How do you get to heaven? That’s a question every person must take seriously!
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6b)
Was the Bible verse mis-written? Is Jesus a bigot?
Have you ever been in a conversation that suddenly took a left turn and you found yourself confronted by someone who would not accept the truth?
Let me tell you about one I had.
Joanne and I were guests in the home of friends in a distant state. Our hostess and I were chatting at the breakfast table.
Intending nothing more than polite conversation, I asked what people in her area thought of a certain prominent political figure?
She answered briefly, then abruptly changed the subject.
“Why is it?”, she demanded, “that those Bible Christians say that only Christians will go to heaven?”
She was aware that I had at least some Bible knowledge, and I believe she really was concerned. It seems a nephew of hers had left the Catholic Church that they were all raised in, and had become a member of the Baha’i faith.
“He’s so sincere”, she pleaded. “Surely God will respect that and bring him to heaven.”
If there was ever a time to employ tact and diplomacy, this was it! As the Apostle Peter wrote, “…always being prepared to make a defense… yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Actually, our friend may have been exercising restraint as well. Her tone of voice suggested an underlying attitude of opposition. In another setting she could very well have been angrily accusing, not politely questioning.
I summoned my courage: “Well”, I began, “they say those things because that’s what the Bible says.” Then I quoted the ending part of John 14:6.
Her response surprised me back then, but not anymore.
Literally wringing her hands, she exclaimed, “Oh! Maybe it was mis-written!”
I quickly realized that the conversation was essentially over. Any further attempts on my part to quote biblical truth would be rejected and thus useless.
It was soon time for her exercise class, which she hoped would lift her spirits. It worked. When she returned, her mood was much more upbeat than when we talked earlier in the morning.
It’s not hard to guess what happened. She probably meets with a group of women some of whom are new-age believers. “Don’t pay any attention to that Bible thumper”, they likely said, “After all, God is love! And besides, don’t all roads lead to the top of the mountain?”
I’m speculating, of course. But what else could bring about such an abrupt change from despair to tranquility? No, someone told her what she wanted to hear. And they said it with such conviction that our friend, who of course knew nothing about what God’s Word actually says, could wrap herself in the security of a false belief system and move on. As someone once said, “My mind is made up. Don’t try to confuse me with facts!”
I saw her again a few months later, and then in a group setting. I only got to talk to her for a moment. I told her I had been praying for her. She said something about respecting each others beliefs.
Here is the entire Scripture passage:
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)
No One Comes To The Father But By Me
If any other person said that, it would be considered outrageous, narrow, and bigoted. But when the Creator of the universe says it — and He did — it’s the Truth. Sadly, most refuse to accept Jesus’ Words as Truth. In the relativism of postmodern culture — asserting that there is no absolute truth — they’re saying in effect, “God is who I want Him to be.” They feel they can cause biblical Truth to be untrue… just by denying it.
But God is who His Word reveals Him to be. Denying Jesus’ spiritual sovereignty is as unwise as denying the sovereignty of His natural laws such as gravity. Jump from a tall building and you go down. Denying gravity has immediate consequences. Denying that Jesus is the only way to heaven has delayed consequences — for all of eternity!
It’s not about good works or sincerity. Terrorists who crash airliners into skyscrapers are sincere. Atheists are sincere. Instead, it’s about knowing Jesus as a real person. How? The same way you know any other person: by what He said and what He did. You get to know Jesus by getting to know His Word. Jesus said:
He who rejects Me and does not receive My Word has a judge; the Word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day”. (John 12:48)
Despite good works or sincerity in false religions, Jesus will say to those who deliberately remained indifferent to His Word — and therefore have no relationship with Him:
I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23)
Would this move an unbeliever to alter their views? Not for some. Not for hardened unbelievers. I met one lady who — though she claims to be a Christian, does not believe that anything in the Bible is accurate. She figures it was passed around in verbal form to the point that it surely doesn’t resemble in any way the original words. What do you say to someone like that?
Pete’s sermon addresses the popular notion that all religions teach the same thing, and all roads lead to the top of the same mountain.
Scriptures that reassure Salvation
Listed in no particular order.
Not a comprehensive list.
English Standard Version (ESV)
From Acts Chapter 4:
And 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)
From Hebrews Chapter 5:
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:7~10)
From Hebrews Chapter 6:
The Certainty of God’s Promise
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:13~20)
From Hebrews Chapter 7:
25 Consequently, He (Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
From Hebrews Chapter 8:
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:10~12)
From Hebrews Chapter 9:
24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24~26)
From Hebrews Chapter 10:
Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All
1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
6 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
17 then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:1~18)
Notice the words “for all time” in bold type above:
“ALL Time” means: PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. So, the writer is talking about PAST sins, PRESENT sins, and FUTURE sins.
From Romans Chapter 8:
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38~39)
From Romans Chapter 10:
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:13~14)
From Colossians Chapter 2:
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13~14)
PRAYER:“How wonderful it is, Lord Jesus, to live in harmony with the principles of Your Word. I enjoy peace and confidence, knowing I will be with You throughout eternity.”
From Psalm 91:
14 Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14~16)