We’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Today I want to look at the important question, ‘Is Jesus the only way of salvation?’
There are many religions in the world and many of them claim to know a way to an eternal life in a heavenly paradise. But are they all valid ways? Some believe all ways are valid. For example, there is a teaching called universalism that accepts every way of salvation as equally true. Universalism is often held by Unitarian churches. For example, a Sydney Unitarian church says about themselves on their website: ‘Unitarianism is a liberal non-creedal faith that welcomes you with all your uncertainties, questions and doubts. With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion. That is; a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a “non-creedal” religion we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.’ (http://www.sydneyunitarians.org/)
But are they right? Do all religions and all spiritual beliefs have a secure way to heaven? Is Christianity just one true religion among many true religions? Are all creeds equally valid?
No. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the only way of salvation. Jesus himself says to his disciples: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6). If you want to go to the Father, you must go through Jesus.
Another example of this teaching occurs after Jesus ascends into heaven. Peter and John are brought before the rulers, elders and teachers of the law because they have caused quite a commotion in healing a crippled man. When the leaders ask Peter and John about the miracle, we read: ‘Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”‘ (Acts 4:8-12).
The apostle Paul also says: ‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time’ (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
So Universalism is heresy. There is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. If you wish to have eternal life, you must put your trust in Christ’s work at the cross and have your sins washed away by his blood.
So have you trusted in Christ who is the only way of salvation?