Verse 3:85 is one of the most quoted verses, and there are two different understandings of it, depending on your view of Islam between a limited exclusive religion for Muslims or an open religion as wide as the milky way for humanity. URL : http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/09/q385-other-than-islam.html
IN CIRCULATION BY INSECURE MUSLIMS
Qur'aan - 3:85 - In circulation among Muslims: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him." (3: 85)
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
Waman yabtaghi ghayra alislami deenan falan yuqbala minhu wahuwa fee alakhirati mina alkhasireena
Also 3:64 - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2015/03/364-other-than-your-religion-related.html
THE UNIVERSAL MEANING OF THE VERSE
The above understanding is based on making God to play the role of good-cop and bad-cop which is funny, as God does not play games. The word Islam is the general meaning for those who subscribe to the the system of harmonious living. Here are a few translations from the most accepted translators of Quran, that differ from the circulated version above. The usage of Word Allah is not about a specific God, but simply a name of God.
3:85 (Asad) For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.
3:85 (Pickthall) And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.
3:85 (Y. Ali) If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah., never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
The above scholars have had full understanding of Quran. They have studied verses that guarantee God's grace to Jews, Christians and others, if they are good to fellow beings, where as the insecure Muslims chose to ignore the other verses of Quran. Islam is not a private club determined to keep people out of Paradise, Islam guides all humanity to subscribe to justice so all of us can live in harmony in that elusive paradise.
My understanding of Islam is, it is a way of life, indeed it is a way of life perfected to create cohesive societies where every thing functions in relative harmony.
The general meaning of Islam is subscribing to the system that assure a smooth functioning of the society, and the bottom line is the behavior that creates such societies. It
is indeed the behavior, the key word is “self-surrender unto the
creator”. Any one who follows the laws of goodness (surrender) to keep
peace in the society is following the deen, the dharma, the righteous
path to sustain peace.
Technically it is submission to the will of God; which is caring for life and environment and maintaining the balance within oneself and with others, it establishes ones duty towards self and towards God's whole creation.
Politically, it is a private club bent on individuals and self appointed guardians of faith deciding who is in and who is out of faith, based on their narrow understanding of the faith.
God assures the humanity of this:
[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
[2:136] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."
[22:17] Those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, the Christians, the Zoroastrians, and the idol worshipers, GOD is the One who will judge among them on the Day of Resurrection. GOD witnesses all things.
[4:152] As for those who believe in GOD and His messengers, and make no distinction among them, He will grant them their recompense. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
Finding the truth is our own responsibility; we are accountable for our actions as individuals. God assures that those who are responsible to preserve peaceful societies and work on maintaining harmony between life and environment, they will earn his grace. No matter what faith you follow.
Islam is meant to be a universal faith and created one world under one god, and not the political one to keep every one out of it.