Last night at FUEL was amazing. 4 students trusted in Christ as their personal Savior!
We had 45 students in attendance, which is almost 3 times the attendance from my first visit…Praise the Lord. We have averaged over 40 for several weeks hitting 50 a couple of times. My goal is to have 75 in attendance this Spring.
Last night’s message was part 2 in our series: Questions. The question was: Is Jesus really the only way to heaven?
Here are a few highlights from our talk:
“To the postmodernist, reality is whatever the individual imagines it to be.”
“Postmodernists often suggest that every opinion should be shown equal respect.”
“Except, there is no tolerance for the belief in Absolute Truth.”
“Every person should be respected…Jesus said to love our enemies…”However, every idea should not be equally respected”
“If every idea should be respected, then Hitler’s ideology should be respected”
“Where is the moral boundary for the relativist?”
“Postmodernism’s chief enemy is Biblical Christianity because Biblical Christianity calls for absolute truth and Jesus Christ as the exclusive Savior of mankind.”
“The Scripture clearly teaches the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World.”
(John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 3:36, 1 Timothy 2:5)
“Will you trust in the only means of salvation, the grace of Jesus Christ?”
4 Students said Yes!
8 thoughts on “Questions Part 2: Is Jesus really the only way to heaven?”
How would you respond to the idea that Jesus is the only way to salvation, but that a person does not have to know of Jesus in order to gain that salvation?In other words, Jesus made salvation possible,–therefore, he is only way to heaven–but specific knowledge of Jesus isn’t necessary for salvation.An example of this would be Abraham (or anyone in the OT for that matter), who obtained his place in heaven, according to the Bible, by believing that God would give him a son in his old age, not by believing in Jesus. Another example might be a person born in medieval Japan who lived her life as a Buddhist. Like Abraham, if this woman genuinely sought God and his righteousness wouldn’t she have a place in heaven as well? Does she have to know the story of Jesus in order for Jesus to provide her a way to heaven?Thoughts?
The question you raise is very valid, and one I’ve given thought to many times, even in the form of essay..The short answer is the best answer IMHO, and also the only one suitable for a blog. So here you go:I believe in a just God, who will honor our faith in His revealed truth.In the case of the OT saints – Salvation was still BY grace (so many evangelicals teach salvation is BY faith) through faith in revealed truth. In most cases faith in the promise of a Messiah.What about someone in a far away land and time who hasn’t heard the story of Jesus? –There is no doubt in my find that general revelation, as described by Paul in Romans 1… “From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen” is given by God as a way to point mankind to Himself. Now, obviously man needs special revelation to know Jesus Christ and His saving work. I believe…emphasis on I believe…that God rewards ‘light’ or revelation that is followed.The divine virtues of God described in scripture suggest to me that He will do what is just in these areas that I do not understand, or cannot know. In part 1 of “Questions” I made the statement that “You don’t have to understand everything about something, to believe in something”That principle is illustrated all over creation, but most significantly by faith in Deity.I don’t believe faith in a false God qualifies for faith in revealed truth.This is an interesting article by Dinesh D’Souza that is somewhat related to the question: Why God revealed himself the way He did.This is enough rambling for the time being.
Christ is not the way to heaven. Heaven is not the goal.Christ said, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”Christ did not say, ” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to heaven except through me.”Christ came to restore a relationship not get anyone into “heaven”. It is a mistake to think some vague destination is the point of salvation. Salvation came into this world to give the Father what He has always desired, a very personal and intimate relationship with His children through His Son.
Brad, Mishi:Thanks for the feedback; the book that influenced me most on this subject is Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy.Also, Brad: your comments about postmodernism made me think of James Smith’s Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? If you haven’t already, you should check it out. It’s not perfect, but it’s the most even-handed description of postmodernism I’ve seen from an evangelical.
Brad,I just read the D’Souza article. His first point–about the population explosion–is a good one. His second one–where he claims that the explosion of culture that he claims coincides with Divine revelation is a serious problem for atheism–is less good. Leaving aside the fact that he is ignoring the highly developed cultures that Hitchens mentions in his question, there are convincing secular explanations that could predict this cultural explosion.These explanations mostly have to do with complexity theory and phase changes. For example, when you boil water, its temperature gradually rises, but their is little change until it hits 100ºC when it turns into steam. There is no gradual change to steam, but an abrupt one. Similar abrupt transitions can be seen in human social systems (in almost all systems, in fact) in that conditions slowly change until there is an abrupt transition, in this case, a flowering of culture. In other words, the development of culture that D’Souza notes can be explained without divine intervention, so using that development in an argument against atheism isn’t effective, I think.
John,Thanks for the book recommendations, I’ll put them on my list. I’m not saying that divine intervention is the total explanation of cultural and sociological explosion. However, I’m not sure that the complexity theory or phase changes debunks his logic either. Good intellectual exercise for sure though.
Brad:I don’t think his logic is debunkable. Claiming supernatural origins for some event makes it a matter of faith, putting it beyond proof and debunking. (Sample exercise: what evidence would prove D’Souza’s theory–that recent cultural developments are the results of divine intervention–false?)What I think I was getting at is that no atheist is going to be persuaded by a supernatural argument that isn’t provable, particularly when there is a sufficient natural argument ready at hand.
Jesus is the only way to heaven! and there is no other way. that is the bottom line, anything that goes against that is… well, is false, and against what god has put in place for us… so it is belive in jesus and put your faith in him, and what he did for us at the cross, or go against his word. well said mishi, it is all about the restoration of a relationship, however christ is the way to heaven, but the point is not getting to heaven but our relationship with god, you are right, but i just had to make clear that he is also the way to heaven. and as for you mr. jones, you raise some very interesting points, and you are clearly extremely intelligent!! however, we are given the word of god and what i believe with all my heart and soul that it is the infalible word of god, and that what is says goes, and it states clearly that jesus is the only way to god, and a relationship with him, “heaven”. it would be so nice to think that everyone who has a religion that wants to know god and trys to live rightously will get to heaven. but i dont believe it works that way, oh how i wish it did. we have to put our faith in jesus and what he did at the cross, that was the point of the cross, to restore a relationship, if heaven could be reached any other way, then jesus did not need to be sent to us nor did he need to die for us. so i will say that faith in him by grace is the only way to heaven and a relationship with our maker. god. it is by gods grace that we are saved, through our faith in jesus. god gave us grace, which was sending his only son. we are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves, so no man should boast.. its not about wanting to get to god and live for him and be rightous, we could never achieve that unless we were sinless. so it is jesus and only jesus that we get to heaven. but brad is way wiser than i, so he could better explain this. but you have given me and many more insight.. really good comments and questions!