IS JESUS REALLY THE ONLY WAY?
India is a very religious, even a very spiritual country. There are signs of it everywhere you look. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and followers of Confucius are everywhere. There are shrines, mosques, temples, shamans, ‘holy’ men, sacred cows, statues and all manner of religious symbols everywhere. Christians are in the vast minority, and even most of them are so liberal they are more a subculture than faith system. So how are we, a minority of a minority, able to say we are right in what we believe and millions upon millions of others are wrong? Can we really say that Jesus is the only way to God?
One of the criticisms Christians receive is about the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation. Many who aren’t Christians will say they don’t mind if we have our belief in Jesus as long as we also accept their beliefs. But, when we say Jesus is the only way and their beliefs won’t get them to heaven, opposition rises against us. We are saying that we are right and they are wrong, and people don’t want to hear that. Satan, who is behind the other belief systems, incites them to strongly oppose Christians who believe this. This opposition makes some Christians afraid of sharing their faith. As you can see, this is a very important part of our faith.
If Jesus isn’t the only way to God, then why should we tell others about Jesus if their way is just as good? In fact, their way to heaven might be easier for they don’t have to humble themselves to ask for forgiveness. Also, most of the other religions don’t emphasize sin and holiness. How can we know for sure Jesus is the only way of salvation for everyone everywhere?
PROOF FROM THE BIBLE In the Bible God clearly gives us His truth about all things, so we don’t have to wonder or guess. He definitely says salvation is only in Jesus (John 14:6; 8:24; 3:16-18; Acts 4:12; Galatians 1:8). There is no other way of interpreting these verses. If you believe the Bible is God’s Word, then this is total proof.
PROOF FROM REASON For those who don’t accept the Bible as God’s authoritative Word, there is also proof from reason that this is true. We have seen there is only one God, the God of the Bible, and that He revealed His truth in the Bible and only the Bible. We know that only Jesus is the true redeemer. In fact, other religions don’t even claim to have a god who redeems from sin.
Other religions teach we can do enough good to outweigh our bad. They have no way of paying for sin. However, we all know that disobedience can’t be erased by obedience. Obedience to God is the bottom-line requirement and can never make up for disobedience. That is true in the law of every country in the world. Breaking a law can’t be made up for by keeping other laws. Sin must be paid for – a fine, time in jail or whatever is required. Good works cannot undo the bad. Only Christianity has a Savior who paid for our sin, because He was perfect and didn’t have any sin of His own.
Many people sincerely believe their religion will get them to heaven, but even their deepest sincerity doesn’t change the truth. Faith is only as good as the content, what it is placed in. You can take medicine sincerely believing it will help you, but if it is the wrong medicine, it won’t help and could even harm you. Mankind used to firmly believe the world was flat, not round. No matter how many believed that, or how strongly they believed, it didn’t change the fact the earth is round. No matter how strongly or sincerely people have faith, if it isn’t in a trustworthy object, that faith won’t help them. Only faith in Jesus will remove sin and lead to salvation.
ANSWERING OBJECTIONS If someone has a fatal disease and you have a cure, not sharing it with them is wrong. Similarly, if someone is an unbeliever and will suffer eternity in hell, and you know Jesus is the only way of salvation, not sharing that information with them is wrong. Yet, as Christians, we are accused of not being tolerant because we believe Jesus is the only way of salvation. Some argue there are many ways of salvation and we are wrong to reject other beliefs. We have seen that Jesus is the only way of salvation, so of course we must warn others that there is no salvation in their religion. Neglecting to do so would be terribly wrong on our part. Is it wrong to speak against such beliefs as racism or white supremacy? Shall we say they are just alternate belief systems and not pass judgment on them as being morally wrong? If someone believes it is OK to steal or murder, should we accept their beliefs so that we are not considered intolerant? Tolerating wrong by refusing to say it is wrong is itself very wrong.
Since Jesus is the only way, then others who deny this are not merely following other belief systems, but are actually preventing their followers from coming to Jesus for salvation.
Others say that because we feel only Christians go to heaven, then we are better than others. Salvation has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with Jesus. Everyone deserves eternity in hell. Yet, we will go to heaven, not because we are better than others, but because we put our faith in the One who paid for the sins of everyone.
John 14: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Acts 4:10-12 “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
What difference would it make if Jesus wasn’t the only way to God?
If there are other ways to God, why would Jesus have had to die for sin?
To you, what is the strongest proof that Jesus is the only way of salvation?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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