Heaven: Are there multiple ways to get there?
Some people are quick to say that it’s narrow-minded thinking that says there is only one way to heaven. Is that the truth? What does the Bible tell us about it? Does the Bible teach us that there are multiple ways to end up in heaven? What is so special about this Jesus of Nazareth? Why do some people think it is He who provides the only way to heaven? Exactly who is this Jesus?
As we look at this important question about getting to heaven, let’s note a long list of interesting facts about the identity of this man, Jesus of Nazareth.
- Centuries before He was born it was foretold that He would come as a prophet of God.
15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; [Emphasis added]
- It was foretold that God Himself would take on the form of man. This unique person would be 100% man, but also 100% God.
John 1:1 & 14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. [Emphasis added]
In the days of the Old Testament, the term the Jews used for Jesus Christ was Jehovah. When Jesus came, He claimed to be Jehovah, this great “I AM” that spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. Here is the record of that conversation on the mountain.
12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
I Am That I Am is the verb to be doubled. It carries the idea that He was the self-existing God. He was not created but was the Creator and was completely self-sustaining. He has always been and will always be eternal God.
57 Then said the Jews unto him [Jesus], Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. [Emphasis added]
Clearly, He was speaking of His eternal existence. In our minds we tend to think everything must have a beginning and an end. But this is not the case with God. Furthermore, this was not the case with Jesus! As a baby, as true humanity, He had a beginning in Nazareth. But as eternal God, He has always been and will always be.
- Jesus Christ is eternal God. In the book of Revelation and in other writings, Jesus Christ claimed to be the eternal Jehovah God. He expresses this by speaking of Himself as “the first and the last.”
Revelation 1:11a & 17
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: [Emphasis added]
6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. [Emphasis added]
12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. [Emphasis added]
- As the eternal God, it is Jesus Christ Who is also the Creator of all things. Yes, the creator God spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is none other than Jesus Christ!
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things [He antedates all things], and by him all things consist [cohere].
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead [the first to be resurrected from the dead]; that in all things he might have the preeminence [surpassing all others in superiority]. [Emphasis added]
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [Emphasis added]
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. [Emphasis added]
- Jesus Christ is the one and only promised Redeemer and King of Israel.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. [Emphasis added]
- Jesus Christ is “the visible image of the invisible God.”
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. [Emphasis added]
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: [Emphasis added]
- Unlike anyone else, this Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin.
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [Emphasis added]
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus. [Emphasis added]
- Jesus Christ lived a perfectly sinless life.
II Corinthians 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. [Emphasis added]
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; [Emphasis added]
I Peter 1:18-19
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [Emphasis added]
- Jesus Christ is the only one who has ever gained release from the hold of death by resurrection. This provided conclusive proof of His identity.
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: [Emphasis added]
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
- Jesus Christ now stands as the only mediator between us and God the Father.
I Timothy 2:5
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
- Some day this same Jesus Christ will return to judge the world.
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. [Emphasis added]
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. [Emphasis added]
The world would have us believe that there are many ways to get to heaven. I once had a Bible professor in college who said that just as there are many paths to the peak of a mountain, there are many paths to heaven. But what does God tell us in His Word about this?
6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [Emphasis added]
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” [Emphasis added]
1 Timothy 2:5-6
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” [Emphasis added]
Yes, the Bible makes it clear that only through this One Man can we enter heaven. The Bible empathically tells us that we can ONLY approach God through Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to heaven. He is not merely A way to God and heaven. The above passages from the Bible clearly indicate that all roads do not lead to heaven. There is an exclusive path to God, and this is not associated with how good we work to be, how often we give tithes, how many churches we join, whether we were water baptized, or any other such works. If you are not approaching God through the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Calvary cross exclusively, you will never reach God and you will never reach heaven. God’s Word makes it absolutely clear that all roads do NOT lead to heaven. If all roads led to heaven, this would negate what Jesus Christ said concerning this very thing.
13 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:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. [Emphasis added]
Again, all roads do not lead to heaven. There is one narrow path to heaven, and there will be few who will ever find it. Why? Because most people refuse to trust solely in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as the basis for their salvation. There is no other work or combination of works that will get a person into heaven. Throughout the ages there have been many people who went to hell thinking they could escape hell and enter heaven through something other than the perfect work of the Savior Jesus Christ. There has been deception upon deception that has brought this on.
II Corinthians 4:4-6
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today and you will never again have to be concerned about getting to heaven. Your place there will be reserved and guaranteed forever.