It is becoming more and more unpopular to say that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. http://www.pewforum.org/2008/12/18/many ... rnal-life/
Even American Christians (52% in the survey) say that there are other paths. It is considered rude and bigoted to say that Jesus is the exclusive way. However here are some of the reasons why this is the case:
1. God is a triune God. A rejection of any persons of the Trinity is a complete rejection of God. God is the creator of life abiding in him results in life, rejecting him results in death. These are natural consequences.
A rejection of the Son of God is a rejection of God.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. (1 John 2: 23-25)
Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear,And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son,lest He be angry,And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2:10-12) http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/pro ... wish-sages
A rejection of the Holy Spirit is a rejection of God.
But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;So He turned Himself against them as an enemy,And He fought against them. (Isaiah 63: 10)
Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin. (Mark 3: 28-29) http://carm.org/what-blasphemy-holy-spi ... -commit-it
A rejection of God the Father is a rejection of God
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God,am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20: 2-6) http://www.gotquestions.org/jealous-God.html
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
2. Jesus claimed to be God and the only way to heaven. He showed that his claims were true by doing several miracles including raising people from the dead and rising from the dead himself after 3 days.
Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8: 52-59) http://www.gotquestions.org/I-AM.html
The Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus not because he was claiming to be a prophet but because Jesus was claiming that he was the I AM of the Old Testament who spoke to Moses through the burning bush. By claiming that he was God Jesus was considered blasphemous to the Jewish leaders.
John 14: 5-6:
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG ... ospels.htm
Jesus claimed to be the only way to the Father.
So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them;and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:18-22).
He showed his divinity and backed his claim to be only way to the Father by raising from the dead after three days. http://www.christianapologeticsalliance ... mpty-tomb/
Historical evidence points to an empty tomb. The Jewish and Roman authorities were concerned about Jesus' claim that he would raise from the dead so they sent a military unit of Roman soldiers to guard the tomb. Either Jesus' disciples who were untrained in combat overcame the Roman guards who were fully armed (which would be a miracle in itself) and stole the body or Jesus raise from the dead. http://www.netplaces.com/bible-history/ ... ldiers.htm
3. Jesus was God the Son begotten in the flesh. When he lived on the earth he was both human and divine which made suitable him to be the permenant atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corin. 15:21-22)
Sin came into the world through Adam (he was responsible for Eve because God gave him the commandment of not eating the fruit to him directly). So the atonement of sin also had to come through a man. The man would also have to be a perfect man without blemish. http://carm.org/what-is-sin
The Old Testament sacrifices that the high priests did and the Days of Atonement were temporary covers for sin until it could be completely atoned for through Jesus: who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself (Hebrews 7:27). His atoning sacrifice covers the sins of the entire world. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world (1 John 2:2). If Jesus was just a perfect man and not divine then his sacrifice would cover the sins of one person. In fact the sin of Israel and Judah becomes so grave that God tells the prophet Ezekiel: And I will establish My covenant with you. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done,” says the Lord God.’” (Ezekiel 16: 62-63) Eventually even the sins of Judah become so great that not even the sacrifices would provide temporary atonement. God provides the atonement which is himself. The Old Testament saints received salvation through faith in the future sacrifice (Hebrews 11). http://www.gotquestions.org/Old-Testame ... ation.html
We receive salvation through faith in the past sacrifice. A good analogy would be like using a credit card to buy something based on a future promise to pay (OT) while we have the pre-paid gift card based on a payment already made.
God the Son has always been part of the Godhead. He has always been with God and he was always God. (John 1 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1
) He was present at creation and was the Creator. God the Son was at the right hand of God before coming down to Earth. He was seen in visions by prophets like Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel.
And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. (Ezekiel 1: 26-28)
Daniel describes Jesus as the Conquering Messiah being given authority over all the nations: “I watched till thrones were put in place,And the Ancient of Days was seated;His garment was white as snow,And the hair of His head was like pure wool.His throne was a fiery flame,Its wheels a burning fire;" (Daniel 7:9) "I was watching in the night visions,And behold, One like the Son of Man,Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion,Which shall not pass away,And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7: 13-14).
The Ancient of Days is God the Father, The One like the Son of Man is Jesus. http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/ ... ofman.html
After Jesus was resurrected he went back to his throne in heaven at the right hand of God.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and,“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. (Revelation 1: 7-17)
4. All religions are different paths to God and they are all on the same mountain. However the mountain is too steep without Jesus.
People think of all religions has being on the same mountain. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc. are all climbing a mountain and on top of the mountain is God. We all start out at the bottom of the mountain and we are all following different routes on the mountain but all religions are climbing up the same mountain. This is true. However I have bad news. The mountain is too high and too steep. We cannot reach the top of the mountain because of our impurity and unholiness. However here is the Good News: God loves us so much that he climbed down the mountain to meet us. He is not waiting for someone to successfully climb the mountain but he has climbed down so that he can come to us. The way in which he climbed down the mountain was through Jesus Christ. http://christiananswers.net/gospel/
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
If God is love why can't he let everyone into heaven? First of all love necessitates give someone a choice. If a guy loves a girl and wants to go out on date with that, he will give a choice. He wouldn't pull out a gun and compel her to go with him. Everyone wants to go to Heaven however many do not want God to be there. In Heaven everyone there will be in constant worship of God. Hell is the complete absence of God's presence (2 Thessalonians 1:9). If someone wants to live outside of God's presence why should he be forced to live inside?
Second of all, God is not only love, he is also just and morally pure. There is absolutely no impurity in him whatsoever (1 John 1:5). God cannot tolerant any form of evil or sin no matter how small. Our moral impurity makes it so that we all fall short of God's standards (Romans 3:23). The glory of God cannot be tainted by allowing sin to permenantly reside in his presence. Fortunately God made a way to allow us to enter into Heaven by sending his only begotten son to pay the cost for our sins. Why can't God just forgive sin without any cost? There is no forgiveness without a cost. Let's say your child comes to you crying and says: “Daddy, I am sorry but I broke the rules about not playing inside the house and while I was fooling around, I broke the window.” You say to your child: “That's okay honey. I love you and forgive you.” You removed the penalty from your child however you still have to bear the entire cost of repairing the window. If you forgive someone who crashes your car, you are the one who bears the price for repairing the car. Jesus bore the entire cost for our sins. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Why couldn't Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed be paths to God? Those people may have taught some good values but they too fall short of the glory of God. In order for the penalty of sin to be removed for everyone ,someone who was morally perfect, completely pure had to take on the penalty for all of humanity. The only man who fits this criteria is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was the Word that became flesh. He is part of the Trinity and the Creator of the Universe. He became a man in order that we may inherit life. Since he was man he could take the penalty of sin since he was divine he could rise from the dead. If Jesus had merely died for our sins it would be a even score. However his resurrection provided victory over death. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9http://www.campuscrusade.com/fourlawseng.htm http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/wha ... iginal-sin http://www.gotquestions.org/sin-nature.html