Jesus’ Exclusive Claim: I am the Only Way to Heaven
* John 14:6 I am the Way, Truth, and Life. No one comes to the Father except through me
* Jesus’ words challenge the legitimacy of such a notion. How can all roads lead to heaven if one claims to be the only road?
“I AM The Way”
* Today this statement is seen as narrow minded, arrogant, and intolerant. Instead the sentiment to see all religions as essentially the same or as differing paths leading to the same destination.
* “All religions are the same” claims to be:
o More enlightened
* Buddhism doesn’t believe in God.
* Islam teaches an impersonal monotheism, Allah.
* Christianity teaches God is three persons in relationship with each other and in relationship to us
* Hinduism is all over the map, ranging from polytheism to atheism.
o More Humble
o More Tolerant
* “Truth by definition is exclusive. If truth were all-inclusive, nothing would be false.” Walter Martin
* The #1 Distinctive of Christianity: Its way to God. Not a path for us to hike to God. A path that God hiked down to us. He is the way…he is not showing us the path, he is the path
“I AM The Truth”
* Pilate: What is Truth? John 18:37-38
* Jesus: Truth is a person, not a set of facts or principles.
* Being a Christian is not accepting a set of beliefs about Jesus or Christianity. It is possible to believe all the facts and claims about Jesus and still not be a Christian. You can have factual knowledge without personal, experiential knowledge.
* Matthew 7:22-23
* Heaven: Who Gets In?
o Not everyone who knows Jesus
o Not everyone who does good deeds
o Only those who do the will (work) of God
* “The work of God is to believe in the one he has sent” Jn 6:29
“I AM The Life”
* Why is Jesus the only way? Because he says he is!
* Life in John:
o Physical life-Jesus is the Creator of all life John 1:3
o Fullness of life- Jesus brings abundant life Jn 10:10
o Eternal life-Jesus creates a way to an eternal heaven experience Jn 3:16
* Jesus outrageous claim cost him his life—The charge that crucified Jesus was blasphemy. “He claims he is God!”
* The Resurrection changes EVERYTHING!
* The Comfort of Exclusivity: No greater peace than the ASSURANCE of where you’re spending eternity
How can the church best communicate this exclusivity in our pluralistic society?
1. We embrace the scandal of the gospel. “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block [Greek scandalize] to Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles”
2. We share the grace of the gospel.