GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
IS CHRIST THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION?
By Keith L. Estes
Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe answer this question in their book, When Critics Ask.
“PROBLEM: Peter declares, "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." But isn't this a narrow exclusivism? What about the sincere pagan or Buddhist? Is God going to send them to hell?
SOLUTION- Several observations are relevant to this question.
First of all, sincerity is not a good test of truth. Many people can and have been sincerely wrong about many things. (Prov. 14:12) [There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.]
Second, all truth is exclusive. The truth that "two plus three equals five" is very exclusive too. It does not allow for any other conclusion. The same is true of value statements, such as "Racism is wrong" and "People should not be cruel." These views do not tolerate any alternatives.
Third, all truth claims are exclusive. For example, if humanism is true, then all non-humanisms are false. If atheism is true, then all who believe in God are wrong. Every truth claim excludes its opposite. Hence, if Jesus is the only way to God, then there are no other ways. This is no more exclusive than any other truth claim. The question is whether the claim is true.
Fourth, Jesus and the New Testament clearly and repeatedly emphasize that Jesus is the only way of salvation.
1. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn. 14:6)
2. Jesus also claimed He was the door. (Jn. 10:9), insisting that "he who does not enter the sheepfold by the Door...the same is a thief and a robber" (v. 1).
3. The Apostle Peter added, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
4. And Paul contended, "There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5)
The Romans worshipped many gods. There was one man, Jesus Christ, who stood up in those days and uttered the remarkable and memorable words. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” Those words still ring true for today.
Oswald Chambers writes: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. (Acts 4:8)
When a truth of God is brought home to your soul, never allow it to pass without acting on it internally in your will…Record it with ink and with blood- work it into your life. The weakest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is liberated the second he acts and God’s almighty power is available on his behalf.
One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in your life is genuine- has God changed the things that really matter to you? If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the change very evident in your life and thought. It is this complete and amazing change that is the very evidence that you are saved.”
Reference: When Critics Ask by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe- Victor Books. My Utmost For His Highest- Oswald Chambers.
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