John 14: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The crowd gathered at the St. Louis Olympic stadium in 1904 cheered excitedly as the first competitor crossed the finish line. It was American Fred Lorz who claimed the crown of Olympic champion in the grandest of Olympic events – the marathon. There was only one problem; after cramping up early in the race Lorz rode for 10 miles of the course in an automobile. After the car broke down, the revitalized Lorz ran the final 5 miles and entered Olympic stadium to the roar of the enthusiastic crowd, well before his fellow marathoners. The ruse, however, was quickly uncovered and Fred Lorz was stripped of his victory.
From the earliest times there have been false teachers who have proclaimed that there were other ways, aside from Jesus, to reach the finish line, to spend eternity with him in heaven. Peter (2 Peter 2:1-22), and Paul (2 Corinthians 11:4) warned the early church of such false teachers. One such trend of heresy I see today is the infusion of other religions into Christianity. There are actually pastors of so-called “Christian” churches preaching that we will be joined in heaven by followers of other religions, as there are many ways to God. I am never surprised when an unbelieving person makes a comment like: “all religions are basically the same”, or “anyone good will make it to heaven”, but I continue to be baffled when supposed “teachers” of the Bible make statements which preach an inclusiveness of other religious beliefs. While we certainly are called to love others who have other religious beliefs, that is very different than preaching that they are headed to the same destination as Christians. In fact, to preach such a thing is heresy, and unloving as we rob hearers of the truth.
I find it impossible to read the Bible and come to any other conclusion than to recognize that there is one way to heaven. How can the following scriptures be interpreted in any other way? “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6). And Paul, speaking of Jesus, writes: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). Further, Paul said: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5).
God left no room for interpretation on the matter. If you want to spend eternity with God in heaven, there is no shortcut, there is no other way. Jesus is the way. Furthermore, it is not what Paul would call a “disputable matter” (Romans 14:1). The very first commandment God gave to his people was that we should not have any gods other than him (Exodus 20:3). In fact, God calls himself “a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). Like a husband or wife would be intensely jealous if their spouse was not faithful to them, so too God is righteously jealous if our love is divided. Are you convinced that there is “one way” to God? If you are a Christian, then you need to know the scriptures listed above and you need to be prepared to defend your faith, in love. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15).