Yes, There is Only One Way to Heaven (No, That’s not Unfair)

One of the most despised doctrines of the Christian faith is the doctrine of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. Western culture hates it. Even some within the church shy away from it because they don’t want to offend or cause conflict. It’s not popular.

However, the lack of popularity doesn’t mean we should back down from believing it. The exclusivity of Christ is an essential tenet of Christianity. Jesus is the only way to God. If we disregard, ignore, or even deny it, we are calling Jesus a liar, since in many places He explicitly said He’s the only way, no more clear than in John 14:6.

The Way, Truth, and Life

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jesus said in John 14:6. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (ESV). From the mouth of the Son of God: “I’m your only hope.” Indeed, He is our only hope. Or take another example: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

The only salvation you’ll get outside of Christ is a phony salvation. It’s made up. It doesn’t exist. Salvation only is through Jesus, for “there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Only the Son of God can save you.

For us to deny or shy away from this would be a proverbial slap in the face to Jesus. Do we trust Him? Then we must trust what He says. According to Jesus, you’re not getting to Heaven unless it’s by His blood. We should echo that truth. We should shout it from the rooftops! We should tell everybody of this beautiful fact! This isn’t news to be kept to ourselves even if it offends.

Many within society chime in and say, “That’s unfair!” or “That’s unloving!” In the words of Dwight Schrute: “False.” That’s not true. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Think with me for a moment about man’s nature.

Man Is…Not So Good

The common rebuttal of this doctrine not being fair falls woefully short when we consider that humanity doesn’t deserve any type of way to Heaven. Sure, there will be many who disagree with the Bible’s portrait of man’s nature — but at the very least, I hope, some would understand our reasoning.

Given the biblical description of humanity, it stands to reason that we didn’t deserve one way. We deserved Hell. The Bible says that are hearts are wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), nobody does good (Romans 3:10), and all people fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) — and that’s just three verses. The Bible gets even darker.

Humans have rebelled against God since the garden. Therefore, why do we throw our fists in the air that there is only one way to Heaven when we should be celebrating that God even made a way? Instead of labeling God unfair, we should be marveling at His sovereign mercy. He would’ve been perfectly just—perfectly fair—to send us all to Hell. It would’ve been the justice we merited. But He didn’t.

1,000 Ways to Heaven

“If there were 1,000 ways to God,” David Platt once said, “we would want 1,001.” So, in all honesty, it’s not really about how many ways there are to God. Rather, it’s about human autonomy. Platt goes on: “The issue is not how many ways lead to God; the issue is our autonomy before God. We want to make our own way. This is the essence of sin in the first place — trusting our way more than God’s way.”

Humans demonstrate our fallenness by our never-ending insistence on being autonomous, that is, being free from any and all standard—including God. People don’t naturally want accountability nor a standard to live up to. But that’s what God gave us in the Ten Commandments. That is His righteous standard, so to speak. And for humans, it’s an impossible standard. So what do we do?

In steps Jesus. The one way to God, who lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and died a sinner’s death. And He did this for all who believe in Him (John 3:16).

Friends, there’s nothing unfair about there being only one way to God. Yes, it’s true—that means all other religions except for Christianity are wrong. That’s why we evangelize. That’s why we beckon people to come to Christ, who is gentle and lowly, whose yoke is light.

God providing a way to Himself, only through Christ, is the most gracious thing that has ever been done.

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