Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?
Posted on July 12, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Freedom Fighters
There was a time when nearly all people in our western culture shared the same general worldview. America had a spiritual environment in which religion flourished as it did in no other western country. In time, the post-moderns threw out absolute truth and replaced it with “tolerance,” a vague word of indeterminate meaning, which they applied selectively at the expense of the Christian worldview.
“Tolerance” used to mean “bearing or putting up with someone or something not especially liked.” However, now the word has been redefined to “all values, all beliefs, all lifestyles, all truth claims are equal.” Denying this makes a person “intolerant” and thus worthy of contempt. We are told that for the sake of unity we are not to draw any definitive lines or declare any absolutes. Doctrinal issues that were once painted black and white are now seen as gray.
Paul forewarned us that this time would come when he wrote: “For the time will come when they (the people of the church) will not endure (tolerate) sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4).
In this age of tolerance where absolutes are rejected, it is difficult for many to accept a position of finality with no escape clause. The Bible clearly teaches several things that are unacceptable to the “tolerant.” Consider:
- All have sinned. (Romans 3:23) All means all. That means you. God hates sin–all sin: little “white lies”, stealing, adultery, murder, etc. No matter how good you are, you are not perfect and God demands perfection. (Matthew 5:48) We can never gain perfection on our own, but when receiving Christ as Savior we are told that His righteousness is credited to us. (Romans 4:1-7)
- Sin separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:2)
- There is only one way into heaven: Jesus. (John 14:6; Romans 6:23; Acts 4:12) Jesus said so himself. He cannot be passed over merely as a good man. Making a statement that He is the only way to heaven is either true, or it makes Him a liar or a lunatic, not a good man!
- If Jesus is the only way, that eliminates other ways some people want to claim: good deeds outweighing bad deeds, buying your way in (giving time and money for “God’s purposes”), or thinking that you are better than someone else (comparing your life to someone of lesser character) (Romans 11:5,6; Titus 3:5).
- Other religions are false. Being sincere is not enough! Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a Christian apologist who lectures in academic and religious circles around the world, is an expert on other religions. He says:
“Christianity is not the only religion that claims exclusivity. For instance, Muslims radically claim exclusivity–not just theologically, but also linguistically. Muslims believe that the sole, sufficient and consummate miracle of Islam is the Koran. They say, however, it’s only recognizable in Arabic and that any translation desacralizes it. And it’s not just a basic understanding of Arabic that is required, but a sophisticated knowledge of the language.
As for Buddhism, it was born when Gautama Buddha rejected two fundamental assertions of Hinduism-the ultimate authority of the Vedas, which are their scriptures, and the caste system. Hinduism itself is very uncompromising on two or three issues: the law of the karma, which is the law of moral cause and effect, so that every birth is a rebirth that makes recompense for the previous life; the authority of the Vedas; and reincarnation.
Hinduism claims it is a very tolerant faith. What that really means is that Hinduism allows you to practice your own religion so long as it fits into their notion of truth which is syncretistic (attempts to blend together different or even opposing beliefs). As for Sikhism, it came as a challenge to both Hinduism and Buddhism. Then there are the atheists-they reject the viewpoints of anyone who believes in God. And even Baha’ism, which claims to be the cosmic embrace of all religions, ends up excluding the exclusivists!
Therefore the statement that Christians are arrogant by claiming exclusivity ignores the reality that every other major religion does so as well.”
The Bible is not only the final authority on things spiritual, it is the only authority. Times have changed but the Bible is not outdated. In fact, the longer it’s around and archeology continues its discoveries, the more the Bible is corroborated. Where history and science are concerned, the Bible has yet to be proven incorrect; on the contrary, science changes as it discovers more, the Bible does not! History is updated, not outdated!
All of the rationalizations that man can make to avoid the simple fact that Jesus is the only way fall short of the truth. The Bible clearly teaches that Satan blinds our eyes (II Corinthians 4:4), man thinks more highly of himself than he should (Romans 12:3), and there is a way that seems right to man but the result is spiritual death (Proverbs 14:12).
Jesus is the only way of salvation because He is the only One Who, because of His sinlessness, is able to forgive our sins (Romans 6:23). No other religion teaches the depth or seriousness of sin and its consequences. No other religion offers the infinite payment of sin that only Jesus Christ could provide. No other “religious founder” was God become man (John 1:1,14). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our sin-debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Reject this to your own peril!
Written By Neil Fichthorn: Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Think About This: “Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.” – A. W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. – Isaiah 1:16-17
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.