Exclusivity Of Jesus: Is He Really The Only Way?

There are many objections to the claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I have listed a few of those and given a brief response to each. I would love to hear your comments.

Objection #1 – That belief is too narrow

My Response

Jesus was convinced that He was the only way (John 14:6)

Jesus believed the way to salvation was narrow (Matthew 7:13-14)

Jesus was convinced that those who did not put their faith in Him are condemned by their own unbelief (John 3:36)

Jesus’ closest followers believed that He was the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12)

Objection #2 – There are good people in all religions

My Response

This is a true statement, if you define good by describing people who do not do grossly (defined by our current world’s standards, which, I might add, are always changing) bad things like murder, theft, rape, abuse, etc). But, if we are all honest with ourselves, there is not one person who is really “good.” This is why we have the common statement that says, “No one is perfect.” The Bible talks about how all mankind is sinful, selfish, and according to God’s standard, not the current world’s, we cannot attain the goodness He requires to be good (Romans 3:10-18, 23, Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 19:17, Galatians 3:22, Ecclesiastes 7:20). So God cannot give eternal life based upon our “goodness” because in reality we are not good. This truth is evident by what we see in the world: war, murder, adultery, sexual promiscuity, rape, lust, consumerism, rage (obvious to see in traffic), revenge, unforgiving hearts, and unkindness. We are all guilty of at least some of this. That guilt will be judged, either on us, or on Jesus, and the judgment for sin is death (Romans 6:23), His our ours.

Objection #3 – It would be unloving of God to make only one way to salvation

My Response

By providing a way for salvation shows God’s mercy. He did not have to provide one at all. But, because of His great love for us (John 3:16, Romans 5:8) He made a way by sending His Son Jesus to die in our place for our sin. The fact that there is a way should cause us to praise Him for His great goodness and grace to us. It should cause us to love Him because He loved us first (1 John 4:10, 19).

Objection #4 – All the religions are basically the same

My Response

This statement is almost true. Christianity stands out as the only one that is different. Let me explain. All the other religions in the world focus on what man has to “do” in order to get to God. This is expressed in rituals, ceremonies, pilgrimages, sacraments, pledges, good works, good morals, special prayers, special ways of praying, special directions to pray in, self denial of food, sex, materialism, etc., wearing certain clothes, not wearing certain clothes, and the list can go on and on and make us very tired. Christianity is exclusive not only in that it is the only way, but it is exclusive in how it is practiced. The Bible is very clear that nothing we do can get us to God. The gap created by our sin and rebellion is too large of a chasm to cross for us. This is why God became a man (Jesus), and came to us. He knew we could not redeem ourselves, so He came to us. Salvation, according to the Bible, is one of faith, not works. Right before Jesus died on the cross He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He was stating that all the work that needed to be done to bring sinful man to Holy God had been done. All the holy wrath God needed to pour out on the sins of the world had be poured out on Jesus on the cross. What was left was man’s response to that provision for salvation. Salvation is a gift offered to us by God’s grace. It cannot be earned by what we do. We do not deserve salvation, but because God is a loving God, by His grace we can be forgiven of our sin and receive eternal life. All our “good” deeds, because they are done by sinful people, are considered nothing before God (Isaiah 64:6).

Objection #5 – Not everyone has heard about Jesus

My Response

This is a true statement. I have 3 quick responses to this. First, it is the church’s responsibility to tell the world about Jesus and we have failed to do this. Second, in our failing to do what God has asked, God can and does reach people with the good news of Jesus in ways other than the church (dreams, visions, and many other ways, like an angry man throwing away a Bible and someone picking it up out of the garbage, reading it, and placing their faith in Jesus. This kind of stuff really happens). But lastly, and I think most importantly, you have heard of Him. Do not let the fact that others have not heard be the reason you reject what you heard.

Objection #6 – Why Jesus? What is so special about Him?

My Response

The hundreds of fulfilled prophecies in Scripture given hundreds of years before He was born in Bethlehem shows that God ordained Him to come. His many miracles showed that He was not a mere man. His resurrection proves that He is God. He taught that He was God.  No other religious figure in the history of the world can come even close.

Conclusion

In my humble opinion, those that object to the exclusivity of Jesus have not done so due to great intelligence or fine-tuned reason, but out of a heart that refuses to acknowledge that they were created by a Creator and that Creator deserves their worship. I have not completely covered this topic, but I do think it gives a good ground to begin discussion. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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