It has been said that there are many ways leading to God regardless of the religion you follow.
I can imagine how some people might be confused or misinformed because purported Christian ministers condone the idea of other ways besides Jesus that lead to God, i.e., salvation or heaven. There are three ways that the notion of many ways to God is stated.
- Jesus is not the only way to God. There are many ways to God.
- There are many ways to go to heaven, i.e., through different religions
- There are many ways to be saved
In this article, I will present insight into the biblical perspective of getting to the Father, heaven, and salvation. Hopefully, this article will help you understand the purpose of Jesus Christ, the declared way to the Father, and the problem with the idea that all religions lead to God.
Jesus is the Way
Let’s begin with the idea that Jesus is the only way to the Father. Consider the following passage of Scripture.
John 14:6 (NKJV) — 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus plainly states that he is the way to the Father. Therefore, religions are incapable of getting us to God. That includes Catholics, Muslims, Baptists, Methodists, Buddhists, Hindus, and all other religions and denominations. No man-made system can substitute for Jesus Christ to get us to God.
I think it is essential that I qualify what I mean by God. After all, many religions have a deity they worship. Some religions have multiple gods. I use the word “God” to identify God revealed in the Bible. He is God the Father who sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
The phrase “getting to God” includes the following in this article’s context.
- Establishing a relationship with God
- Going to heaven
- Being saved (salvation, justified, declared righteous, born again)
They all express different aspects of being in or obtaining a right-relation (righteousness) with God. Getting to the Father/God means establishing a personal relationship with Him. Some religions believe that getting to God is accomplished by doing sufficient good deeds. Others believe that getting to God can be earned by following specific rules and dogma.
However, getting to the Father is none of those. We get to the Father through Jesus Christ.
What does it mean that Jesus is the way to the Father? What does that look like? We must first understand what God wants for us and what he did to make that possible. We then must consider our role in establishing a relationship with Him.
The Bible reveals the following about getting to God.
- God wants a relationship with us
- God sent Jesus to provide a way for us to obtain that relationship. He died on the cross for our sins to have right relations with the Father.
- Our role in realizing the relationship with God is simply to believe, i.e., put our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
God created the universe and everything in it, including us, and it was good, i.e., as it was supposed to be. However, humans messed up His creation by sinning. Sin is prevalent today and is a barrier between us and a relationship with the Father. However, God loved us so much that He provided a way for us to be redeemed from the power of sin and death. The Bible declares that our sin produces death, which is the total separation from God.
Romans 6:23 (NKJV) — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How can sinful people get back to God? We get back to God through Jesus Christ. We cannot create our own rules and rituals to establish a relationship with God, which many attempt. Church membership, being a good person, doing what the pastor says, and more are insufficient for getting to God. Unfortunately, many take those paths to get to God. Consider the following passage of Scripture.
Matthew 7:13–14 (NKJV) — 13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
This passage highlights two paths to life, i.e., to God. The first is a narrow path that only a few are on. The other is the broad path where many travels. The narrow path is restricted and challenging (in the sense that you can’t do whatever you want). The broad way is where most people are because they make up their own way purportedly to life. However, only the narrow way leads to life.
My point is Jesus is the only way to the Father, heaven, salvation, life, etc. Religions do not offer ways to get to God. Religions are like the broad way that Jesus described in the Scripture above. People create their own rules to be saved. Many people think that being a good person is sufficient for salvation. They believe doing enough deeds will effectively give them enough points to make it in. They don’t realize that the only way to God and His kingdom is through Jesus Christ.
Religion is Not the Way
Religion is not the way to the Father, salvation, heaven, God’s kingdom, etc. Religion is a human construct that promotes the idea of us earning salvation, righteousness, etc. Religion teaches us to do enough good deeds to satisfy its deity in some way. That means religion perpetuates the notion that we have the power to save ourselves since we make up the religious rules and standards.
God said to believe in Jesus Christ, but we say do enough good things. Therefore, religion cannot take us to the Father. Instead, religion hides the true nature of the Father, namely love. We become obsessed with following the rules of a religion that we neglect to pursue a relationship with the Father, which is what He wants.
By religion, I am not only referring to such religions as Buddhism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witness, Hinduism, and other world religions. I mean any human-fabricated system of faith designed to get us to a deity. That could include a specific Christian denomination. Anything that promotes a way to God besides Jesus is a religion.
Religion keeps us away from God, but it also divides us. Many disputes around the world are due to different religious beliefs between people. Religions center on what people can do, whereas Christianity, which is not a religion, centers on Jesus Christ, and only Jesus can bring us to the Father.
Jesus is the only way to the Father, heaven, and salvation. No amount of effort on our part is capable of lifting us out of our sinful nature and establishing an intimate relationship with God. Religion is about us, whereas we should pursue God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the way to the Father.
Read my study on salvation for more information on that topic.