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Jesus, the Only Way

Jesus, the Only Way

Introduction • Greg Koukl

The Bible and Religious Pluralism The ancient Christian teaching that trust in Jesus is anyone’s only hope for salvation clashes head on with the modern idea that all religions are equally legitimate paths to God. Sadly, this “religious pluralism” is a notion many Christians have embraced, too. Is Jesus the only way? Is salvation dependent on faith in Christ? That’s what Jesus taught with crystal clarity: Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it. (Matt. 7:13-14) Not only is Jesus the only source of salvation (since forgiveness is not possible without the payment Jesus provides), but trust in Him is the only means of salvation (since He’s the only one who solved our problem—sin). The following verses identify nine distinct lines of argument that biblically prove Jesus taught this truth and entrusted it to every one He trained to take His message after Him—the Apostles. Neither Jesus nor His disciples were religious pluralists. When a hundred passages argue the same point from a variety of different angles it cannot be mistaken, only ignored. The Clearest Statements Jn. 14:6 Jesus said to Him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” Acts 4:11-12, Acts 16:30-31, 1 Tim. 2:5, 1 Jn. 2:23, 1 Jn. 5:11-12, Lk. 10:16, Lk. 12:8-9, Jn. 3:18, Jn. 3:36, Jn. 8:24, Jn. 10:7-8b

The Only Source of Salvation

Reason #1 • Greg Koukl

Jesus Is the Only Source of Salvation for the World Man, guilty of rebellion, wanders as an outcast, but God does not abandon Him. The Messiah would be the true door, the bread of life, the only way to the Father, bringing eternal life to those who trust in Him. Acts 4:11-12 “He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Mk. 14:61-62, Jn. 3:14-16, Jn. 6:51, Jn. 6:53-54, Jn. 6:68-69, Jn. 10:9a, Jn. 15:1a, Jn. 16:8-9, Jn. 17:3, Acts 16:30-31, Rom. 10:9, 1 Tim. 2:5, Titus 1:4, Titus 2:13, Titus 3:6, Heb. 12:2, 1 Jn. 5:20

The Father's Choice

Reason #2 • Greg Koukl

Jesus Is the Father’s Choice The Father’s rescue operation was carefully planned from the beginning. He chose one man, Jesus, His Son. God exalts Him alone and puts all things into His hand. We’re to listen to Him, believe in Him, trust in Him. 1 Jn. 3:23a And this is [God’s] commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus the Messiah . . . just as He commanded us. Matt. 17:5, Mk. 9:7, Lk. 9:35, Jn. 3:33-34, Jn. 6:28-29, Jn. 6:40, Jn. 6:45b, Jn. 16:15a, Phil. 2:9-11, Heb. 1:1-3, 1 Jn. 4:14, Lk. 10:22, Jn. 3:35

Rejection is Rejection of the Father

Reason #3 • Greg Koukl

Rejection of Jesus Is Rejection of the Father Our response to Jesus is the acid test of our true loyalty to the Father. He who loves the Father honors the One the Father sends. He who does not accept Jesus, does not accept the Father, either. 1 Jn. 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the anti-Christ. Jn. 5:23b, Jn. 5:37-38, Jn. 8:19, Jn. 8:42a, Jn. 12:48-50, Jn. 14:7, Jn. 15:20b-21, Jn. 15:23, Jn. 16:2-3, 1 Jn. 2:22, 1 Jn. 2:23, 1 Jn. 4:15, 1 Jn. 5:1, 1 Jn. 5:9-12, 2 Jn. 1:7-9a, Lk. 10:16

Rejection Brings Judgement, Belief Rescues

Reason #4 • Greg Koukl

Rejection of Jesus Brings Judgment and Wrath. Belief in Jesus Rescues from Wrath God’s pardon comes only through Jesus. He alone delivers from the wrath to come. Reject Him and stand guilty before God to suffer the penalty of eternal destruction. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. Lk. 12:8-9, Jn. 5:24, Lk. 11:23, Lk. 20:17-18, Jn. 3:18, Jn. 3:36, Jn. 15:5b-6, Acts 3:22-23, 1 Thess. 1:9-10, Heb. 2:2-4, 1 Pet. 2:4-8, Rev. 17:14, Rev. 19:13-16

The One Who Provides Forgiveness from Sin

Reason #5 • Greg Koukl

Jesus Is the One Who Provides Forgiveness from Sin The prophet Isaiah made it clear that our goodness weighs nothing in the balance when compared to our sin (Is. 64:6). We desperately need forgiveness. Only Jesus has authority to forgive. As the Lamb of God He paid for sin with His own life. Apart from Him we die in our sins; in Him we are rescued from condemnation. Jn. 8:24 “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” Lk. 7:48, Mk. 2:10-12, Lk. 5:24-25, Jn. 1:29, Acts 2:38, 40, 1 Jn. 2:2, Rom. 8:1

No Other Way of Salvation

Reason #6 • Greg Koukl

Many Impostors Will Claim to Provide Other Ways of Salvation Jesus warned us in advance of the dangers of pluralism. It’s a ruse, a deception of false christs and prophets—spiritual thieves and robbers—who mislead many by offering the broad way that leads to destruction. Matt. 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” Gal. 1:8-9, Jn. 10:7-8, 10, Matt. 7:15, Matt. 24:4-5, Matt. 24:23-25, Mk. 13:5-6, Mk. 13:22-23, Lk. 13:24, Jn. 10:7-8a, Jude 1:4

No Other Alternatives

Reason #7 • Greg Koukl

There Are No Other Alternatives for Salvation Picture Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating blood in anguish over the ordeal ahead of Him. He pleads with the Father, begging for any other way of salvation that would spare Him from the cross. But there are no alternatives, no other systems of religious ceremony or righteous works. The Messiah had to die, writing with His blood—in the Lamb’s Book of Life—the names of those He’s rescued. Gal. 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then the Messiah died needlessly. Jn. 18:37b, Rom. 8:8-9, Matt. 26:39, Mk. 14:36, Lk. 22:41-42, Rev. 21:27

Gospel for All Nations

Reason #8 • Greg Koukl

All Nations Are to Be Given this Gospel Jesus gave one last command before He ascended into Heaven: the Great Commission. It’s an odd directive, though, if pluralism were true. Why cover the globe with a message no one needs since each person’s sincerity already serves Him well? The command to go to all nations makes sense only if all are lost without Christ. Lk. 24:47 “Repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Matt. 28:18-19 “All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . . “

Man's Judge on the Final Day

Reason #9 • Greg Koukl

Jesus Will Be Man’s Judge on the Final Day God has appointed a day of judgment when all accounts will finally be settled. On that day, one man will hold the gavel. It won’t be Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, or any other religious leader. They will all be in the dock with the rest of us. All men will be judged by the only perfect man, Jesus. Jn. 5:22-23a “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” 2 Tim. 4:1 Jesus the Messiah. . . is to judge the living and the dead. Mk. 8:38, Lk. 9:26, 1 Pet. 3:21b-22 , Jn. 5:26-27, Jn. 17:2, Acts 17:30-31, Rom. 2:16

Conclusion

Greg Koukl

* All references are from the New American Standard Bible, © The Lockman Foundation.