I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No man comes to the Father but through me.
Let me say it again: If I accept that other religions are also a means by which one may come to God, then I have no choice but to reject my own faith.
Why is that so? Because, if Jesus was not the "way" to God, then He lied! And if He lied, He is not credible - He is a liar. And if He is a liar, I cannot believe Him. So I must decide: did He tell the truth, or did He lie?
There are other scriptures that I must also consider and they, too, support this "narrow" view. Consider these...
"Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or
will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one."
But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.
(1 Corinthians 8:6)
What am I to do with such claims? Are they true, or not? This is what you must decide.
But for those of us who have sided with Jesus, well, our troubles have just begun! You have joined with Him who is hated by the masses, despised by devils, rejected by the world, and mocked by the media. You have not made a popular choice. So, do not expect others to accept your convictions. Instead, expect that they will tag you a "religious nut," intolerant of others' beliefs.
Of course there is always the issue of those who have never heard the gospel. There are many opinions about this. I am not addressing that subject in this article. I am addressing those who have heard the Gospel of Jesus, and have chosen to reject Him.
You must understand that the gospel you believe is a "dangerous gospel." Around the world men and women are suffering terribly for their faith in Jesus. For many of them, their suffering would cease if they would simply deny Jesus and convert to the religion demanded of them. 75 million people have been killed for their faith since Stephen was stoned in Acts 7 - 45 million of those were killed in the 1900's!
This narrow view also presents us with another problem: the issue of hell - and WHO goes there. Jesus spoke often about hell. As a matter of fact, he talked about hell more than he did heaven. In his mind hell is a real place reserved for certain people. The scriptures state that whosoever's name was not written in the Lamb's Book of Life was thrown into hell. The "Lamb's Book" is the book of Jesus, the place where he records those who had faith in him.
Thus it stands to reason, though terribly unpopular, that hell is reserved for those who did not put faith in Jesus as God's Only Son.
You see, when it's all said and done, one does not got to hell for being a homosexual, a murderer, a thief, or any other such wicked person. One goes to hell NOT for what he/she did: but what they did NOT do: they did NOT place their faith in Jesus.
If my car runs out of gas, and I find myself stranded on the road, my mistake is what I did NOT do: I did not put gas in the car. If one finds himself in the place of hell, it is because of what he/she did NOT do: they did not put Jesus in their heart.
The same is true for those of other religions. Practicing other religions outside the Christian faith does not send a person to hell. Hell is reserved for those who reject Jesus. The problem is not having the "wrong" religion; but NOT having the "right" one.
I realize now that this is an incredibly narrow-minded view and reeks of intolerance. But Jesus is to "blame" for such doctrine. It was he who stated that he was the way to the Father, the truth about the Father, and the life from the Father.
In sum, it is what we do with Jesus that determines what he shall one day do with us.
There is another matter we also have to consider; Jesus' claim of oneness with God. Founders of other religions did not make such statements. But Jesus claimed that He and God were "one" (John 10:30).
And there's also the mind-boggling statements made in the first chapter of John's gospel: Jesus was "in the beginning with God."
John went on to say that Jesus was "the Word, and the Word was God." Here John is actually saying that JESUS IS GOD...