What If UR Wrong

“Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

How Can Jesus be the only Way to Heaven?

by Mark Karapetyan

Last summer, while I was speaking in Virginia on the topic of “why Jesus,” a skeptic named Brad suddenly interrupted me and sarcastically mocked: “Wait, wait, wait…are you seriously telling me that Jesus is the only way to Heaven and there is no other way? Are you telling me that billions and billions of people from other faiths and beliefs will perish and go to Hell because they don’t believe in your Jesus? Are you kidding me? Do you honestly believe that?”

I took a step closer to him and explained: “It doesn’t matter what I believe, Brad. In fact, it doesn’t matter what you or anybody believes; what matters is the truth. Truth is never affected by opinions or beliefs. Gravity, for example, will not change, regardless of what anyone thinks about it. You well know that there’s only one correct answer to 1+1, and that is 2.   Billions of other answers are wrong. Similarly, If Jesus is the truth, which He is, then He is the only way. If He is the only way, then every other way is wrong, even if there are billions of other ways.”

“Why does every other way have to be wrong?” he loudly inquired.

“The law of non-contradiction” I countered.

“What does that have to do with Jesus being the only way?” he questioned.

“A lot!” I told him and then continued: “You see Brad, ALL faith leaders are exclusive in their claims about Heaven; because they are exclusive, they are also contradictory, since every truth claim contradicts its opposite. From the law of non-contradiction, we know that two or more contradictory claims CANNOT be equally true. This means that either one of the claims is true, or they are all false, but they cannot all be true. This also means that only one faith leader’s way is true, which logically makes it the only way. The question is, whose way is the true and only way? Truth by nature is exclusive. Truth by definition excludes every opposite. If something is true, it is true for everyone, whether they believe it or not. If it is true that Jesus is the only way, this is true for everyone, regardless of whether they agree with it or not. If something is true, every opposite MUST be false; that’s what the law of non-contradiction demands. Two or more opposing truths cannot be simultaneously true. Similarly, no more than one way to Heaven can be true because all faith leaders contradict each other.”

“I got it, but how do you know that Jesus is the true and only way?” he probed.

“Excellent question, allow me to explain. “Answer this” I requested, “if I come to you next week and tell you that I am God, the creator of the universe, will you believe me?”

“Of course not” he laughed, along with everyone in the room.

“Why not?” I challenged.

“Well, you would have to show me; you would have to prove that you are God” he reasoned.

“Great! You demand solid evidence before you believe” I concurred.

“Yes, of course” he agreed.

“What kind of evidence would you want to see before you believe that I am God?” I asked.

“Ahhh…supernatural, I guess?” he hesitantly hummed.

“Fair enough, what if I take you to the cemetery and raise a few people from the dead right before your eyes, then accompany you to the nearest hospital and heal all the sick there, and after that, serve you some delicious seafood by turning one fish into twenty fish, then take you swimming in the ocean and ask you not to be afraid to walk on water, and when you are drowning and in fear of  the winds and the waves, I simply command the winds and the waves to be quite. Would you perhaps at least take me seriously then?” I questioned.

Brad looked at me, smiled, and said nothing!

“Exactly!” I chirped, and then explained: “It is one thing to claim to be God; it’s another thing to demonstrate it. Study the various faith leaders throughout history, and you’ll see that although they all claimed to be messengers of God, none of them dared to claim to be God because they all knew they couldn’t back their claims.  Jesus did! Jesus also claimed that he is the only way. Using the law of non-contradiction, we can conclude that Jesus is either God or He isn’t.

Jesus is either the only way or He isn’t. If He is God, then He is also the only way because He said all the other ways are false. Jesus performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, and then rose Himself from the dead on the third day not in secret but in front of thousands of eyewitnesses, both friendly, and unfriendly, who followed Him for three years. Even His fiercest adversaries, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who constantly watched Him to find a single fault in Him, could not refute His miracles in any way, shape, or form. Instead, they accused that the source of His power was Beelzebub (the Devil).  This brings me to my next point. If Jesus really performed all these miracles recorded in the Gospels, and if He really rose from the dead on the third day, then who is He if He is not God? Can you or I do the supernatural acts that He did? We can’t because we are mere humans. If Jesus did these supernatural acts, then who is He? A magician? How often do you see magicians preach love and forgiveness, and then die for it? You see Brad, when Jesus claimed to be the only way, He didn’t say it to be arrogant or selfish. He said it because He is the only one that died on the cross to bridge the gap between us and Heaven. No other faith leader was able to resolve the problem of sin. Every person sins; that is indisputable. The question is, what did those faith leaders do to help people get to Heaven? How did they solve the problem of sin? Muhammad, for example, pointed to the way, but he himself once said that ‘he even wasn’t sure if he would end up in heaven’ (Quran 46: 9).  Would you follow someone who points you to the way, but is unsure if he himself will be on the other end of it? Buddha didn’t believe in ‘any ways’; it’s all an illusion” he said.  Why would anyone follow an illusion? (If everything is an illusion, that means Buddha himself is an illusion too).  Jesus, however, said “I am the way, and only through Me can you go to the father” (John 14:6).  He backed His claim by rising from the dead. Think about it: why do you think Jesus rose from the dead? What was His goal? What did He want to prove? He could have just preached His message of love and compassion and then gone away. Why was it necessary for Him to go an extra step and add the resurrection chapter to His story? The answer is that Jesus wanted us to understand that rising from the dead was possible even after death because He had the power to do it. If he could rise from the dead, so could we one day. Why would you not follow a person who knows exactly the way to Heaven? Jesus is NOT God because He claimed to be God; anyone can make that claim. We know that Jesus is God because His unique, sinless life, His prophesied death, and miraculous resurrection demonstrated it. ”

At this point, Brad nodded his head in approval and quietly sat down. I turned toward the audience and continued: “Contrary to common belief, Christianity does not teach that only Christians deserve to go to Heaven. Rather, it teaches that NO ONE deserves to go to Heaven, because we have all done wrong and sinned in our lives. The question is: who knows the way to salvation better than the one who came to save us?”

“What about those who lived before Jesus, or those who have never heard of Him, what happens to them?” Brad yelled.

“Good question” I responded, and then explained: “Abraham and Moses, and the other characters of the Old Testament, for example, never knew Jesus; it would be unfair for God to condemn them to Hell.  Although Abraham, Moses, and the others had no knowledge of Jesus, they all knew Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, thus they knew the pre-incarnate Jesus.  So in a sense, they knew Jesus. That’s why the Jews wanted to stone Jesus when He said to them ‘before Abraham was, I AM’ (Notice that Jesus didn’t say before Abraham was, I was born; he said before Abraham was, I AM, meaning eternally existing).  The Jews knew exactly what Jesus meant and understood that He was equating himself to the God of the Old Testament, so they wanted to kill Him for blaspheming.

In Hebrews 1:1-2, we read that ‘God in the past spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us through the Son’.  As far as those who have never heard of Jesus or received the gospel, God never judges anyone on a standard they were not aware of. An infinitely wise and just judge like God will not send anyone to Hell simply because of an accident in history or geography. God has revealed himself to ALL men, even those who live on an isolated island somewhere far, far away. He will judge those people on the basis of information that they had about him.  All human beings know that there is a God, either in their consciences, the moral law, or the world around them (creation). The problem is that people reject God and suppress their knowledge of him, even though they know better; therefore, they are with no excuse. Paul says in Romans 1:18: ‘Since what may be known about God is plain to them (all people), because God has made it plain to them, for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools!’

I took a deep breath, drank some water, and assured them: “Ladies and gentleman, don’t worry. God, in His infinite love, mercy and wisdom, will judge humanity the way He sees fit; leave it up to Him. ‘Shall not the judge of all earth do that which is right?’ (Genesis 18:25). Finally, I’ll leave you with this thought. God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. If God exists, which He does, then logically in the afterlife, we will either be with Him or without Him. If you refuse to be with God on earth, He is too loving to force you against your free will into Heaven. So, He will respect your choice and withdraw Himself from you, leaving you in a place without Him, Hell!

The choice is yours!

My only advice to you is this: Make sure your choice is a wise one. C.S. Lewis once said: ‘In the end, there will be two kinds of people, those who say to God ‘your will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘your will be done’. Which of these people are you?”

When I finished answering, Brad quickly approached me, without saying a word, shook my hand, and walked away. As he approached the exit door, I stopped him and noted: “Brad, Brad…you do realize that there is only one way out of this room, don’t you?”

“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.”

George R.R. Martin

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