Frankly, there isn’t any real biblical support for this notion, but we’ll discuss that some other time. For now, we’ll go with it. Because, true or not, lots of people fully believe it.
Which is why the notion that the only way to heaven – the only way to truly and rightly know God – is through Jesus Christ, is offensive. Many, many people – including some church leaders I have known personally – refuse to accept this assertion.
It’s too narrow, they say. Too exclusive.
So, let’s talk about it: Is Jesus the only way to heaven? The only way to God?
Two very brief answers.
Answer #1 – Yes, because it’s biblical.
The bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the road to God and to eternal life (and keep in mind, that without the bible, there is no Christian faith. all of my posts assumes the integrity of the bible).
John 14.6 – Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Acts 2.21 – But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 3.22 – We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
Romans 10.9-10 – If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Answer #2 – Yes, because it’s logical
I have good friends who believe in Jesus Christ as outlined in answer #1. But they are uncomfortable with impressing this upon all people. They argue that not everyone has heard of Christ, and therefore it’s unfair for God to make the demands of faith in Jesus. Of course, I would argue that if people don’t know Christ, it’s because we as a church have not obeyed the great commission, but that’s for another time as well.
Here’s the deal, the way I answer this objection: it’s not logical. Jesus was and is God in the flesh. Yet this God-man willingly experienced the pain of the cross for our salvation.
Philippians 2.6-8 – Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Death on a cross was excruciatingly painful. It was embarrassing and humiliating. There has never been a more extreme form of capital punishment. And this is the path God chose for his Son, in order to ransom us from sin and death. Christians believe this – it’s what makes us Christian. Apparently god felt is was absolutely necessary for the salvation of his people to put his Son on the cross.
So the logical question is this: if there was any other way to God, to salvation, to heaven… would God have put Jesus through this?
And the follow-up question is this: how must it offend God for us to even consider that Jesus isn’t the only true and full way to the Father?