I attended a funeral Saturday. The minister said, “We believe that God’s grace is so big and bountiful that He will save everyone on earth.” What?!?! I didn’t want to be rude, but I wanted to do two things: (1) Stand up and say, “That’s not true. You’re giving people false hope;” and (2) Ask the preacher, “Where do you find that in the Bible?” Saying God will save everyone does give people a false hope and can be found nowhere in Scripture.
It’s not at all the politically correct thing to say, but Jesus never taught that everyone will be saved. In fact, Jesus taught us that the majority of people will be lost: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). Whenever someone dies, people are apt to say, “He’s in a better place now” – Jesus teaches us that for the vast majority of people, that’s a lie. Eternal destruction is real (Matthew 25:31-46), and many will experience that eternal destruction.
But, is Jesus the only way to avoid that eternal destruction? What about the good people in Africa who have never heard the name of Jesus? What about those who do not believe in Jesus? What about Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and atheists?
Jesus taught that he is absolutely the only way to salvation:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24)
In order to find salvation from that final destruction, one absolutely must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Unbelief means dying in one’s sins.
The Apostles likewise taught that salvation is found only in Jesus:
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
If you are to be saved from your sins, you must be saved through Jesus.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame’” (Romans 10:9-11)
If you wish to be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
Is Jesus the only way to be saved? Absolutely! Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, the Pope, and any other religious leader cannot offer salvation. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ and only in Jesus Christ.
I know many will object to what I’ve written and some might be angered. That’s okay. Your disagreement and your anger does not change one word of what Jesus said. Nothing ever will change Jesus’ words. Period.
Tomorrow, I’m going to write about the charge of arrogance and narrow mindedness in declaring that Jesus is the only way to salvation. On Wednesday, I’ll explore the responsibilities we Christians have because Jesus is the only way to salvation. On Thursday, we’ll think about what God requires for salvation. On Friday, I’ll discuss some of the blessings we find because of the salvation in Jesus.