He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:2 NIV
God made a way for the whole world to get to God through His own plan. This is not a bad news thing—this is a good news thing.
The plan is exclusive, but it’s also inclusive. Maybe the issue is not that it is too narrow; maybe it is too broad. Even prostitutes and crooks and tax collectors are getting into heaven before the religious people. Who can do this but God alone?
This is a good news thing, a hard-to-imagine thing. I toured a Buddhist temple years ago. I asked the guide, “How many people in this temple have reached Nirvana (the state of perfection)? He said, “Well, no one in this temple.” So I said, “Then how many people in the world today have reached it?” He said, “Maybe one or two.” I thought, out of 350 million Buddhists in the world, that’s not good news. The good news is that Jesus made a way; you don’t have to go through endless cycles of rebirth.
I have some Muslim friends, and they do not know whether on the Day of Judgment their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds on the scale. So they have no confidence before God. But Jesus made a way not based on our works.
Any “religion” is basically the same. It is you trying to get to God or peace through your own effort, merit, discipline or strength. But the gospel is different: “There is none righteous, not even one . . .”; “all have sinned and fall short . . .”; you are “saved by grace through faith, not by works” And that’s good news!
Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven?
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