Is Jesus the only Way to God?
Michael A. Walrond Jr. leads the 10,000+ member First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY.
A Response – Original Article
In today’s culture, we’re seeing a washing away of what was once concrete foundations of Christian theology and sound biblical teaching (Matthew 7:24-27). In a scared effort of not offending anyone (a.k.a. political correctness), public sermons are becoming self-help motivations, pastors and religious talking heads are compromising the Word of God, and Christians are apologizing for their beliefs.
Similar to the popular bumper sticker, the idea here is there’s no right or wrong belief. You define your own truth. This “you do you” mindset (I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone, and we can all pretend everything’s fine) is becoming very common in our culture. And while the idea of just loving and accepting and tolerating everyone is a novel idea, the reality is Christians are disregarding God’s convicting Truth and “tolerating” people all the way to hell. Don’t get me wrong, we should love and accept everyone, but is it really love if I withhold the truth from you? If Christians truly believe what we say we believe, why aren’t we doing more about it?
Now, to address Mr. Walrond’s statements (and anyone who might applaud his sentiments), let me be clear:
If you believe there’s any other way to God besides through His Son, Christ Jesus, then you are not a Christian.
Simply by definition, a Christian is someone who is a follower of The Way and trying to be Christ-like. Therefore, anyone who disagrees or disregards Jesus’ teachings cannot be a Christian (this presents a problem for certain Christian-ish denominations).
Let us look at the very words of Christ Himself:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 ESV
Can people encounter God in different ways? Absolutely! But, do we have access to God – can we have a relationship with Him in eternity – apart from knowing His Son, Jesus? No.
But, this is not popular. It does not gain large crowds. On the contrary, it tends to offend and turn people away. But, Jesus was not concerned with popularity, political correctness, or social acceptance. In fact, we see in John chapter 6, that when Jesus asserts that He is the only way to eternal life, many of His disciples turn and leave (John 6:66). Jesus was more concerned about truth and the will of the Father than tickling ears and growing a congregation.
Our culture is trying to domesticate the Christian, and our Christians are trying to fit Jesus in pill form.Unfortunately, we don’t see many Christians today sticking to their truth guns. Even within the church, many Christians are afraid of getting kicked out of the club for getting “too radical” in their faith, or for seeming too “granola” when they start looking too much like Jesus. May I remind you that as Christ-followers, we are the “called out” ones, not belonging to this world. Yet, we see our culture is trying to domesticate the Christian, and our Christians are trying to fit Jesus in pill form.
Jesus is the make it or break it, and is undoubtedly what separates Christianity from all other religions.
To the best of my knowledge, all world religions besides Christianity are a model of man trying to reach God or God-like status by his own means (by good works or qualifications). Unlike other religions, Christianity recognizes that the God of the universe actually came to man (Philippians 2:7-8). Our atonement relies on what He has done for us, not what we can do for Him. See John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8.
Mr. Walrond states he is not one to say “if you don’t believe in Jesus, you’re going to hell” and he further clarifies his stance by saying “that’s insanity.” This is an alarming example of the poisonous antichrist teachings making their way into the church culture (1 John 2:18). Mr. Walrond’s statement simply does not pass the mark of being Christian. It’s exactly what Paul warns us of in 2 Corinthians 11:13. There will be many who profess a false Jesus and deceive many. See Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:30, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 2 Timothy 4:3, 2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:3.
Jesus said multiple times, in multiple ways, that He is the only way to God. This means no matter who you are, what language you speak, what religion you grew up in – you have a decision to make: to accept Jesus or reject Him. Even if we try to ignore it, ultimately we each have to answer who Jesus is. If Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God – to be the only way to God, then you could simply take your pick of world religions. It wouldn’t matter. Just be a good person and find your happiness.
Christianity is not about being a good person, not about following rules, not about finding inner peace and enlightenment, not even about going to heaven. It’s about surrendering our lives to the one supreme, Creator God, and the only way we can do that is through accepting His Son, Jesus, and being covered by His blood.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 NIV