“And the same time there arose no small stir about that way”(Acts 19:23).
A Japanese proverb states that many roads lead up Mount Fuji and all reach the top. This is a way of expressing that all religions have the same results. Many feel they are free to pick their own paths to heaven. Some world religions promote the concept that all doctrinal routes eventually lead to the same God. God allows us the right to choose, but the direction chosen either leads toward God or away from Him.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).
How many times have you heard someone say, “We are all worshipping the same God anyway”?
The early church knew the way, went the way, and led others in the way. “The Way” was one of the earliest names given to the Christian church.
In a world of many choices, people find it difficult to understand that there is only one way.
Paul and the One Way Road
Paul persecuted “The Way” until his roadside encounter with the Lord.
“And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2).
“And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” (Acts 22:4).
Paul eventually followed “The Way.”
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:14).
Paul was called upon to defend himself. He knew Felix was familiar with ”The Way.” Having knowledge about truth is not the same as embracing it. It is possible to know what the Bible teaches, but not do what it commands. Each person is responsible for the truth he hears.
The Life Application Bible Commentary (Acts) suggests three reasons people reject Jesus as the only way.
- They are satisfied with their own way. Like people in a smoke-filled building because they doubt there is a fire, they insist on finding their own way out.
2. They deny their lostness. The people in the smoke-filled building insist on debating whether there is a fire.
3. They believe that there are several valid ways to get to heaven. They reluctantly agree that there may be a fire in the smoke-filled building, but they think that one escape route is as good as any other. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Some may argue that the way is too narrow. However, it is wide enough for anyone and everyone to enter.
“The fly that refuses to heed advice follows the corpse to the grave.” (African Proverb)
Howard Hendricks in Color Outside the Lines gives an excellent illustration of what can happen to those who refuse to heed advice. A boat made its way toward its destination. On board were 1,358 people enjoying an afternoon outing. Thirty minutes after leaving the shore, a fire broke out. People started shouting, fearing their lives would be lost. Although the ship was close to shore, the captain steadily kept his course. No one knows why he did not return to land for help. Some say he did not understand the severity of what was taking place. Others say he thought the crew could take care of the situation. He refused to pay attention to the fire alarms, the screaming people, or the smoke and flames. The tragedy resulted in the loss of over a thousand lives. Investigations revealed the crew was unskillful and inspectors had been bribed. Fire buckets had been filled with garbage, and life vests had rotted.
We have been warned of impending fire in hell. We cannot be saved on our own. Salvation through Jesus Christ has provided a way of escape. Shall we heed the Savior’s call?
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him” (Hebrews 2:3).
- God sees sin.
- God sees the sinner.
- God judges sin and sinners.
- He provides only one way of escape (salvation).
“Instead of worrying about how limited it sounds to have only one way, we should be saying, “Thank you, God, for providing a sure way to get to you!” (Acts Commentary)
“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).
- The Way
- The Truth
- The Life
Faith in Jesus and obedience to His commands is the only way to heaven. Obedience leads us upward to heaven. Disobedience leads us downward to hell.
There is no other way to heaven besides Jesus Christ. He is the truth, and we should obey His teachings. He alone provides eternal life.
Man would prefer to choose his own path to heaven. Many try to do that, but it leads to a dead-end street. There are no options. Jesus Christ is the only way.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
Peter confronted the religious leaders with this undeniable fact—
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
His clear voice echoes through centuries and can still be heard.
Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).
The Bible is very clear that there are only two kinds of people (both in life and in death). (See Romans 3:9-31; 6.)
Jesus tells us people will be judged because they have not believed on “the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
Only those who call on the name will be saved (Romans 10:13-15). Peter’s Pentecost message contained these words, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
How do we call on the name of the Lord? Peter further explained, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
Through baptism in Jesus’ name, we call on the name of the Lord.
“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21).
Noah lived in a sin-filled world. God instructed him to build an ark. He was about to destroy the world by a flood. Noah followed each instruction in detail. He preached and invited people to repent, warning them of the soon coming judgment. They mocked him and thought he was crazy. Up until then, rain had never fallen. Our world is similar. People do not take the soon coming of the Lord seriously. (See 2 Peter 3:4, 9-10; Matthew 24:37-39.)
There was only one door into the ark. Noah and his family entered the ark along with the animals. We have an ark of safety.
Jesus Christ is the door.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-5).