Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)
This famous quote of Jesus Christ claims complete exclusivity and a means for salvation and reveals that no-one comes to the Father except through Him. This would mean that without personally knowing and accepting Jesus as your Saviour, it is not possible to inherit an eternity in Heaven.
Can this be true? “What about all the millions of people who lead good, honest lives – it does not seem fair to send them to hell!”, “We have all done a few bad things but I’m one of the better ones!”, “Surely it’s only the really bad people that go to hell?”. The popular theory of Universalism says everyone will be saved and eventually end up in heaven – this makes the “Is Jesus the only way to God?” question the most important we can ask. It is not culturally acceptable at the present time to claim there is only one God where tolerance and agreement promoted and everyone’s view is “right for them”. But surely the facts don’t take account of our feelings? Jesus claimed to be the only way – can this actually be true? If it is, holding a different view of Jesus on this issue appears to have very serious eternal consequences.
There is a danger that answers to the above questions are driven by emotion and it is vital to look into the facts influencing decisions to discover if they are based on any truth. The truth should always be our goal – it is difficult to be open to a new idea if it goes against something we have always believed. But if we know and understand the truth then we can then be set free:
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)
All religions are the same
A simple read of the statement of Jesus Christ at the top of this article demonstrates that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation and that all religions are therefore not equal. Either a belief system can result in an eternity in heaven OR it cannot – according to Jesus, He is the only Saviour and the only way in! The claims of Jesus Christ make Him mutually exclusive from any other “belief” system – Jesus cannot be shared with another God!
Of course, it is important to look into other beliefs and understand their claims so we can see what evidence there is to support them. Even if a belief system works for some people, if it is based on a false premise, it will eventually break down and will certainly not be able to save. Most people sincerely thought the world was flat before Copernicus – mans ideas come and go – it would make no sense to place your ultimate trust into something that is wrong or untrue.
Although many accusations are levelled at the Bible, whether it be contradictions or myths, some basic study can resolve these. In addition to historical and archaeological evidence, Bible prophecy is overwhelming proof that verifies the God of the Bible and the whole Gospel message – Can you prove the Bible?
Our greatest desire
When we think about our greatest desire many we often initially think of material things – a new home, car, TV, computer. But, at a deeper level, we all long to be loved and accepted – that is the way we are programmed…for relationship. But can another person truly fulfil this inbuilt desire? We certainly can feel loved and cared for and a relationship with a partner can be everything we have ever dreamed of, but unfortunately, this is never everlasting. As humans we fail in so many areas, we make mistakes and relationship often break down. Even if we are fortunate enough to enjoy a long happy marriage, we know that ultimately we and those we love will die. Death is a sad but inevitable fact of life and can have a dramatic, sudden impact on us, especially when people we dearly love are no longer there.
The truth is God created us with this desire for love because He is the only one who can truly fulfil this need – we can only function properly when we are connected to Him. We should look to a relationship with our Creator for the complete fulfilment of this love.
Our journey through life often brings unwanted surprises – we can face life-changing decisions or can be overcome with hardship. God wants to be there for you, He wants to help and guide you in those times of difficulty. Above all, He wants to show you how much He loves you, a love that fulfils our greatest desire, an everlasting love that never fails.
All true believers of the Bible have a personal relationship with Jesus. God places His Holy Spirit in us:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17 NIV)
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV)
He is there 24/7 to help us with any need. Christians are certainly not immune from suffering – the Bible makes it clear that life will be tough for those who follow Christ and we should expect persecution – however, His Spirit is there to guide us through any situation. No other belief system can deliver this personal loving relationship.
Jesus proved Himself
To test the truth of any “religious founder” we need to examine their lives to see if they proved their authenticity. For Jesus to say He is the only way you would want to see some evidence to back up these exceptional claims. When looking at Jesus life there is extraordinary evidence; He raised people from the dead, calmed a storm, restored a blind man’s sight, walked on water.
These amazing miracles authenticate Jesus’ claim, as well as the others He made – The claims of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ life fulfilled around 300 prophecies which are impossible for anyone to achieve. Many of these, Jesus could not have had personal control over – could you have controlled where you were born?
Above all, Jesus rose from the dead Himself, which the whole Christian faith is based on. If Jesus did not rise from the dead there would be no Christian faith today – the whole faith is based on this one defining fact. Not one other deceased “religious founder” has ever done come back from the dead – this makes Jesus Christ absolutely unique! Our world is littered with tombs that are famous because of the person contained within them – there is only one tomb that is famous because it is empty!
For more powerful evidence, we can look at the actions of others who personally witnessed these events. You find that these eyewitnesses went through incredible persecution and suffering and the majority were martyred for their belief in Jesus – Would you die for a lie?
When putting all of this together the only logical conclusion is that Jesus’ claims are true – He clearly verified His claims in many ways and proved Himself to be God.
Those small sins
The world created by God was originally perfect, Adam and Eve lived in a paradise which was vastly different to what we see now but they disobeyed God. Society will tell you this a myth but there is abundant evidence for the literal accuracy of the creation accounts in the Bible which should at least challenge this view. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and as a result, they were separated from the close relationship they had with God, this separation affected the whole of humanity.
It is impossible for us to re-establish this relationship on our own accord. As we are all sinners, no amount of “good works” can ever unite us with God. God had to take the punishment Himself, that was the only righteous way. Jesus came into the world to take what we deserve, His blood washes away all our sin to allow us to be righteous in God’s eyes:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
To be perfect in God’s eyes means we have to be completely absent of sin – how could heaven be a perfect place if imperfect people were permitted access? Because God is “just” He has to deal with our sin, this includes all those “small sins”. Those “white lies” we all have told are an offence to God, as well as the other sins that we consider insignificant, as His standards are far higher than ours. We need to be perfect to be in God’s presence in Heaven, but as we have all sinned this leaves us with a BIG problem. This is why it is not just “really bad people” that will not get into heaven as compared to God’s standard we are ALL “really bad”! None of us can get into heaven unless we have accepted Jesus’ payment for our sins!
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:24 NIV)
Jesus IS the ONLY way
The world does change around us and societal trends come and go. However, God does not change – He is same today as He was yesterday and in the future:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)
Most people will accept that the world is broken but which belief system offers the ultimate remedy?
Outside of faith in Jesus, all religions are works-based which means that followers are constantly trying to work their way to a certain level of merit or salvation. On top of this, they can never be 100% sure they have done enough. Christianity is the only belief system that clearly defines the seriousness of sin and its consequences, but also has the complete cure!
know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16 NIV)
Believing in Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation as He is the only One who took the penalty for us:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)
Sin is a disease that affects all of us and Jesus is the only cure. Jesus was and is unique – He is the only medicine to the spiritual disease that is killing us all. The only conclusion is that Jesus is the ONLY way – How to be Saved!
We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:9-14 NIV)