Would you ever try to drive from New York to Chicago by heading for Miami? Of course not. We all know that to get to a desired destination we have to take the right road.
The same thing is true of trying to get to heaven, yet many believe that all religions lead to God. The Bible radically disagrees:
• Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”1
• The early church leader, Peter, clearly proclaimed that “There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. ”2 He spoke those words despite the very real risk of death by the same religious leaders who had crucified Christ weeks before!
• The apostle Paul, author of several New Testament books of the Bible, wrote that “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”3
• And one of Christ’s disciples, John, wrote without apology, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”4
The Bible, God’s book, makes it clear that apart from Christ there is absolutely no way to the Father and no eternal life in heaven to look forward to. Other religions offer systems of thought that try to cross the gap between man and God, but Jesus is the only one who has bridged that divide. Christ said that “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many,” but only those who take the narrow way, via Jesus Christ, find eternal life.5
Jesus’ exclusive claims
Jesus claimed: “I am the way.” Jesus does not merely show the way; he is the only way to God. He spans the otherwise unreachable distance between a righteous God and unrighteous sinners—us!
Jesus claimed: “I am the truth.” Truth implies an objective standard that does not change with the whims of time or culture. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”6 Come to Jesus, and “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”7
Jesus claimed: “I am the life.” We are spiritually dead without Jesus but become spiritually alive when we believe fully in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and never-ending life. As the Bible says, “Whoever believes in him [Jesus, God’s Son] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”8
Christ’s resurrection from the dead was the absolute proof that he was, indeed, the Son of God and the Author of life that conquers the enemy of mankind—death. Rising from the dead proved Jesus had paid the price of our sin then conquered death itself. Before he returned to heaven he met with over 500 of his followers to leave final instructions and encouragement (1 Corinthians 15:1-9)
Apart from Jesus there is no way to be saved. You cannot get to heaven on your own, not even by jumping through religious hoops. The only way to reach God is to believe in Jesus who gave his life in place of ours: “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”9
Jesus is the way that must be taken, the truth that must be believed, and the life that must be trusted in. Will you believe in the only one who can bring you to God? Place your belief in Christ today. He promises, “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”10
If that is the sincere desire of your heart, you can use this prayer as a guide for your own words… Lord, I confess that I have sinned against you often. And I admit that I deserve to be punished for the wrongs I have done. But I believe that when Jesus died, he paid the penalty for my sins. I now ask you to forgive me and to make me a new person from the inside out. Amen.
Bible references: 1John 14:6, 2Acts 4:12, 31 Timothy 2:5-6, 41 John 5:12, 5Matthew 7:13-14, 6Hebrews 13:8, 7John 8:32, 8John 3:18, 91 Peter 3:18, 10John 6:37