Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded because we assert there is no other way to get to God than through Jesus Christ. People often ask the question “Don’t all religions point to the same God?” or “What’s so special about Jesus? Why is he the only way?”
The first point to make is that we did not invent the claim that Jesus is the only way. Jesus made this claim. We are merely relating His claim, and the claim of the writers of the New Testament.
Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6) and “For unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). The Apostle Peter echoed these words when he said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, KJV).
St. Paul concurred, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus …” (1 Timothy 2:5, KJV). In fact, it is the united testimony of the New Testament that no one can know God the Father except through the person of Jesus Christ.
To understand why this is so, we must go back to the beginning. An infinite-personal God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and a man in his own image (Genesis 1:26). When He had finished creating, everything was good (Genesis 1:31).
Man and woman were placed in a perfect environment, with all their needs taken care of. They were given only one prohibition: they were not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest they die (Genesis 2:17). Yet they did eat of the tree, and the result was a fall in four areas: the relationship was broken between God and man, between man and his fellowman, between man and nature, and between man and himself (Genesis 3).
However, God promised to restore all of these things and gave His word that He would send a Savior, a Messiah, who would deliver the entire creation from the bondage of sin (Genesis 3:15). This theme that some day this Messiah would come into the world to set mankind free is repeated throughout the Old Testament.
God’s word did indeed come true. God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14, 29). Jesus eventually died in our place so that we could enjoy a right relationship with God. The Bible says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” and “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21, KJV).
If mankind could have reached God any other way, then Jesus would not have had to die. His death illustrates the fact that there is no other way. Therefore, no other religion or religious leader can bring someone to the knowledge of the one true God.
But the story doesn’t end at the cross and with Jesus’ death. Jesus came back from the dead, demonstrating that He was and is the one whom He claimed to be (Romans 1:4), the unique Son of God and the only way by which a person can have a personal relationship with the true and living God.
Excerpts taken from Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith. Josh McDowell and Don Stewart. Living Books, 1980.
Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated.
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