“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6 ESV
Jesus Himself clearly tells us that He is the way – the way of truth, the way to eternal life, and the way we come to God the Father. Without faith in Christ, we are separated from God.
This verse takes me back to a time when I was a senior in high school, before I put my faith in Christ, I was attending a Q&A session where students could ask faith leaders tough questions. One of the questions asked was, “As Christians, what do we say to our friends of other faiths?” A woman I really looked up to at the time responded, “We encourage them to be the best follower of whatever religion they belong to.” I don’t remember her exact words as she expanded on her answer, but the clear idea was that no matter what we believe in, if we follow that faith wholeheartedly, it honors the one true God the same and all leads to heaven.
I remember sitting in the group feeling conflicted. On one hand, this would make my life a whole lot easier. If faith ever came up with friends and there were conflicting beliefs, I didn’t have to have an awkward conversation or evangelize. But on the other hand, I wondered, then what was the point of Jesus dying for our sins if all faiths lead to heaven?
This idea that all roads lead to the same God and/or heaven is called universalism. It’s a super common belief in our culture and, sadly, even in many churches. On the surface, it may seem like the most loving belief. If all faiths lead to the same god, then we don’t have to have tough conversations, hurt anyone’s feelings, or make anyone uncomfortable. It’s the “you do you” mentality and the idea that one faith doesn’t suit all people for all time.
But, if we dive deeper into this belief, we start to see it crumble. If God doesn’t care if you worship Jesus, then why would He send Him? Out of His great love, God the Father sent His only Son to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins and be raised from the dead so we could be declared righteous in His sight and promised eternal life. God sent His perfect Son to die the most gruesome, torturous, completely undeserved death for utterly unworthy sinners. Why would God go through all that if He was indifferent to what we believed in?
If universalism were true, it would make Christ’s sacrifice meaningless. It wouldn’t have been necessary at all, but we read throughout Scripture that it was necessary from the very beginning. The human connection to God was broken in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve took the bite of the forbidden fruit. It was Adam’s sin that led to condemnation for us all, but it was also through one Man’s righteous act that many will be made righteous.
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” -Romans 5:18-19 ESV (emphasis added)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, […] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” -Ephesians 2:4-6 & 8-9 ESV (emphasis added)
God clearly states, many times in His Word, that there is only one way to Himself – one way to salvation, one way to forgiveness of sin, one way to eternal life in heaven, one way that is true. Universalism contradicts what God Himself has said for thousands of years. He does not change, nor does He contradict Himself. Universalism is a works-based mentality that is also contrary to Scripture. It’s the idea that if we just live as good people, doing good works, faithful to whatever god we believe in, that will be enough. It is by the grace of Jesus Christ alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone that we are saved, not by works. It’s entirely a gift from God! And while universalism seems like the most open-minded belief, it is actually completely closed-minded to the almighty power of God – that He truly came to save people of all walks of life (Galatians 3:28) and has complete power to do so through one man – Jesus Christ!
Almost two years after that Q&A session, I came to faith in Christ and quickly learned that universalism and Christianity cannot coexist. Universalism embraces the world and its ever-changing ideologies and religions, true Christian faith embraces the one true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can either choose to believe in Him or not, but what is true will always remain: Faith in Jesus is the only way. Jesus + nothing = salvation. 🖤
If you have already placed your faith in Christ, reflect on God’s goodness today and praise Him for all He has done for you!
If you have not put your faith in Christ, you can do so right now! Make this prayer your own today and continue praying to Jesus and studying the Bible each day. He loves you and wants a relationship with you!
Jesus, I believe You are God. You are the only way, the truth and the life. I confess that I am a sinner and that there are no works I can do to become right with you. I believe you died on the cross in my place and rose from the dead so that my sins would be forgiven in full – so that I could experience new life in You. Thank You for loving me and for this undeserved gift of grace! I am ready to turn from my old beliefs and sinful ways of living to follow you with my whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Continue to grow my trust in You and show me how to walk in Your ways for the rest of my life. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, please reach out to me! I would love to hear from you, and as your sister in Christ, welcome you into God’s family and offer guidance in any way you might need. 🖤 Whether it’s me or someone else… tell someone about your new faith in Christ!
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