The exclusive claims of Christians that Jesus is the only way of salvation bother, irritate, and offend many people. I suppose from man’s point of view it could be an offensive thought. ‘Who are these Christians?’; ‘What gives them the right to make such a claim?’; ‘What makes them think that they have the market on truth?’; Or, ‘Why are they so bent on attacking the validity of everyone else’s views?’
A Divine Origin
First, we should establish that Jesus clearly taught that He is the Only way (Matthew 7:13-14; John 1:51; John 10:9; 14:6). Statements on Christ’s exclusivity do not find their origin in Christians. In fact, they find their origin in Christ. These are the truths that have been handed down to us by the Author and Perfecter of the faith (Hebrews 12:2). There is not a whole lot of wiggle room in meaning when Jesus declares that He is “the way, the truth, and the life”, and that “no one comes to the Father except through (Him).”
All offense and irritation aside, let’s pause and ask, ‘What if this is true?’ What if the grand plot line of the whole Bible is true? What if the Gospel is the true story of the Universe?
If all of Scripture is true, then we were created by a holy, righteous God.
If all of Scripture is true, then we all have sinned and have been completely separated from that holy God.
If all of Scripture is true, then that holy, righteous, and just God must punish sin wherever He finds it. If He doesn’t, He fails to be holy, righteous, and just.
If all of Scripture is true, then that same God planned to send His one and only Son to this world to succeed where all men have failed; to conquer where all men have been conquered; to be flawless where all men have been irreparably flawed.
If all of Scripture is true, then this same Son of God, not only was completely perfect for imperfect people, but He also was sent to die as a substitute for the sins of that imperfect people.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV
If all of Scripture is true, then this Holy God caused His justice and mercy to collide eternally at the cross of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus, God’s Son, bore the wrath of His Father against our sins.
If all of Scripture is true, then God, did in fact, commission men and women to tell the whole world lovingly and graciously how sinful man can be brought back to God through faith alone in Jesus alone, as a result of His grace.
If all of this is true, and if God went to such extremes to redeem and reconcile mankind to Himself, and the channel in which He offers this forgiveness and new life is through this precious sacrifice of His Son, why would He ever accept any other road to Himself?
All other roads and avenues to God that try to circumvent the tremendous sacrifice of God in giving His Son are an offense to our God who already gave up so much. Is it not unreasonable for us to question Christ’s exclusivity, when the Father sacrificed His one and only Son?
Many are quick to be offended when a Christian claims to know the only way of salvation. But if the Bible is true, then the world is at great risk of offending a holy and righteous God who has made His exclusive Road open to all people of all nations.
While the road to heaven is definitively a One Way street, that road is open for everyone to travel upon. Salvation is available to everyone through the one Lord, Jesus Christ.