There is but one way to enter in to heaven, and that is through Jesus the Christ!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV
In the words of Dr. Michael Licona, or some variation as I recall, “If there is a true religion, then I owe it my allegiance. If there is the one true God, then I owe Him my true allegiance.”
Now, there are great reasons to believe that Jesus is the true Son of the Living God. The historical aspect, archaeological aspect, textual reliance and other witness accounts, perhaps the witness accounts of those who are extra-biblical and non-Christians. Perhaps, in comparing the numerous different religions is enough for you and the claims. What of the numerous documentaries comparing Christ to those perceived and asserted other gods, which were supposedly risen from the dead in the same exact way and so on. Unfortunately, if you do the homework and make the comparisons yourself you will find that those assertions are false.
- If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did not the Sanhedrin show His dead and mutilated body to the people?
- If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles preach the resurrection message to the people in Jerusalem? (Where the punishment was certain death by stoning.)
- If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles die cruel and inhumane deaths without denying their Lord and Savior?
- There are those who believe in the “Swoon Theory,” but there is too much to discredit such a belief.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.~Romans 1:16 NKJV
So, what is salvation? According to Matt Slick, CARM.org, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner…All who have sinned against God are under the judgment of God. This judgment is known as damnation where God condemns to eternal hell all those who have offended Him by breaking His Law.” One allegorical representation of the weight of sin upon our soul is:
A Chinese evangelist was once preaching on salvation and the weight of sin. A heckler did what hecklers do best, attempt to shame or embarrass the evangelist. The response was epic: “If you have a corpse lying in his coffin, will he feel a hundred pound weight on his chest any more than a fifty pound weight?” ~ROMANS, vol. 1, pg. 170, David Grey Barnhouse, (1989)
We are warned by the Apostle Paul for the benefit of our souls that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) And at the same time we are promised eternal life being the gift of God, His gift of Salvation through His grace! All we have to do is ask for it and freely receive it. It is that simple, but people do not trust free or simple things. By considering the previously mentioned allegorical representation of sin upon our souls, this statement by the Apostle Paul should help solidify the matter. Our hearts should be weighted down AND we should be looking for the EXIT sign to get out of the cage/prison which we have cornered ourselves into, through every means of deceit, trickery, lying, deciding, etc. YES, we decided our way into a corner and must decide our way out of that very same corner. The decision should be easy and the solution is even easier! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of the Living God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.
It is easy to accept, but rather hard to believe, isn’t it? That is why we must seek for ourselves…researching and studying the word of God. Because we were mandated to:
‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
Which means we are to love God all our essence and being and by loving Him with all our mind, we are to love Him NOT with blind faith but rather with well informed, studied and researched faith. Loving Him with all our logic and reason! Many people, not just Atheists, believe that to believe in God we give up our reason and logic for blind faith upon the word of the bible alone. That is just not true at all!
God destined us to determine for ourselves through free will to guide our own paths. That includes turning off the primrose path by making mistakes and sinning, because God desired us all to love and honor Him with all of our heart by our free will choice. We will never be perfect, until God makes us so. But we must keep living the life as though we can be perfect by modeling the life of Jesus the Christ. By ascribing ourselves to the word of God and by living our lives accordingly. Not by the law, as presented in the Old Testament, but according to the simple teachings of Christ as presented by His Apostles & Disciples. Those words in the New Testament give a great representation of who Christ was and how He lived. If we use Jesus as the model, how could we go wrong?
Two final caveats:
- If the Apostle Paul was changed so dramatically on the road to Damascus from a Christian hating and torturing Jew to become one of Jesus’ greatest Evangelists and Apologists…how can we doubt such a change? How can we doubt such a drastic and dramatic change?
- The deaths of the Apostles were gruesome and heinous, to say the least. But no one recanted their faith or belief that Jesus was, in fact, the One True Son of the Living God, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been awaiting. That is another factoid which we must keep in mind. (Consider when the Watergate Scandal was plaguing the Nixon Administration each each of the major players involved made a plea deal and received felony indictments. Each turned on their master.) It defies logic and reason to discount their sincerity!
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD
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