Jesus couldn’t possibly be the only way to God,” stated Oprah Winfrey on her signature television program in 2008.
So, is Jesus the only Way, or should we feel comfortable pursuing other avenues to eternity?
Among Christians, there is some confusion on this point. Although results from a poll taken by the Barna Group in 2015 indicate more than 150 million Americans profess faith anchored in Jesus, only 63% of professed believers agree that salvation comes only through Jesus.1
According to the Barna Group’s research, Jesus suffers even greater rejection as the only means of salvation among a narrow segment of the professed Christian population. While 37% of all professed believers deny Jesus as the only door leading to heaven, in this age of social media, an even greater number of millennials (those born between 1984 and 2002), or 44%, do not see a relationship with Jesus as the one true way to salvation. In essence they have un-friended the Son of God even as they seek other validation for entry into the Kingdom of Glory.
So, is it possible to know what to believe? Indeed it is, and we have God’s Word on it. God’s Word makes us aware of our available options as we journey in this life. Ultimately, the road of life leads in one of two directions. Revelation 20:11-15 identifies one of them. Those who choose this option have selected everlasting destruction as their final destination. Verse 15 shares these sobering words, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Trying to get to heaven without having our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life is like trying to walk to New York from Los Angeles by walking west into the ocean. The net result will be no bon voyage and no celebration at the end of the journey. Destruction is all that awaits those who make the effort to be saved without Jesus. However, Revelation 21:1-4 provides insight on the other direction life’s road takes. It leads to life eternal in the Holy City, New Jerusalem, whose inhabitants shall abide in the presence of God forever.
How do we earn a place in that city? We don’t! Jesus has done that for us. His life, death and resurrection have made it possible for us to have this hope of everlasting life. Possession of such knowledge helps to make the words of John 14:1-6 all the more thrilling to believers. Contained in the passage is a promise from Jesus that He would “go to prepare a place” for us, the New Jerusalem, that we might “be with” Him forever. And, He declares Himself to be “the Way” for acceptance into the city. So, not our merits, but His, make it possible for us to enjoy life eternal with God.
Jesus, Himself, declares that each of us must choose which direction we want to travel on life’s highway. Again, the two choices are compared, in Matthew 7:13, 14: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
So, which will it be: wide and broad or narrow and difficult? No one can choose for us. It’s a personal decision that each of us must reach. As we consider our options, it is prudent for us to consider Peter’s words in Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
True, some talk of other options to life eternal. But, their speculations, theories and philosophies serve to remind us of the counsel of the wise man in Proverbs 14:12:
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
How many ways to salvation? Only one. And, in light of God’s Word, now would be the right time to re-friend Jesus.