Recently I’ve been challenged to think about whether or not Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are there many saviors, or is Jesus the only Savior? Theologically, this question touches the doctrine of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. Man can certainly come up with his own opinion, but the authority over all truth is the Scripture. Therefore, our beliefs must be formed and based upon the Word of God.
As for the exclusivity of Jesus Christ (i.e. – Is Jesus the only Savior?), let’s look at what the Scripture says. We’ll look at only four passages, though we could look at many more.
John 3:14-17, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
The Bible says here that explicit belief in Jesus is the only way to obtain eternal life. Every person who does not believe in Jesus will not be saved from eternal perishing in hell. It doesn’t matter how sincere the person is. Even the sincerest of the Muslims and the Buddhists and the Jews and every other religion will die and go to hell if they do not repent of their sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Jesus is the dividing line between eternal life and eternal death according to Scripture.
Jesus says that He is the door to salvation. He’s not just one of the doors. He alone is the door. If anyone goes through another door, they will not be saved.
John 10:7-9, “So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.’”
Again, Jesus is the exclusive way, the only way. Any other way except through Jesus is a way that leads to lies and death. Nobody gets to God except through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”
If you’ll read the context of this statement by Peter, he is talking about the name Jesus Christ. There is salvation in no one else except Jesus Christ because God has not given another name to us for salvation. Jesus is it. Unless a person calls on the name of Jesus and Jesus alone, they will not be saved.
Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
So in conclusion, it’s certainly a reality that many religions exist in this world. Although they are very interesting to study from a cultural or sociological or anthropological viewpoint, from a theological standpoint I believe it is a sad part of reality that there are other religions in this world. It’s sad because repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way for a person to be saved. You see, Jesus is not just “our” savior. He is the only Savior for the entire world. Unfortunately, these other religions are leading people to hell. That might seem judgmental, but that is what the Scripture teaches. I would argue that the most loving thing that I could tell a person is that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved and that if they continue to deny God’s existence (as atheists do) or worship any other god except the God revealed in Jesus Christ, they will spend eternity in hell.