Christians are often vilified and persecuted for their belief that there is only one way to heaven through Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).
There is only one God and there has always been “One Way” – His way as He has outlined in the Holy Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.
I believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation because I do not believe that the Son of God is a liar when He declares that no one can come to the Father except through Him. I also believe Him because I have studied the Bible, read the prophecies and examined the evidence that leads us to the Truth.
Jesus tells a parable about a man who is invited to a wedding feast. The King who has invited him asks, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” The man is speechless. Then the King commands that the man be bound hand and foot and cast out into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:11-13).
Do you know what Jesus is talking about in this parable? To be cast out of the Lord’s presence is a horrendous experience, to spend eternity in hell without Him is beyond comprehension.
If you are truly seeking what pertains to eternal life and would like to know the reason why Jesus is the only door we can enter to be saved, then let me share with you what everyone needs to know to be able to answer the Lord when He asks you, “Where is your wedding garment?”
In the ancient world the Jews were the only race of people who recognized that there is only one God. All other nations at that time were polytheistic; believers in more than one God. God chose the Jews for the purpose of using them to be the womb through which He would birth the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
Why do we need a Savior in the first place? you might ask.
God is holy. No man can make himself righteous enough to enter His presence. Anyone who thinks he can is guilty of the sin of pride which would disqualify him instantly. Pride is one of the sins God refers to as an abomination (Proverbs 16:5).
The word of God says that no flesh will glory in His presence (I Corinthians 1:29). In other words, no one can say in His presence, “I am good enough to be here. I’ve lived a perfect life” – when the word of God says, “All our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
Every other religion in the world, (and there are supposed to be 10,000 of them), require some type of works effort to attain to heaven. Christianity is the only faith in the world where heaven is not earned by self-effort or works, but is a free gift based on the atoning death and the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. Because Jesus is God manifest in human flesh, (I Timothy 3:16) He was the only man who was able to live a perfect sinless life. When we believe that He died for our sins and was raised from the dead, God imparts Jesus’ righteousness to us and we can stand before God cleansed from our sins and justified to enter heaven and dwell in His presence.
Why did God choose to accomplish our salvation this way? Because He is seeking to eradicate the sin He hates the most – pride; a pride that refuses to kneel at the foot of the Savior’s Cross, cannot enter heaven, for the disease of the sin of pride cannot exist in the presence of a Holy God.
When pride is cast down at the foot of the cross, God’s chosen way of providing our salvation, we are admitting we cannot save ourselves. Then Christ’s shed blood covers us and we are clothed in the wedding garment that says we humbly believe and accept Messiah’s atonement for our sins and we are adorned in His righteousness and not our own.
So God created the womb to birth our salvation through the Jewish people and prepared the way for us to believe by skillfully planting into His word the types and similitudes that tell of the great event of Christ’s death for our sins.
He begins in the beginning. God makes a perfect, sinless world. He creates man and puts him in a beautiful garden. There was just one commandment to keep then and that was still too much. Man disobeyed God and sin entered the planet. For the first time man knows that he is naked and he makes a covering of leaves for himself and his wife. The leaves would eventually dry up and blow away leaving him naked again. This symbolizes that our own meager efforts to cover our sins are grossly inadequate.
God asks a simple question then, even though the Omniscient One already knows the answer. “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you that you should not eat?”(Genesis 3:11)
This is a test question. He was waiting to hear, “I’m sorry.” He was looking for some humble repentance. What He got was a lot of excuses. Adam blamed Eve and God for giving her to him. Eve blamed the snake. And God knew at that moment pride from the serpent’s lie had infected His children. Eden could not be restored within their hearts unless God intervened.v The leaves had to go. God slew an animal and made His children coverings from the skin. He tells satan the very first prophecy concerning the coming Savior.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).
The first similitude of the cross is here – a sacrifice is made, His children are covered in Genesis 3:21.
Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. They both brought offerings to the Lord. Cain brought the fruits of his labor from the earth, Abel brought an offering from the flock. Abel’s gift was accepted, Cain’s was not. Why? Abel’s gift represented the future atoning work of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Cain’s gift represented His self-effort.
God will only accept salvation through the means He has chosen.
Abraham brings his beloved son to sacrifice him on a mountain at God’s command. At the last moment just before he is about to plunged the knife into the breast of his son – an angel intervenes and Abraham is given permission to offer a ram in his son’s place. The ram is sacrificed and Isaac is spared. Abraham believed to the end that “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). And He did provide another foreshadow of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
The Jews sojourn under Pharaoh in Egypt was long and hard. God sent Moses to deliver them.God directed Moses to tell the Hebrews to put lamb’s blood on the doorposts of their houses and the plague of death would not enter to destroy them. The Jews obeyed and were spared, while the Egyptians mourned the deaths of all their firstborn children. From that point on God instigated the Passover.
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you (”Exodus 12:13). The blood, the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb would save from death.
Many people were dying from snake bites in the wilderness. God told Moses to make a brazen pole with a serpent upon it and anyone who was bitten could look upon it and be healed. Jesus likened His sacrificial death to this incident. “As Moses lifted up the serpent so I must be lifted up for the sins of the world” (John 3:14,15, Numbers 21:5-9).
We proceed to a mountain where Moses is receiving the Ten Commandments from the Lord. He also receives the pattern for the tabernacle. As he is coming down the mountain holding the two stone tablets that have been engraved by the finger of God, Moses is appalled to see that the Israelites hadalready broken commandment number one as he watched them dance around the golden idol they had made- “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). In a rageMoses casts the tablets to the ground where they shatter,symbolizing man’s inability to keep the law (Exodus 32:19).
He returns to the mountain and receives the commandments again (Exodus 34). This time when he returns to the people the Tabernacle is built and within the pattern of the Tabernacle there is a provision for the people when they sin and break a commandment. God provides atonement for their sins through the shed blood of an animal sacrifice.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
An atoning sacrifice is the only acceptable offering God will receive for the remission of sins. The Jews were given this similitude for the coming and purpose of the Messiah. This event is described in more detail through the pen of the prophet Isaiah, hundreds of years before Christ.
“He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin He shall see His seed He shall prolong His days and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53: 5,6,10,11).
There are over three hundred Old Testament prophecies that Jesus has fulfilled. Someone has calculated that the odds of Him fulfilling just eight of them are one in a quadrillion!
The Bible also tells us Jesus is coming again, this time from the clouds, a supernatural event and He will assume His rightful role as ruler and judge (Revelation 19).
Will you be ready when He asks you where is your wedding garment, the covering that has been washed in the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God?
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life .(John 3:16).
And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life. (I John 5:11,12).
Neither is salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is the word of faith which we preach; that if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved (Romans 10:8,9).
And He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. - Luke24:44
Copyright 1984 by H.D. Shively
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