Taken from Absolute Truth and Republished here.
Why do Christians Insist that Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven?
Why Religion is not enough.....
An uneasy feeling settled over the gathering. Religious leaders squirmed in their seats as they stared at the two strangers who were demonstrating such unmatched boldness. "Who are these men?" they wondered to themselves. The leader of the assembly stroked his beard in thought, then said, "By what power, or by what name, have you done this?"
Now, these men had stirred up the city with rumors of a "miracle healing" and thousands were believing in their power. The religious leaders of the day, in an effort to keep the peace, had called the men in for questioning. There was a heavy silence, as the two men contemplated their response.
All at once, what seemed to be a wave of power swept over the first of the men and he pronounced: "Elders and rulers of Israel, if you have brought us to trial regarding the crippled man who was made to walk, then let it be known to all of you that this man has been healed by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who you crucified, whom God raised from the dead...there is salvation in no other, for no other name under heaven has been among men by which we can be saved."
Another pause. The leaders stared at the outsiders all the more, their hearts filling with anger toward this statement of arrogance. "Who are these men to claim the truth as their own? And why this foolish allegiance to a dead man?" the crowd thought. Yet they could say nothing, for the healed man stood among them as living proof of the power these men claimed to possess.
The council discussed the matter among themselves: "What can we do with these men? It is undeniable that a great miracle has been performed here in Jerusalem! However, we must command these men to never again speak in the name of this Jesus, lest more of our people believe in Him."
The leaders were agreed and brought Peter and John back into the room. They were commanded to never again speak the name of Jesus. To this the reply came, "Which is right, for us to obey you or God? We cannot keep quiet about the things we have seen and heard."
Story taken from Acts 4
Why do born-again Christians claim that Jesus is the ONLY way to God? Isn't that a little too absolute? What about Confucius, or Muhammad, or Buddha? What about Jews, Mormons, atheists, Catholics, evolutionists, or even Communists? So the questions continue. How can someone really say that Jesus is the one way, and that all other ways will lead to everlasting hell? Who gave these Christians the right to dictate everybody else's morality anyway?
The same question has plagued the minds of millions since the very beginning of the world. The purpose of this publication is to help sort out some of these issues and provide some solid, logical answers. It is possible that even as I say these things you are beginning to feel like the council members in the Bible story about Peter and John. You may be wondering, "Who is this guy? And what right does he have to be dogmatic about his religion?" My goal is not to dictate my beliefs to you or to brainwash you into believing a certain system--my goal is to present you with the evidence so you can make the right decision.
I will gladly affirm to you that Jesus Christ has changed my life and given me peace, hope, and confidence for eternity. He has given me true purpose and meaning. It is my prayer that you would read this with an open mind and open heart--that you would give time to at least consider the claims of Jesus Christ. He may be the answer your heart is longing for.
1. SOMETHING TO AGREE ON
It is always good to start a discussion on common ground. There is one similarity between every world religion, every culture, every ethnic background, and every human soul--we all know there is more to life than what we see. All of us put our faith in something. We know there must be a higher plane of existence, or some sort of spiritual force, or an afterlife. Some have faith in one god, some put their faith in many. Some even have faith that there is no god. Some trust scientific theory and some trust the occultic powers of the spirit world.
Why do Muslims pray daily and fast during Ramadan? Why do Hindus worship millions of statues all across the Indian subcontinent? Why do jungle tribes all have strange religious rituals and ceremonies? Why do astrologers peer into the heavens in the search for meaning and special knowledge? Why are whole nations controlled by religious sects? I submit to you that these things are true because the Creator has placed within us a knowledge of eternity and a conscience. Since the very conception of human existence, people have been on a history-long search for truth about their own meaning in life. Man is most definitely a religious creature in every respect.
Why is it that we all have preconceived ideas about right and wrong? Why do we feel guilty over evil, and what makes us feel good when we do positive things? Why do people believe that Mother Teresa was any better of a person than Adolf Hitler? What makes us think that it is right to protect the innocent? Who told us it is cowardly to run away from battle? Why do we think it is right to tell the truth? Again, I submit to you that the Creator has planted an eternal conscience within every human soul. He has told us what is right and wrong. Now it seems He has left us to grope through the darkness in a desperate search to find Him. Or has He?
Has the Creator really left us without a witness? Are we without hope of ever discovering Him? Can our conscience ever be satisfied? Will the "hole" and "emptiness" that we experience ever be filled? I can tell you from personal experience that there is good news...these questions do have an answer! However, most people will never find it. The reason: the answer is too simple, and it costs far too much.
Jesus mentioned this in the Bible when He said: "...wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in...because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it." The answer is really as simple as walking through a doorway--yet this one decision is the most costly that anyone could ever make. For to enter this door--the doorway of eternal reality and understanding--a person must give up all self-effort, self-will, and self-glory and be willing to pay any price in order to know the Creator. This sacrifice is well worth it in the light of eternity. What could replace true purpose in life? Who cares about how much you have, how great you are, or what you know if you still have no hope or reason for life?
"Hold it!" I hear you protesting. "Why am I supposed to believe that the Bible is different than any other book? Why does it matter what Jesus said? Why not quote someone else?" I would have you know that the Bible is the only book in the world that is self-proving. If someone will honestly look at the Bible, that person will soon see that the Bible needs no external evidence for validity (although such evidence does exist in abundance). The reason for this can be explained by the following story.
Let's say a boy is looking at an electric space heater and sees the glowing red bars. His dad comes over and comments: "Don't touch those--they are hot!" The skeptical boy decides that he will try it out to prove whether or not his father is telling the truth. The moment his tiny hand wraps around the glowing bar, his skepticism ceases. Suddenly, he not only believes that the heater bar is hot--he knows it is hot! No one needs to publish books to prove to the boy that heaters are indeed hot--he knows.
The Bible is the same way. As long as people sit back in skepticism and take shots at a closed book on the shelf, they will never know the power it contains. However, if someone is willing to pick up the Bible and read it with an open heart, no further proof should be necessary. The moment the searing heat of God's truth makes contact with your soul, you will no longer wonder if the Bible is a divine book--you will know it.
2. WHO OWNS YOU, ANYWAY?
Have you ever wondered why the Bible has been the best-loved book in history, but also the most-hated? The reason for this is because to some, the Bible provides the answers to life's greatest questions and gives them faith in Jesus Christ. For others who reject its divine authorship, the Bible condemns them as an enemy of God who will suffer forever in hell. Such absolute statements do not always settle well with mankind, particularly in our age of "tolerance" and "relativism".
Before proceeding with the answer to the question of life's purpose and why Jesus is the only way, I would like to put before you a concept that must be understood. Let us suppose, for the purposes of this discussion, that the true God has indeed revealed Himself to us in the Bible. If this is true, then we have to consider Him to be exactly what He claims to be--the Creator and Sustainer of life. That brings us to an important question: does the Creator have the right to tell us what to do? If God made us, after all, is He not our Owner and Master?
If God is our Master, then don't we owe Him our allegiance (or, to use a religious term, our "worship")? As the Only One worthy of worship, should He have to tolerate our manmade religions? Certainly not. It is as if we feel that God must show us favor regardless of how we worship Him or what else we may choose to do--but the truth is precisely the opposite! We must obey God no matter what He tells us to do! He is in charge--not us!
Does God have to bow down to someone else's relative standards of morality? Of course not. God has already set up a standard of law and order that is perfectly designed to enable His creations to live in harmony. God is under no obligation whatsoever to any created being. He does not have to cater to the whims of public opinion. What an individual thinks about a subject does not force God to accommodate him. God is free to do as He wills.
God is not impressed by those who seek to reach Him their own way--God has required that we "enter by the straight gate, the narrow way". It is His right as God to determine how He wants to be worshipped and obeyed. He could care less about our ideas of "political correctness." There are many who claim that they worship God "in their own way" and that "all religions are the same". Such statements, however, stand in stark contrast to what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible. He is to be the Master; we are to be the servants.
3. WHO HAS THE SOLUTION?
You realize that mankind only faces three problems: sin, sorrow, and death. All the ills of the world fit under one of those three categories. How can we deal with guilt over our sin? How can we find true peace? How can we know anything about an afterlife? Religion is simply the attempts people make to solve these great mysteries.
The Bible is the book that provides the answers. It is the key to unlock the mysteries of eternity, and the mysteries of our own empty hearts. We need not fulfill some external code of regulations and rituals in order to gain purpose--we merely need to turn to our Creator in humility and have faith in that which He has already shown us.
Friend, you must know that, while Biblical Christianity differs from other religions for a variety of reasons, there is one great reason that cannot be denied. As other religions attempt to solve the three greatest problems, they all rely upon the efforts of man. The Bible's answer to these problems is to rely upon God. This difference is vast indeed.
True Christians would affirm that nothing they do makes them worthy of God's favor. It is not by works of righteousness or baptism or a specific prayer. Good deeds are not sufficient for God. He provided His Son Jesus Christ to save us. It is Jesus we are trusting in, not ourselves. We realize that our sinful, selfish patterns have angered God, and that our consistent violation of His Law has deemed us unworthy to enter His perfect presence. Our sins have indeed separated us from our God. Our only hope comes through faith in God's mercy and in His promise to rescue all those who believe in the name of Jesus. In this way, all the glory goes to Him.
The Bible makes it clear that in Heaven, no one will be boasting "Look how I got here! I prayed 20 times per day and fasted 7 days a week! I went to church and gave so much money...God was sure lucky to have me on His side!" NO! The Bible leaves no room for human boasting. Our salvation cannot be earned and is certainly not deserved. There is no amount of effort we could exert that would ever please God.
Yet it is this very idea--human effort--upon which every other religious system is built. Whether you are Islamic, relying upon your obedience to Allah; a Hindu, seeking to please the gods and find divinity within yourself; a Catholic, seeking to please God by baptism and confirmation; these systems are based on man, not God. They all make efforts to reach God, some at great sacrifice and cost.
I had the privilege of visiting the nation of Thailand and found it to be an extremely religious nation. It seemed almost as if they had mixed three or four religions together with rampant superstition. They had idol-statues on the sidewalks, impressive temples decorated with fine jewels and gold, and miniature "spirit-houses" outside of their businesses and homes. Often times, these "spirit houses" looked as if they cost twice as much as the human houses! It was a very impressive religious system. Yet it was all built upon the backs of mankind. God had nothing to do with their "salvation." It was all in how much they gave, or what they prayed, or how many flower offerings they would give to the spirits.
The sad reality of such systems is that although these people seem desperate to know the truth, it is hidden from their eyes by their own self-effort. So it is with most of us. We want to believe that we can get to God on our own terms. We have swallowed the lie that we are capable of ascending unto the heavens. I have often said that trying to reach God by your own efforts is equivalent to going out this afternoon and telling your friends you are going to touch the sun with your hand. You reach up with your whole three foot arm span and stretch out as far as you can...yet are you really any closer to the sun? Of course not. The very thought of being able to reach out and touch the sun is impossible, and even if one could, he would be instantly burned in the heat. So it is with God. He is unreachable. He is untouchable. He is so far beyond anything our pitiful imaginations could ever conceive. He is infinite in every respect. Such is the God of the Bible--He who is Almighty Creator of heavens and earth.
So what shall we worship? Shall we praise the efforts of man, or the efforts of God? Shall we be humanists, or Christians? Humanism is the worship of man; it is a belief that man is good and should control his own destiny. I would submit to you that all people on earth, outside of Bible-believers, are humanists at heart. That is, they believe that their own effort, good deeds, or self-deity will earn them favor with a higher power and thus bring them into a state of either eternal pleasure or non-existence.
With these facts in mind, it would be safe to say that in actuality, there are only two world religions: Humanism or Biblical Christianity. You have a choice between trusting in what people can do or trusting in what God has already done. If you choose to trust in yourself, you will never be able to find confidence or peace. How could one ever know if he has finally reached the goal? What if you were not quite good enough? On the other hand, if you have placed all your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, your eternity is sealed and you can rest in the knowledge that God will deliver on His promises to you.
This is one reason why many people don't like the Bible. They want to fulfill a list of duties in order to be accepted into some sort of a "paradise" or "unity". They want to think that there are actually actions they can perform which will somehow outweigh their sins. They want a religion that rewards them for a job well done. The Muslim Koran teaches this. So do the Hindu's, Buddhists, and Mormons. They are working their way toward "heaven." Yet God's offer as recorded in the Bible is anything but a pat on the back. The call of the Bible is to trust in Jesus Christ and what He did, and forsake yourself. The Bible tells us that we must rely on God's work, not our own. No efforts. No charades. No rites. Only Christ.
4. THE DIFFERENCE
Are you beginning to see the difference here? The difference between believing in Jesus versus believing in other religions? There was once a meeting of Christian thinkers and theologians who were discussing religious concepts. The question came up: "What makes Christianity different than all other faiths?" After a period of discussion, one man walked in on the conversation and said: "That's easy...the difference is in the grace of God."
Grace. Grace is something we cannot earn. We certainly don't deserve it. It is simply God's favor toward us. Even while we humans blaspheme, rebel, and disobey, God continues to have patient grace toward us. He gives us chance after chance after chance to repent and come to Himself. You see, the God of the Bible is a God of supernatural love. His mercy and compassion are great. He has demonstrated this amazing love by coming down and actually taking our penalty upon Himself.
Most people's ideas of God are just the opposite. Think of the Muslim god of Allah. Does he love people? Is he willing to give himself up as a sacrifice for the humanity he created? Does he have great and precious promises--does he hold out his loving arms toward your weary soul and offer you eternal rest? Think of the angry Hindu gods, which demand people be their slaves for life out of fear of bad karma. It's too bad for you if you mess up, you'll just have to come back in your next life as a beetle or a rodent. Some believe they are required to go through elaborate religious rituals in order to impress some mystical force. Think of those who believe in the "spirits" which come and must be appeased lest they bring about some sickness or disease to your children. Think again of all those who fit under the loose title of "Christianity" and yet trust in their own self-righteous good deeds to please God. Salvation to them ceases to be an act of God's mercy and grace and becomes a race to make sure one gets baptized into a church, says a little prayer, or gets confirmed. Think of atheism, the epitome of hopelessness and death. No future. No love. No purpose. Our world's religious landscape is dark indeed.
Yet there is hope. The landscape may be dark, but there is a bright light shining just below the horizon. The Bible records in Psalm 103: "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." The True Creator God has a love for us that none of us could ever comprehend. John the Apostle wrote: "In Him was life; and that life was the light of men."
You see, it is and must be the grace of God that would save us. We are in darkness. Human efforts can never please God. They cannot satisfy divine justice. The Apostle Paul makes this point in Ephesians 2:3-9: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
5. WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL HERE?
"Come on, now" you must be thinking. "What's the big deal anyway? Isn't God loving?" Part of our confusion about pleasing God stems from our misunderstanding of the true nature of God, and the true nature of mankind. The Bible says that the unchanging law of God, that which God has written upon your conscience, exists to clear up these two issues. I would ask you to look at some of the following moral principles that God has laid down and evaluate your own life. Do you measure up to the eternal standards of the Creator?
Commandment #1 -- You shall have no other gods before me.
This command is simple, but certainly not easy. God is to be the first and most important part of your life. He should be the centerpiece of our lives...the One to whom we owe our wholehearted allegiance. Ask yourself the question: "Do I love God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength?" If your purpose in life is not first and foremost to serve and worship Jesus Christ, then you are guilty of violating the first commandment. You have another god in your life that is more important to you than the God who created you.
Commandment #2 -- Do not make for yourself any graven images.
An idol is any object, idea, or pleasure that we hold onto more tightly than God. Anything you love more or esteem more than Jesus Christ is an idol. Do you value money more than your relationship with God? Is sex on your mind more often that praying to your Heavenly Father? Would you rather be entertained than serve the Lord? Most of our world is serving the idol of material wealth and the pursuit of "fun". We have together forsaken God's perfect standards and bowed down to our television sets in willing bondage to the next sin-driven sitcom. We have served the idol of self...serving our own interests above the interests of anyone else around us.
Commandment #3 -- Do not use God's name in vain.
How often is the sacred name of God or Jesus Christ repeated in personal anger or fear? In virtually every movie, every TV show, every book, every workplace, every school playground, and even in many churches, the name of God is treated like dirt. How many Christians wear Christian T-shirts and have Jesus bumper stickers but then live hypocritically by compromising their values for temporal pleasure? Have you broken this commandment by spitting out God's name in a disrespectful way? Have you broken it by calling yourself a Christian and then living a lifestyle just the opposite?
Commandment #4 -- Keep the Sabbath day holy.
This idea has been so ignored and forgotten that most people have no idea what this commandment even means. Simply put, God expects us to give one day out of seven exclusively for His use. Sundays were once considered a special day for church and family and personal worship/prayer. Now, it is nothing more than a football and drinking party day. Church-going is clearly going out of style and Sunday is becoming just another day to work and catch up on chores. Whatever happened to the Sabbath? Do you personally reserve one day every week for God's purposes...church, prayer, good works, Bible study, etc.?
Commandment #5 -- Honor your father and mother.
Say these words in the average public high school and you will get laughed out of the building. Our nation has little or no respect for our parents...many care more for their "convenience" and their pocketbook than they do for their aging parent. And look at our youth...how many are living in total rebellion against their parents and every other authority? The violation of this commandment is impossible to hide. The ugly scar of rebellion and dishonor of authority shows clearly on the face of our modern culture. How often have you lived in disobedience to your parents, teenager? Or adult, did you always treat your parents with the highest of honor and respect? Have you always obeyed your parents?
Commandment #6 -- Do not kill.
How many murders have there been in the past year? Over the course of the last 60 years untold thousands have been murdered in cold blood on the streets of our cities...and to what end? Murder is all around us--every day--on the news, on the streets, and in the abortion clinics. How will our generation answer to God for the millions of innocent young lives snuffed out by the holocaust of abortion? Yet the commandment to not murder goes much deeper than even these issues. The Bible says that if you hate another person it is the same sin as murder. How much do you hear the term "hate-crime?" Hate is everywhere--whether it be racially or religiously driven...hate is a sin and a violation of the sixth commandment. Have you always loved your brothers? Have you ever hated anyone, or even spoken the words: "I hate you" ? Such an act puts you in the same category as a first-degree murderer.
Commandment #7 -- Do not commit adultery.
Woe to us in view of this standard of God! The Bible makes it clear that this commandment is deeper than even the outward act...God looks at the heart. Jesus said that "If a man lusts in his heart after a woman, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Lust runs rampant around the world. Prostitution is alive and well, as is the glorification of homosexual perversion. Rape and sexual abuse of children is more commonplace than any of us really want to admit. Sexual sin of all types is embraced by our populace...as evidenced by the average prime time TV line up...show after show depicting one immoral relationship after another. The extent of our adultery is unknown...but God will not sit by passively excusing our gross sin and the perversion of His standards forever. Have you ever thought a lustful thought toward a member of the opposite sex? Have you ever been unfaithful to your spouse? Have you ever watched things in movies or on TV that are immoral in nature?
Commandment #8 -- Do not steal.
Theft is increasingly common in our society. From bank robberies to "white-collar" crime, this has become an epidemic. People cheat on tests and taxes, take time from their employers, keep things that do not belong to them, etc. God does not care how much the value of the thing you stole was. If it wasn't yours and you took it...the Bible calls you a thief. Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you from a store, a hotel, a business, or another person's home? Or, are you truly an honest person at heart?
Commandment #9 -- Do not lie.
To understand the prevalence of lying in our culture, one need look no further than to our governments and leaders. God has promised that "all liars have their part in the lake of fire." Dishonesty is all over the headlines of our newspapers. Have you ever exaggerated, told a "white lie", or maybe just a fib? If so, the Bible would label you a liar.
Commandment #10 -- Do not covet.
Coveting is being jealous of what other people have. It might be someone's wife, someone's house, or job, or car, or even their looks. Covetousness is the lust for more. Our world is consumed by materialism and selfish greed. Have you been guilty of this sin? Are you ungrateful for what God has given you?
King David of Israel once asked: "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? He that has clean hands and a pure heart." (Psalm 15:1) After looking at these eternal rules of right and good, can you say that you do indeed have clean hands and a pure heart? Are you prepared to meet God?
God's holiness is revealed to us in His law. He is perfect and morally excellent. God is entirely just. Not one iota of darkness has ever been or could ever be found in His nature. God is good. The Bible puts forth a simplistic command: "Be ye holy as I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16)
Man's depravity and twisted nature are also revealed to us in this Law. We are shown to fall miserably short of God's perfect standard. Looking over the Ten Commandments. Who of us can say we have actually kept them--or even one of them? It is said that the word "sin" literally means "missing the mark." Humans could never approach the holiness and perfection of God, which is precisely why our own efforts and rituals could never bring us close to Him. Now you must realize that this idea squarely contradicts the wishful thinking of many world religions--they want us to believe that man is fundamentally good. But as we have seen--this is simply not the case! The Bible explains that even the best deeds a human could perform are but filthy rags in the sight of God's all-seeing and ever-righteous eyes. Because He is so good, sin cannot be tolerated in His presence. Sin will be punished according to the eternal Law.
6. DEAL WITH IT!
Somehow, our sin must be dealt with if we are to go to heaven. We stand guilty before God. Our own consciences even condemn us. Most people don't even match up to their own standards for themselves...why should we think thy would be able to match God's perfect, eternal standard? Biblical Christianity is the only religion that has a rational and God-glorifying way of dealing with our sin problem. Other religious systems' attempts at erasing sin always glorify man and human effort. We contend that it is only by the grace and love of God that true forgiveness is available.
The question now becomes: "How has God made forgiveness available? What can cleanse a man so that he can stand perfect before God?" The Apostle Paul answers this all-important question in the book of Romans:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now a righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 3:20-24)
The "law" had no ability to rescue mankind from the curse of sin. The law was meant only to reveal our evil ways, but could do nothing to save us. Christ was then sent to earth to die on the Cross as our substitute. We are the ones who sinned, so therefore we are the ones that should pay the penalty for sin. However, because of God's great love for all humans, He put all of our sins on the Perfect One, Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, God now has the legal ability to forgive sin. The Bible promises that all who come to God in faith can be saved because of what Jesus did.
7. SO THE REAL ISSUE IS…
Let us sum this up and hopefully make some sense of all these facts. The question is this: "Why is Jesus Christ the only way to God?" We have laid down some foundational principles that man has a spiritual need, and that religion is man's attempt to meet that spiritual need. We have also briefly looked at God's law, in order to reveal our need for a Savior to come and rescue us from our sinful state. We have seen the difference between the Bible's solution and all the other religious solutions: that is the grace of God. Religion is man reaching up to God; true, biblical Christianity is God reaching down to man. Humanistic religions end up glorifying human accomplishments, while faith in Christ glorifies God alone.
Therefore, if we can agree that a Savior is necessary, the issue of debate is really "Is Jesus is that Savior? Is Jesus God?" Many religions, such as Islam, merely take Jesus to be a good teacher or an important prophet. However, it is not logically consistent to believe this way, for Jesus himself claimed to be God. Good teachers don't walk around proclaiming false deity! The honest skeptic is left with only three choices as to the identity of Jesus Christ. He was either:
Perhaps He was just a regular man and lied outright hundreds of times as He told people to follow Him because He was God in the flesh. Such a deception, if true, would certainly be the greatest lie of history. Those who say Jesus was only a good prophet are calling Him a liar--because it was Jesus who said: "I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)
It is possible that Jesus was merely a crazy man under a powerful self-delusion. Most religions would certainly not say this directly, but if they deny His Lordship, and don't want to believe He lied, then they are left with this choice. (If you read the "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew 5-7, Jesus doesn't sound like a lunatic...He sounds much more reasonable than most of us could ever sound.)
The third and final choice, and the most sensible, is that Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be--the Son of God. When Jesus stood trial for claiming to be the Messiah, the high priest ordered Him to answer the question: "Are you the Son of God?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is as you say." (On Judgment Day every human being will stand before Jesus, including that high priest, and the tables will be turned. We will be the ones answering the questions then.)
So, as you evaluate what your belief will be about Jesus Christ, keep in mind that these are the only three valid choices. You can deny Him, and merely say He was a nice guy, but this would mean you are calling Him a liar or a lunatic. Your only other option is to fall on your face before the Creator God of the Universe and worship Him for who He truly is...the Lord. The Gospel of John was written in the Bible for the express purpose of demonstrating the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Before making a final decision on who Jesus really is, it is vital that you read this Gospel.
If you agree that Jesus is Lord, then your next conclusion must be that He is the ONLY Lord--the only way to have sin forgiven and gain assurance about Heaven. Jesus proclaimed this truth in John 14:6 when He said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me." Either Jesus was lying when He said that or He was telling the truth. According to the Lord Jesus, there is no other way. He alone is the Doorway to everlasting life in heaven--not Mohammed, Darwin, Buddha, Joseph Smith, or anyone else. Only Jesus Christ.
8. THE VICTORY HAS BEEN WON!
In conclusion, I must share with you what I have found to be the most glorious and magnificent truth in all the Universe--past, present, and future. This is the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is another difference between humanistic religion and Christianity. Man has no power of death! I'm thankful that we can look beyond ourselves, to Him who conquered death once for all. Buddha--he's dead. Mohammad--same deal. Confucius--dead. Darwin--dead and very sorry by now. These men have nothing to offer us! Their religious systems have no power to defeat our most hated enemy...that is death!
Yet, history bears out the reality that Jesus Christ was different than all these men. Listen to the arguments of the Apostle Paul on this subject. This section of his message is from his address on Mars Hill to the philosophers of Athens: "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life and breath...For in him we live, and move, and have our being...we ought not to think the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
Paul simply says that God is not a piece of silver or gold. God doesn't dwell in a physical man-made temple. Nor is God satisfied with man-invented worship. God has commanded that all men everywhere repent (turn from) such ideas about religion and turn to Jesus Christ. The proof that this is valid is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15 provides an excellent study of the resurrection of Jesus).
Perhaps you are much like the people of Athens, always searching and wondering who the true "unknown" God really is...today I proclaim Him to you...He is Jesus Christ, the Lord! He is the Only one who holds the power over sin and death. He is the Creator, the Lawgiver, the Judge, the Savior, and the Master of eternity! There is no one like Him! He is the great "I AM" to whom Moses spoke in the Old Testament. He is the great "Light of the World" who came to shine the bright light of truth upon our darkened hearts and lives! He is the "Lamb of God" who died as a perfect sacrifice for all sin! For those who are lost, He is the WAY; for those who are deceived, He is the TRUTH, and for those who are dead in sin, He is the LIFE!
The grace of God is available to you. The Bible says in Titus 2:11-14: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity (sin), and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." This grace of Almighty God is now ready to enter your life and give you true victory over sin. No longer need you sit in the prison cell of lust, pride, and greed, chained to a great ball of guilt and a tortured conscience. The power of Christ can set you free forever. You can then gaze onward into the dawn of eternity, confident in the promise of Jesus to one day return and claim all His own! The blessed hope of every believer is that day when the Lord God returns to earth in might and power! Jesus can give you the blessed assurance of eternity, so that you can know for sure when death knocks at your door, that you will enter heaven.
The Resurrected Jesus is calling out to you, reaching out His loving and gracious hand to your soul. What will your response be? Will you delay any longer? Why will you not take His hand and follow Him throughout eternity into everlasting fellowship and life with your Creator? Please do not continue to plod aimlessly through life following the teachings of "good" men. They can't rescue your soul from the clutches of hell and sin. Only God can do that.
Friend, that is why. That is why Jesus is the only way.
By Daniel W. Jarvis
The Purpose of This Site
Once this site was just for me. It was a personal blog, journal or diary of my journey with the Lord. However one day reading it I found that this could also be a real testimony to the world. Evangelism is my heart. Jesus is my life. This is my real account of my Christian walk and revelation that I share with you. In all things take them to scripture. I do not claim to be an expert though I study, research and seek the truth daily. My purpose it to stir your heart towards the Heavenly Father so you can pursue your own Journey with the lord through his word and in spirit.