We are accustomed to having options available to us in everything. The department store aisle displays eight brands of bread, four kinds of mops, and twelve kinds of digital cameras. In Windows we can delete a file in several ways: by hitting the Delete key, clicking on Edit then on Delete, or by dragging the file to the trash can. Any car we get from the dealer comes with a wide variety of options to help customize our ride.
So we consider the number of religions in the world and wonder why there’s only one way to heaven. Why do Christians insist that Jesus is the only way? Why can’t we pick and choose the parts we want to believe?
If you have a friend and destroyed the relationship, there’s usually only one way to fix it – admit your mistake to the other person and make it right. Apart from admitting fault and showing you’re truly sorry, healing of a relationship probably won’t happen. You don’t get many options here.
For a similar reason, we don’t get many options for getting to heaven. That’s because we are estranged from God – and we need to make it right. It’s usually the grieved party that sets the terms for reconciliation, and that’s the case between God and us. God’s terms amount to us admitting that we’ve wronged him, and putting our faith in his Son Jesus.
However, more than a broken relationship is at stake here. We have broken God’s laws, like the Ten Commandments, and that means we must bear the death penalty. Fortunately, God has made a way to forgive that debt and make us righteous – through faith in Jesus. In this scenario, it simply doesn’t make sense for someone to make things right by ignoring the God he or she wronged. Only one way is open to heaven – but the way is foolproof. “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’ ” (John 14:6).
Limiting choices to only one way is not necessarily a bad thing. In many cases, only one road leads from the highway to the scenic site overlooking the mountain grandeur. Only one way – but the destination is glorious!
What Do You Think?
a. I know of only one way to get the cap off my toothpaste container. Is that necessarily a bad thing?
b. Isn’t life simplified enormously when there is only one possible way to accomplish certain tasks?
c. What is wrong with Jesus being the only way if his is the one way that actually works?