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الأحد, فبراير 25, 2024
الرئيسيةEnglish?Is Jesus Really the Only Way to Heaven

?Is Jesus Really the Only Way to Heaven

Lisa Loraine Baker

“There are many ways to heaven.” So says a common platitude spouted by non-Christians who take issue with the exclusivity of Jesus Christ for salvation. Three words in these two statements help us give an answer for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15): heaven, exclusivity, and salvation.

What and Where Is Heaven?

Pastor Don Stewart clarifies the three heavens as found in the Bible:

1. Our Immediate Atmosphere – the first heaven (Genesis 6:7)
2. Outer Space (The Sun, Moon, And Stars) – the second heaven (Matthew 24:29)
3. The Home of God – the third heaven – (Hebrews 8:1)

The heaven we long to inhabit is the abode where our triune God resides, and where all believers will be after their earthly death. Pastor and theologian R.C. Sproul said, “The instant we die, we go into heaven in our soul-state, and then we await the final consummation of the resurrection of our bodies.” The Apostle Paul said, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23).

Did Jesus Christ Claim He Is the Only Way People Will Enter Heaven?

The other two key words for Christians regarding the unbeliever’s question about Jesus being the only way are exclusivity and salvation. Both directly address who Jesus is and why He came to earth.

Exclusivity

Jesus made the definitive statement of His exclusive means to get to heaven when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Earlier in John’s Gospel, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44). The Holy Spirit is involved as our Helper, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). God is working in His triune nature to draw men to Himself; all salvation comes through Jesus Christ. Period.

Salvation

We are saved by God, from God, and for God. What does this mean?

Saved by God

When Adam sinned (The Fall), he became our federal head (i.e., our representative), death ensued (both spiritual and physical), and his sin was imputed on all mankind proceeding from him (Romans 5:12; 3:23). We deserve death — spiritual separation from God in hell (Romans 6:23). We needed a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins, and God sent His Son — Jesus Christ — to die the death we deserved. Knowing this, a person is saved when he repents of his sins and believes in Jesus Christ for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21). A saved person is called a Christian — saved by Christ (God). Jesus is the only way a person will enter heaven.

Saved from God

God is just (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 89:14). He is also loving and kind and patient. Even in His wrath, He still and forever loves. He gives men chance after chance to say “yes” to His kind invitation to come into His kingdom, and men decide to suppress the truth (Romans 1:18-32).

His patience with unbelievers will one day end, and in His wrath He will indeed cast unbelievers into hell (Revelation 20:15). Believers in Jesus Christ are saved from God’s righteous wrath.

Saved for God

Christians are saved for God — to be a light in the dark world and to walk with Jesus in His triumphal procession, “spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

What about Other Religions?

All other religions’ founders are dead in the tomb. Only Jesus’ tomb is empty; He is alive forever (Revelation 4:9)! Jesus accomplished what no mere mortal ever could; He died and rose from the grave. The founders of other religions took their false beliefs to the grave with them, yet the devil continues to pander and propagate their lies.

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