By Nathan Jones
Q) Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?
To answer this tough Bible question, Dr. David Reagan and I on a Christ in Prophecy television episode interviewed Dr. Ron Rhodes. Dr. Rhodes is the founder and director of Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries. With nearly 50 books penned and decades of public teaching, he is an expert on the Bible. As a former "Bible Answer Man," he specializes in easy to understand answers to the really tough questions about the Bible and the defense of the Scriptures.
I've been asked that question a lot of times and a lot of times people will say I'm being narrow-minded in claiming that Jesus is the only way. I don't think that that's being narrow-minded. There are some things that are narrow that are good. Sometimes there's only one operation that will save your life. Sometimes there is only one road out of the forest. There's only one correct formula for some of the popular soft drinks. I want my wife Carrie to be faithful to her one-and-only for her entire life. That's narrow, but it's good. When I fly from California to Texas I not only want the pilot to land in Dallas, but I want him to land on the right runway. That's narrow, but it's good. And so, yes, God's way of salvation is narrow, but it's good.
God's heart is wide open. He offers this narrow gift to people who are rich or poor. It doesn't matter what your skin color is. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female. God's heart is wide open and He offers that same wonderful gift to all people.
As for Jesus being the only way, it's ridiculous to say that all religions lead to God. They all have different concepts of every doctrine. If one is true, the others are necessarily false. The truth is that all religions are essentially different and only superficially the same.
It's really important to understand that while all the other religions basically try to take bad men and make them better by ethics, Christianity seeks to take dead men and make them alive. You see, we are dead in sin, and dead people can't help themselves. They need an external savior to come in and rescue them, and that's exactly what Jesus has done.
Every other religion also emphasizes works as opposed to Christianity that says we're going to be saved by grace through faith. Christianity paints man's problem as worse than any other religion. You see, all the other religions say, "Well you've got some ethical problems so you need to do some good works." But, Christianity says, "Listen, even your good works are like filthy rags compared to God. You're unholy. You're defiled in just about every way. So, there's no way that you can work your way to salvation." But, you see, even though Christianity paints man's picture as really, really bad, we've also got a really, really good solution, because salvation becomes a gift that is received through faith and that gift is based upon Jesus Christ.
Jesus of Nazareth, proven by miracles and testimony to be the very Son of God, stated very clearly that belief in Him and Him alone as Savior is the only way to Heaven in this age.
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" - John 14:6
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." - John 3:36
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..." - John 1:12
"Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." - 1 John 5:5
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." - Romans 10:9-10
The story about Jesus begins when God first made mankind. We had a perfect, personal relationship with God. But, when Adam and Eve disobeyed and rebelled against God, their sin brought death and the just judgment of Hell upon us all (Romans 5:12).
We all have sinned, too (Romans 3:23). Have you ever lied or stolen something or looked at someone lustfully? If so, do you realize you're a sinner, too, living in rebellion against God and are in need of His forgiveness?
But, God is love (1 John 4:16). He doesn't want to send us to Hell, though His just nature requires Him to (John 3:36). So, He sent His perfect son Jesus to suffer and die in our place as payment for our sins. Jesus then beat death by coming back to life. Jesus' sacrifice has become God's lifeline to us. Jesus did all the saving work on the cross. There's nothing we can work to do to earn our way to forgiveness or Heaven. Jesus has done it all (Romans 10:9-10).
But, like any free gift, it must be accepted to work. God promises that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21). To grab hold of God's promise, pray right now. "Dear Jesus, forgive me of my sins. Be my Savior." Jesus in turn will remove your guilt and make you a brand new person inside, and when you die, He promises you will live forever with Him (John 10:28-29). The relationship with God is restored. You are a new creation, and considered a child of God (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
By belief in God's Son Jesus you no longer stand condemned in God's eyes for your sin, as Romans 8:1-2 tells us, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
If you accepted Jesus Christ — the only way to Heaven — then you are free indeed. To fully understand your salvation, seek out other believers in Christ so you can worship and learn together. Read your Bible daily, starting with the Gospel of John.