explicity clear that God's final judgement will be just.
For God's judgement to be just, that means that he has to consider each and every person on a case-by-case basis. It also means that he has to consider every aspect of each and every person's life.
In order for the judgement to be just, he has to give considerably more leeway to the people who were more disadvantaged in life - such as those who were brought up in broken homes, had it ingrained into their malleable minds from a young age that God is a bastard, and ended up addicted to heroin. In addition to this, if they don't have the intelligence to consider a contrasting point of view, this will also be taken into account on judgement day. How can an atheist ever become a Christian if they don't understand the contrasting arguments?
Inevitably, most of these people will go through life rejecting Christianity in spite of what they read - solely as a result of the bad hand they've been dealt - and this will sympathetically be taken into account by God.
I believe the same applies to a Muslim (purely for the sake of argument) who has been brought up strictly reading the Quran and is disowned for even considering reading the Bible. How can this person have the same chance of being a Christian as someone who's brought up in a Christian household?! And I think that saying you HAVE to be a Christian to get into heaven is therefore a big flaw in what most Christians seem to believe.
In contrast, a lot more will be expected of the life of a devout christian who was brought up in a lovely middle-class family, and was taken along to church every week as a child. He stayed in the right crowd throughout his life, and lead a thoroughly moral life. Maybe he's intelligent and has the ability to dissect and critically analyse every Bible verse, and maybe he's not; either way, it will therefore be expected, on Judgement Day, that this guy is a Christian - and if he is not, then he isn't accepted into heaven.
Hell, even an intelligent atheist who knows the Bible inside out could feasibly get into heaven; it all depends on his/her background and many other factors. Even the specific way in which his/her mind interprets the contrasting evidence (e.g. people with more scientific brains are far more likely to reject Christianity - so although it would superfically seem to disadvantage them (hypothetically speaking), its apparent disadvantage is taken into account to make it fair against someone with a way of thinking that automatically concludes that Christianity is the correct way.)
Finally, what about a baby who dies? Or the members of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon Rainforest? Neither of these have heard of Jesus.
It's all based on what you do with what you've been given; and God judges each person individually and completely equally. There's no discrimination of those who have been disadvantaged.
Incidentally, I also believe that Hell is just a term for non-existence. Eternal torture is certainly not in keeping with a just punishment.