Because of the traditional teaching of men, most people assume that when the Bible speaks of going to heaven, then that equates it with everlasting life. They also assume since in the New Testament when it says one must go through Christ to have everlasting life, that they can’t get to heaven without going through Christ as well. Don’t be so quick as to make these assumptions. Why would God send a soul to a bad place after their death when they were unaware of Christ or didn’t have much of a chance to make that choice? Answer is He wouldn’t. God wouldn’t punish a soul for that. God does speak of innocence and how He does not punish those who are not held accountable for what they don’t know.
After this age ends, which is when Jesus returns, there is a new age to begin. Proof of that is in Matthew 24:3 when the disciples privily ask Jesus what the signs of His coming and the end of the world are. That word “world” really isn’t world at all. In the original Greek, the word there is “αίων” (ah-KHEE-own) which really means age. The disciples were not only asking for the signs of the end of the age, but were also saying when Jesus returns that ends this age. There is a whole thousand year period written of in Revelation 20 where Jesus and His saints reign on Earth while Satan is imprisoned in the bottomless pit, right? It’s been there the whole time. Why do men forsake this writing? Once that millennium is over, Satan is loosened from his prison to deceive the world once again. Once that period of temptation is over, then that age ends as well. THEN the books are opened. THEN judgment is given. Not beforehand. Read without the influence of men and see that I’m right on this.
Paul discussed in Romans 2:12-29 that Gentiles who were ignorant of Moses’ laws were still in effect judged by them. The law of loving your neighbor falls on everyone, wise and naive of the Word. Those ignorant of Jesus and God’s laws are still judged by loving one’s neighbor because God has written that law in all of our hearts, but many compromise that law. No excuse to not abide by that law.
So what is the next age for? A last chance? For those who were not given the opportunity to make the right choice? To reward those who made the right choice? All of the above are correct. That isn’t everlasting life though. That’s not eternal. Someone who has lived an evil life will have punishment after their death unless they repent. This is beyond a doubt, but that too is temporary. It is only those who at the end of this age who choose wrongly despite them knowing who the real God and Christ are that will be punished forever. After the earthquake which takes place after the two witnesses are taken into heaven, the whole world gives glory to God-at least temporarily. This is the lifting of the spirit of slumber. No excuses after that.
Jesus said that heaven shall pass away, but His words will not. Heaven shall pass away- everlasting life. These two conflict directly. Heaven as it stands now is just a temporary resting place for those souls God finds worthy of it. As revealed in the book of Enoch, before Jesus’ defeat of death, people were divided into three crevices within the Earth. After His defeat of death, the kingdom of heaven as we know it opened.
Everyone either in this age or the next must choose Christ in order to have everlasting life. At the end of this age, everyone will know Jesus is the Messiah and that the Bible is genuine. The elect of this age will be kings and queens in the next one. They will be charged with preparing those who still need to make a choice to make the right one at the end of the next age, as well as getting the rewards they deserve. For those who make the right choice in this age or the next one, they will have everlasting life. For those who make the wrong choice in the next age, they will have everlasting punishment.
So when someone comes to you and says “what if a person lived a good life but wasn’t a Christian, can they still get to heaven?”, now you have an answer. Everyone though, will at some point have to choose Jesus whether it’s this age or the next one, but everyone will know what the right choice is. It will be up to them to show some strength and make the right choice instead of choosing the one that plays on their temptations masterfully.