- “You are arrogant to say that your way is the only way.”
- “Christians are unloving because they do not respect or accept those of other faiths.”
We hear this all the time. Our critics are right – we make a bold truth-assertion about our Savior. We say that Jesus did, in fact, speak the words of John 14:6
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”
We believe the words of Acts 4:12,
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
He is the only hope of every human being on this planet. Like Paul, we “glory in the Cross.” You can call that arrogant if you wish. I call it salvation. We admit that we have nothing to offer God but our sin, but we rejoice in the great Saving Act of history – when God demonstrated his love for us by punishing his Son for our sins.
I will say it – clearly, unapologetically, forcefully. Jesus is the only way to heaven. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the gospel alone, that is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Judaism does not save. We share the Old Testament foundation , but God’s Chosen People are currently in a state of rebellion against the Messiah God sent to deliver them – Jesus of Nazareth. So, they have rejected the God of their fathers and follow a false path. Arabs may share a descent from Abraham, but Islam is a false and deceptive faith. Those who follow it do so at their own eternal peril. Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahai – you name it – they are false paths to false gods. Even Christian denominations that do not hold fast to the biblical gospel condemn those who follow them to eternal hell.
We believe that God opened only one door to heaven for the people of the entire world. Jesus is the door. His death on the Cross opened the door. There is no other way. Though some call it elitist, or exclusionary, or hateful, we see it as the one hope for all mankind.
Couldn’t We Just Say Jesus is “A Way”?
There is a growing movement among some nominal Christians to say that Jesus is “our way” but perhaps not the way for everyone. I have my opinion about truth and you have yours. Jesus is good for me, but if something else works for you, then do what you think is best.
The New Testament does not allow for such. The truth claims made by Jesus Christ and about Jesus Christ are absolute. Either you are “all-in” with Jesus or you need to fold. There is no middle-ground in light of the truth claims the Bible makes about Jesus and the gospel.
Here’s the Point
You cannot take the middle ground with Jesus. If he is not The Way, then he is no way at all. To say that Jesus is just one way among many is ludicrous – ridiculous. Think about it.
Jesus pleaded to his Father on the night before he died that if there was any other way to redeem humanity, “Let this cup pass from me.” Are you telling me that Islam and Judaism were perfectly acceptable ways to God, yet he still allowed his only Son to be brutalized like that? Jesus sweat drops of blood facing the prospect of becoming sin for the world. He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was agony beyond belief. And God let him suffer this hell even though there were plenty of other faiths, other religions that were just as effective?
Romans 5:8 says that “God demonstrated his love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The NT claims that the Cross is the ultimate expression of the love of God. He loved us so much that he sacrificed the Son he loved so much, allowed him to be tortured, humiliated, beaten, nailed to a tree and then God poured out his wrath on him – all to save us from our sins. That is how much God loves us, enough to let Jesus suffer all he suffered so we could be redeemed.
And you are telling me there are other ways? We could have followed Buddhism’s “eight-fold” path? We could have prayed to Allah? We could have simply looked to the Torah, Mishnah and Talmud and found God that way?
If there are other ways to God, the Father was unthinkably cruel. If God tortured Jesus needlessly, then he is not worthy of our worship. Such a God would be a malicious and vindictive tyrant who reveled in the unnecessary suffering of his beloved Son. If other religions save, then the Cross was an exercise in torture that would make Saddam and his sons look kind in comparison. The Cross only makes sense if it was the only solution to the human sin problem.
If the Cross is not the only hope of salvation, then Jesus is (and I hate to even write these words) a fool! He endured all of that suffering, according to Hebrews 12, “for the joy set before him” – the joy of obeying the Father and redeeming a people for God! He suffered torture and he died because it was the only way that hell-deserving sinners could escape judgment, be justified and spend eternity in God’s presence. If there were other ways to come to God, then Jesus was little more than a masochistic poseur.
He suffered on the cross and died when it wasn’t really necessary? That’s not a Savior, that’s mental illness!
To the growing chorus of voices that say, Jesus is “our way” I say nonsense! Jesus is THE way or he is a fool! To those who say that it is arrogant to claim that Jesus is the only hope of salvation, I say that I will glory in the Cross of Christ until my final breath.
On some things, my friends, we cannot compromise – even a little! Jesus is all or he is nothing! Jesus is the only way, or he is no way at all.
Here I stand.