Summary: Not all roads lead to heaven. Jesus is the only way to the Father.
SERIES: “ANSWERS FOR SOME OF LIFE’S DIFFICULT QUESTIONS”
TEXT: JOHN 14:6
TITLE: “IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD?”
INTRODUCTION: A. You’ve probably never heard of Walter Chaplinsky but in 1940, he caused quite a
ruckus in Rochester, New Hampshire. He loudly and publicly denounced organized
religion as being a “racket” and condemned several Christian groups by name. He
was arrested and convicted under a state law that made it a crime to speak “any
offensive, derisive or annoying word to any person who is lawfully in any street or
other public place.” While being placed under arrest, he called the law-enforcement
officer a “Fascist.”
Chaplinsky believed that his free-speech rights were violated and appealed his case
all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1942, the court unanimously upheld his
conviction and said that “fighting words” like the ones he shouted fell outside the
protection of the First Amendment.
B. If you’ve ever watched old Westerns, you’ve probably heard someone say something
like this: “Pardner, them thar’s fightin’ words!”
1. “Fightin’words” arouse a gut-level reaction in people making them ball up their
fists and desire to strike back in retaliation.
2. Jesus’ claim in Jn. 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to
the Father except through me.” are “figthin’ words” to a lot of people.
a. We live in an age where religious pluralism, tolerance, and political correctness
are the by-words of the day.
--Many people consider the statement “Jesus is the only way to God” as being
arrogant, narrow-minded, and bigoted.
b. In our age, no fact is considered universally true at all times, at all places for
all people, and in all cultures.
--66% of all Americans now deny there’s any such thing as absolute truth
3. Charles Templeton: “Christians are a small minority in the world. Approximately
four out of every five people on the face of the earth believe in gods other than the
Christian God. The more than five billion people who live on earth revere or
worship more than three hundred gods. If one includes the animist or tribal
religions, the number rises to more than three thousand. Are we to believe that only
Christians are right?”
C. While those of us gathered here for worship this morning have no problems with
seeing Jesus as the only way to God, there are many more who live around us who do
1. One of our reasons for our existence is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with
those around us
--We need to know their mindset and their operating philosophies if we’re going to
be effective in doing that
2. Jesus many times effectively answered a question with a question.
--this morning, I’m going to ask and answer several basic underlying questions to
the main question: Is Jesus the only way to God?
I. ISN’T IT ARROGANT TO CLAIM THAT JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY?
A. It’s important to understand that Christianity is not the only belief system that claims exclusivity
1. Muslims radically claim exclusivity
a. They believe that the sole, sufficient, and consummate miracle of Islam is the Koran.
b. However, they claim that it’s only recognizable in Arabic.
--Any translation removes the sacredness of the miracle
c. To understand the true miracle of the Koran, you can’t have just a basic understanding of Arabic.
--You must have a sophisticated knowledge of the language.
2. Hinduism is absolutely uncompromising on several issues:
a. The ultimate authority of the Vedas (their scriptures)
b. The law of karma (the law of moral cause and effect)
-- causing every birth to be a re-birth
c. The law of re-incarnation
--The law of karma causes every birth to be a re-birth and each re-birth is recompense based on the
3. Buddhism came about when Gautama Buddha rejected some of the fundamental assertions of
. a. The authority of the Vedas
b. The caste system
B. It’s important to understand that all truth, by definition, is exclusive
--If truth does not exclude then no assertion of a truth claim is being made
1. Any time you make a truth claim, you assert something contrary to that truth claim is false.
2. Anyone who denies the exclusive nature of truth is making a truth claim and is thereby claiming that
your stance is false.
3. In logic, there is a principle called the law of exclusion
--The law of exclusion basically says that something cannot be A and non-A at the same time; i.e. if
something is an apple, it cannot also be a chair or even a plum
C. When Jesus said that He was the way, the truth, and the life, he taught us:
1. Truth is absolute
--His claim of exclusivity means categorically that anything that contradicts what He says is by