Is Jesus Really the Only Way to Heaven?
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We live in a society where people claim there are many ways to get to Heaven. A few years ago when I was living in Orlando, I saw a billboard that said: “Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe in the same God and are on the same path.” Is this true? Are there many ways to get to Heaven when we die?
Christianity would say no. In fact, Jesus Himself, claimed He was the only way to Heaven.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6)" (see Acts 2:21).
When people hear Christians saying this, there are 3 common responses:
- “It’s arrogant to be exclusive and think you have all the answers to faith.”
- “No religion can know/see the whole truth.”
- “The only thing that matters is how you treat others, not what you believe.”
Let me give a response to these statements…
Statement #1: “It’s arrogant to be exclusive and think you have all the answers to faith.”
The thing to remember is that all major religions agree there are significant, irreconcilable differences between them. Take the religious books for example. Muslims hold the Koran as their sacred writing, Christians hold the Bible as theirs, and Hindus hold the Vedas and Agamus as theirs. All 3 of these religions would say their writings are the truth.
Also, it is no more narrow to claim that one religion is right than to claim that one way to think about all religions (that all are equal) is right. We are all exclusive in our beliefs about religion (see Tim Keller's Reason for God).
Statement #2: “No religion can know/see the whole truth.”
How can you know that no religion can see the whole truth unless you yourself have the superior knowledge of the truth?
I believe Christianity has the sum total of truth.
RC Sproul said:
“Moses could mediate on the law; Muhammad could brandish a sword; Buddha could give personal counsel; Confucius could offer wise sayings; but none of these men was qualified to offer an atonement for the sins of the world…Christ alone is worthy of unlimited devotion and service (Reason to Believe).”
Statement #3: “The only thing that matters is how you treat others, not what you believe.”
Treating others with honor and respect is essential. However, what you believe determines how you behave. The way you live is a reflection of what you believe (Matthew 5:14-16).
Goodness and badness is the wrong starting point in this conversation. Life, death, and spirituality is where you begin.
Ravi Zaccharias said:
“Jesus didn’t come into this world to make bad people good, He came into this world to make dead people live (The Case for Faith).”
What makes Christianity so special and different than other religions? Grace.
CS Lewis was known one time for walking into a room full of religious experts and professionals who were talking about the differences between Christianity and all the other religions. They couldn’t figure it out. When Lewis walked in the room, they asked him, and he said, “Oh, that’s easy, it’s grace.”
Grace is an undeserved gift that God has given us in His Son, Jesus Christ. In any other religion it’s about earning God’s favor by following rules or working hard. The problem is God is a perfect God, and He demands us to be perfect. None of us are perfect and never will be until we’re in Heaven. So, that’s why Jesus came to live the perfect life we should have lived and died the death we all deserved to die. Jesus came from Heaven, took on the form of a man, and died on our behalf. That’s special. And because of this gift of grace, we all should have a strong desire to follow the rules and work as hard as we can for His glory and the good of others (2 Corinthians 5:21).
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