Merry Christmas – Pastor/Elder Jim Nelson
Posted on January 6, 2023 by No comments
I recently became aware of a few surveys completed by Pew Research and others which indicated that 45 to 65% of so called evangelical Christians are convinced that Jesus is not the only way to heaven. I think my heart stop beating for a while, I was shocked and then disappointed. I needed to remind myself that we live in a post-modern world where tolerance dominates everything and everybody has a right to his or her opinion; there’s no universal truth and no absolutes. John Piper has an appropriate quote; “The question for the church in every generation is: “Will we submit gladly to the authority of Scripture?” Satan tempted Adam and Eve with this statement, “Did God really say”. He continues to use this lie everyday with us.
But, the Bible clearly teaches us that there is only one way to be saved, only one way to heaven – Jesus Christ who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6. No one comes to relationship with God, no one comes into the presence of God, and no one gets to heaven, except through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from what Jesus achieved in his death and resurrection.
You may ask; why is there only one way to heaven? Pastor Tim Challies makes this point; “The answer is far simpler than we may think. Far more logical, too. There is only one way into heaven because there is only one way out of heaven”. We are all descendants of one man. This first man Adam was our representative. He stood before God as the head of the human race and was able to choose whether we would be at peace with God or at war, whether we would submit to God or rebel against his rule. He chose war. He chose rebellion. And he made this choice not only on his behalf, but on behalf of all who would follow in his line. When he went to war, we went to war.
Each of us has been born in that state of rebellion, with a sinful nature that is inherited from our birth parents and, ultimately, from our first parents. All are born under the dominion of sin, with a nature inclined toward sin, with a desire to commit sin, and, therefore, with hands, feet, minds, and mouths that actually do sin. The psalmist says it well “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does well, not even one.
Yet it is on the heels of this bad news that we find such good news. Because we are all in the same condition, we all need the same salvation. Because damnation came through one representative, salvation can come through a second. And sure enough, just as all fell in Adam, all can be made alive in Christ Jesus. Just as Adam stood before God and was rebellious on our behalf, Jesus stood before God and was obedient on our behalf.
Ultimately, there is only one way into relationship with God because there is only one way out of relationship with God – sin. There is only one way to heaven because there’s only one way to hell – rebellion. There is only one way to be saved because there is only one kind of person who needs to be saved – sinful rebels like you and me. The only path to heaven leads through the only Savior, Jesus Christ.
In Romans 3:21-24, it is crystal clear that the redemption that is in Christ Jesus is given by God as the solution for the universal problem of sin. The thought that there are other saviors or other ways of getting right with God besides what is presented in scripture is an imagination of man, not a revelation of God.
Let us resolve never to deny that Christ is the only way to the Father, and let us pray for strength to confess this truth no matter the pressure to say salvation is available through other means as well.
Let’s hold on dearly to the saving gospel of Christ Jesus, let’s preach this gospel to ourselves every day, and shared it often with others.
Your Brother In Christ, Jim Nelson