No judge who is fair in his judgement, can oversee the crime of a person based on the good things they have done.
We have been looking at a series of posts where we discussed the preposterous claim made by Jesus when He said He is the only way to heaven. The challenge was to figure out why He made this claim, in order for each person to make up their own mind whether this is true.
We started the topic by looking at The Preposterous Claim Made By Jesus in a bit more detail. We then started to study the Scriptures to see if there was any merit to this claim, and we first had to ask the question, Where Did All The Good People Go? In this post we were able to conclude that because of our sin there really aren’t any good people at all, especially when we compare ourselves to the moral standard and holiness of God.
We then also realised that God Is A Judge, and because He is a good judge sin must be punished wherever it is found. The judgement for sin – according to the Bible – is death and hell. However, it is vital to realise that Sin Is Only A Symptom of a far bigger issue that lies in the spirit and at the core of every human being. Although the penalty for sin is death and hell, God’s love compelled Him to make a way for us to be able to escape this damnation. Because God is a judge who is also a loving God who doesn’t want us to go to hell, He had an incredible Plan Of Redemption which would allow us to Realise Our Destiny.
To realise our destiny, we need to align ourselves with God’s Plan of Redemption. To align ourselves with God’s plan of redemption, we have to understand God’s Terms Of Redemption. It is also important to come to terms with the fact that not everyone has necessarily embraced Christianity on God’s terms and, even though they may claim to be Christian, they may very well be imposters instead. It is therefore crucial not to judge the words of Jesus or the Bible When Christians Contradict Christ.
As we studied the topic of why Jesus said He is the only way to heaven, we also needed to take a serious look at the eyewitness accounts of those who claimed to have seen Him after His resurrection. This is an investigation by necessity, since the entire claim of Jesus hangs on whether He did rise from the dead or not, after His crucifixion.
Bringing It All Together
Finally, to understand why Jesus said He is the only way to heaven, we need to look at His words in context of the whole Bible. The Bible declares that there is only one living God. This God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1; John 1; Acts 17). God is also the Creator of Man (Genesis 1-2), and the first man and woman was Adam and his wife, Eve. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and when they did sin and death entered the world (Genesis 3).
Because they sinned and because we are all born in sin, all men (and women) have been appointed to die. When we die, the Bible declares that judgement comes. Judgement comes because God is holy and without sin and able to judge righteously, and all men (and women) are accountable to God (Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12; also 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Since God is a fair and good judge (Psalm 7:1-17), He will and must punish sin wherever it is found (Romans 2:12). Because God is a perfect judge, not only will He judge and punish murderers and rapists but also thieves, liars and adulterers (just to name a few) – whether guilty in thought or in deed.
The Bible says all liars, thieves, adulterers and murderers (just to name a few) cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and will have their part in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:3-13; Revelation 21:8). However, God is also rich in mercy and abounding in love (Psalm 145:8; James 5:11), not wanting that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore, God so loved the world He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our punishment in our place (John 3:16).
Jesus Christ lived the perfect sinless life we were supposed to live (1 Peter 2:22; John 1:14), and by demonstrating His love for us He died the death we were supposed to die (because of our own sin) in our place (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:8). The Bible says He even went to hell, and on the third day God raised Him from the dead declaring our fine has been paid. This means God can legally forgive us our sin, because someone paid the price for our own sin on our behalf (Romans 5:18-19).
To receive the forgiveness of sin you must repent from your old sinful life and trust or believe in what Jesus did for you on the cross (Acts 3:19; John 3:16; Luke 13:3-5). By doing so you make Him the Lord of your life. You declare that no longer are your own will and desires important, but God’s. You no longer live for yourself, but for God. You now have a new Master, Jesus Christ! (Matthew 7:21; Ephesians 6:6-8; Romans 13:14).
The moment you do this in humility, God comes and gives you a new heart, and by His Spirit He comes and lives inside of you (Ezekiel 36:26; as well as 2 Timothy 1:14; also 1 Corinthians 3:16). You become born again and receive a new nature (John 3:3; also 1 Corinthians 6:11), dead to the old sinful nature and a slave to Christ instead (Romans 6:11).
Gratitude for what God did for you as well as God’s love now present inside of you, will compel you to share the good news of the gospel with others as well (Psalm 51:12-13; Philippians 2:13). The Bible says we will know those who are truly saved by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20).
No judge who is fair in his judgement, can oversee the crime of a person based on other good things they have done. This is why Jesus said He is the only way: we have violated God’s Moral Law and are worthy of receiving His judgement. No good deed can ever make up for the bad (our sin) which we have already committed.
However, Jesus said in Matthew 18 it is not the will of the Father that we should perish. Therefore God sent someone, Jesus Christ, to take our punishment so we don’t have to. 1 Timothy 2:4-5 says God…
“… wishes all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the [divine] truth. 5For there is [only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus.”
Jesus is the only one who was without sin who, could pay the penalty for sin on our behalf. He was and is the only one who could satisfy the wrath of God against all the ungodliness of this world committed by men. In fact, the impact Jesus had on this world was so great He even split time in two (B.C. compared to A.D.)
However, while it is not the will of God that any should perish, Hebrews 3 and Hebrews 4, as well as Psalm 95, declare that if you hear His voice today you should not harden your heart. You have a choice to harden your heart against the message of salvation, or you can embrace it in humility and experience the freedom from the judgement which is about to fall on all who have not been saved from it.
Every day approximately 150,000 people die. We never know how long we have before we become part of the statistic. Therefore, if you understand why Jesus said He is the only way and hear His voice today, do not ignore it and do not delay. Tomorrow might be too late.