Many Ways to Heaven?

by Sylvia Bambola November 21, 2011 10:14 AM

It seems like the “in” thing, even among some Evangelical Christians, to claim that there are many ways to heaven. It sounds rather sophisticated, too, like it’s coming from someone who’s been around and knows a thing or too. And isn’t it oh, so, tolerant? Almost making all other positions appear narrow-minded. But is it true?


Every religion in the world, other than Christianity, has a system of works, whereby you must earn your way to heaven. Only in Christianity are we told this has already been done for us, and done by the person of Jesus Christ; and that all we need do is accept it and believe in Him. Based on my years on this earth and observing how people operate and what generally motivates them, my logical mind tells me it’s impossible for any of us to work our way to heaven. For one thing, our motives usually stink. Like the Pharisees in the Old Testament who stood on street corners and had trumpets blown when they presented their tithes so that everyone would see them, our motives are all too often based on a desire to be admired by others. Oh, what a “good person” he/she is!  Don’t misunderstand, I’m stating a fact, not pointing a finger for I’ve been guilty of this myself. But knowing this makes it easier for me to understand that man is sinful and in great need of a Savior, thus Christ satisfies my need.  For me, any other route would be like embarking on “Mission Impossible”.


I do, however, understand the draw of a “works” religion. When my children were toddlers and I would try to help them do something, they often said, “me do”. And this was fine as long as what they wanted to do wasn’t dangerous or way beyond their capability. But most times they wanted to do something unsafe or what they sorely lacked the ability to do, and this while not even understanding these realities. So it really boils down to a question of pride. And doesn’t the Bible tells us that “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall? (Proverbs 16:18 KJV)


But when it comes to Christians believing there are many ways to heaven, well, this is a real puzzler to me. If indeed there are many ways, why did Jesus have to come at all? Why did God the Father send Him to be tortured, beaten, brutalized and hang on a cross to die an agonizing death? Is God a sadist? Is He unfeeling? Or a cruel jokester? If there are other ways to heaven then Jesus’ death was unnecessary and that’s tantamount to pouring His precious blood down a drain.


Those who call themselves Christians should actually believe in who Jesus Christ is, what He did, and what He said. And that includes the hard sayings, like this one where Jesus claims, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58 KJV) proclaiming His eternal existence. Or “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6 KJV) proclaiming He is the only way to heaven. Or this one, “I say emphatically that anyone who listens to my message and believes in God who sent me has eternal life, and will never be damned for his sins, but has already passed out of death into life” (John 5:24 LB) proclaiming that forgiveness of sins comes by Him. Or “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;” (John 11:25 KJV) proclaiming that belief in Him is required for gaining eternal life. Oh, there are so many more I could quote, but just these four show how radical Jesus’ statements were, and how He purposely left no wiggle room. Either Jesus is exactly who He says, or He’s a liar, and a madman or con artist. It’s a question that each of us must answer for ourselves. But no true Christian can have it both ways. For him/her, Jesus is the only way to heaven.


Until next time,


Category: Spirituality