WHY JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN
By Eddie Hedges
I have heard it said many times that God is a God of love and that He would not send anyone to Hell. The final part of 1 John 4:8 very simply says, “…for God is love”. Yes, He is a God of love, but love is only one characteristic of God. He is also Holy, Righteous, and Pure. Absolutely, God loves us, but we are to also love Him in return (John 14:21-34). The thought that because God loves us and would not send anyone to Hell implies God is to love us, but what about our love of God? Can any relationship be built on one person showing love and compassion and the other never returning love?
Look at the other characteristics of God. To be Holy is to be morally perfect, divine, and sacred. Righteous is to be just, upright, and doing what is right. And pure is untainted, spotless, blameless, chaste, and innocent. If we look at the total character of God, He is love, morally perfect, sacred, just, upright, untainted, spotless, blameless, chaste, and innocent. How can God maintain and accept anything less than these characteristics in Heaven and still maintain His character in total? Heaven would no longer be morally perfect, divine, sacred, just, upright, pure, untainted, spotless, blameless, chaste, and innocent. Love would still be there, but all else would be diluted and impure.
That brings us to the question—Why Jesus? Why is Jesus the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father, except by Jesus, as stated in John 14:6 and further supported by Romans 10:9. Why is Jesus the only way? Why not another path to Heaven?
I believe this goes back to what I just stated about God’s total character and maintaining His total character in Heaven. God loves us and He deeply desires that we all spend eternity with Him in Heaven (2 Peter 3:9). Eternity is defined as endless or infinite time. There is no end to eternity. I believe everyone will spend eternity in either Heaven or Hell. Hell is described as a place of eternal misery, torture, and torment.
Some have said that Christians are intolerant for believing that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I personally believe that it is love that motivates us to believe this. If God, Jesus, and the Bible are all a myth and Christians strive to live their lives according to Jesus’ teaching, what have they lost? Does not any good that they have done throughout their lives, in the name of God, contributed to the betterment of others and society? But, what if the Bible and Jesus are true? That Heaven and Hell are real and we will in fact spend eternity at one place or the other? Are Christian’s not showing love and concern for their fellowman by not wanting anyone to spend eternity in Hell, rather than being intolerant? Is this bad and a reason to hate my God?
Since God loves us and wants each of us to be with Him in Heaven for eternity, sinful man needs to be redeemed and made spotless and righteous. To accomplish this we need a Redeemer or Sacrifice to redeem us from the penalty of our tainted and impure life. With God being the only thing Holy, Righteous, and Pure, He was the ONLY acceptable Redeemer or Sacrifice. A sacrifice is to give up something of great value. He came to earth in the form of His only begotten Son, Jesus. And Jesus, on the Cross, became our Redeemer and Savior. When we place our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, God clothes us with the Righteousness of Jesus. He covers us with His (Jesus) Righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). This is what makes us acceptable to enter Heaven. Jesus provides the Righteousness or Purity we need to be able to enter Heaven and the character of God is maintained and preserved in Heaven.
God then takes His grace a step further. He knew that His children would continue to need Him. So He placed within each of His children His Holy Spirit to assist in their daily walk with Him. God the Father, Jesus the Son (Redeemer), and the Holy Spirit are all God, but each performing a different role in the life of Believers.
Yes, God is a God of love and He desires that nobody will spend eternity in Hell. That is why He provided a way for each of us to be with Him in Heaven. He gave us the way, but it is up to each of us individually to accept or reject His Redeemer Son, Jesus Christ.