I find the agreements and the distinctions in our respective belief systems interesting.
This last post is making me think about the question of choice. My gut feeling, or more politely, the feeling in my heart is that the process of 'getting into heaven' follows natural law rather than being an intellectual choice of a being or some beings already there. But the evidence presented to me in religious literature or scripture, and in my life, contradicts that.
The sources you use above are not to useful in this delimma. Although the Hebrew bible makes it clear that god is all powerful, it also makes it clear that there is no afterlife. Judaism is the exception among religions in this belief.
In contrast, Buddhism, at least in its original form, claims there is no personal, intelligent god, but rather a law of nature that almost automatically yields life after life.
For Christians there is but one life and you make into heaven or you do not. Early Christians believed in transmigration (a form of reincarnation), at least some of them including the Essenes, but when Constantine made Christianity a state religion, he stamped out this belief. Better able to control the people if they only had one chance.
So if we look at all the major religions, we get freedom of belief. They are all contradictory. So we can pick and choose. Can god also pick and choose?
Before I forget, my disembodied friend Joe McHale once told me that although he drank a bit too much and chased the skirts a bit while alive in Ireland, he had a good heart and they accepted him. So this suggests that a choice was made, but that it was made by something like a committee rather than a single all-powerful being.
I find that idea appealing. Why should things be so different on the other side. Hopefully, no evil and only harmony. But why shouldn't there be organizations and work to do and the work delegated, and a heirarchy of responsible beings. Of course, that's what awaits you if you make to heaven, without having to return. You just get another job. This one going for 24 hrs a day since eat and sleep should be unnecessary in a frictionless environment.
So you get chosen if you have the right resume. Those who are not chosen just get to rest until they give up their identity and maybe their intelligence(see below)and become another human.
Anyway back to scripture. There is one piece of scripture that seems to put it all together in a way that makes a synthesis of the religious contradictions mentioned above. It is "The Tibetian Book of the Dead". This book contains a description of the experience of dying. The primary experience is seeing different colors day after day. It speaks of achieving salvation, which I take to be going to heaven and not coming back. It has a recipe for achieving salvation.
Everyday that the bright lights come to you, despite their scariness, you are to focus your being into the bright lights and at the same appeal to your Guru to give you energy to go with the lights and get salvation. If you instead seek solace in the soft fuzzy lights that are comforting, you will surely be born again.
Now here is the synthesizing part. If you do not have a Guru, then there is a being, THE lORD OF GREAT COMPASSION, who is available for everybody to attain salvation. You pray to this Lord while doing one pointed meditation on the bright lights and off you go.
By the way, the bright lights are, according to the book, your intelligence being radiated away. So it is best to accomplish the trip at the first opportunity, so you will not appear too stupid on your arrival(my idea).
Everything that Jesus said suggests to me that he is the Lord of Great Compassion- like "you can only get salvation through me". Joe probably had not read the book, and so needed a little help from his friends.