Yes Virginia, There is a Way


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I AM the way the truth and the life. Jesus' claim was exclusive. Truth matters.
This is the first of two parts of a series on John 14:6.
In a world of inclusivism and pluralism, Jesus' claim still demands a response.

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  • Two Questions, Three PositionsThree positions abound today on the question of whether Christ is the only way to salvation. All three can be detected by how each answers these two fundamental questions: First, Is Jesus the only Savior? More fully: Is the sinless life of Christ and his atoning death and resurrection the only means by which the penalty of sin is paid and the power of sin defeated? Second, Is faith in Christ necessary to be saved? More fully: Is conscious knowledge of Christ's death and resurrection for sin and explicit faith in Christ necessary for anyone to become a recipient of the benefits of Christ's atoning work and so be saved?Pluralism answers both questions, ‘No.' The pluralist (e.g., John Hick) believes that there are many paths to God, Jesus being only one of them. Since salvation can come through other religions and religious leaders, it surely follows that people do not have to believe in Christ to be saved.Inclusivism answers the first question, ‘Yes,' and the second question, ‘No.' To the inclusivist (e.g., Clark Pinnock), although Jesus has accomplished the work necessary to bring us back to God, nonetheless, people can be saved by responding positively to God's revelation in creation and perhaps in aspects of their own religions. So, even though Christ is the only Savior, people do not have to know about or believe in Christ to be saved.Exclusivism answers both questions, ‘Yes.' The exclusivist (e.g., Ron Nash, John Piper, Bruce Ware) believes that Scripture affirms both truths, first, that Jesus alone has accomplished the atoning work necessary to save sinners, and second, that knowledge of and faith in Christ is necessary for anyone to be saved. The remainder of this article offers a brief summary of some of the main support for these two claims. Author:Bruce WareUniversalism is the teaching that all people will be saved. Some say that it is through the atonement of Jesus that all will ultimately be reconciled to God. Others just say that all will go to heaven sooner or later, whether or not they have trusted in or rejected Jesus as savior during their lifetime. This universal redemption will be realized in the future where God will bring all people to repentance. This repentance can happen while a person lives or after he has died and lived again in the millennium (as some "Christian universalists" claim) or some future state. Additionally, a few universalists even maintain that Satan and all demons will likewise be reconciled to God.Nevertheless, both facets of universalistic belief are in serious error. People will suffer eternal damnation (Rev. 14:11) and the demonic forces have no redeemer. But, in my opinion, though universalism is a grave error, holding to the idea that all will be saved in itself does not automatically make someone a non-Christian. Please see Can a Christian be a Universalist?However, there are those within the universalist camp (who claim to be Christian) who also deny the doctrine of the Trinity and, thereby, the incarnation of the Word of God as God the Son. They also deny the personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit. Usually, these denials are held by Unitarian Universalists, though others who are not of the Universalist camp also deny the Trinity. Those who deny these essentials cannot be classified as Christians.To deny the deity of Christ, is to deny one of the essential doctrines of salvation. In this sense, those universalists who deny the deity of Christ are in a false religious belief system. Of course, when one essential doctrine is denied, many other historic biblical doctrines are also denied and salvation is void because the object of faith is false. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, written by Matt Slick
  • …but through me – NASB…but by me –KJV …except through me – NIV, NLT, ESV, CSB
  • See also Hebrew 10:19-25  great passage of what the “crossed over” life looks like!
  • Yes Virginia, There is a Way

    1. 1. Yes Virginia, There is a Way John 14:1-14
    2. 2. Introduction• In 1897, an 8 yr-old, Virginia O’Hanlon, asked a great question• “If you see it in the Sun it’s so…”• The response: “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus”
    3. 3. IntroductionMyths, legends and fairy tales the make-believe things that we tell our children to comfort or motivate them
    4. 4. Introductionbut, there is a horrible realizationawaiting them. My parents tricked me! (at best)
    5. 5. Introduction• People are seeking for answers about the AFTERLIFE.• This is serious. They want the TRUTH. • They will not be treated like 8-yr olds.
    6. 6. Introduction• PLURALISM, INCLUSIVISM, and UNIVERSALISM in our culture are deadly traps.• Uncertainty breeds UNBELIEF.• They need the TRUTH.
    7. 7. Introduction• The gospel has THE answer to these questions.• Because we care about PEOPLE, more than we care about CONFLICT, we must tell them …
    8. 8. 1. Heaven is for real• There are real residences being prepared• There is real comfort in these real places• The Father is really there• Jesus has been there personally• and is planning to return there
    9. 9. 2. You can go there• A place is being prepared there for disciples• He promised to return to “pick up” disciples• His plan included the provision of the path or way to come• But knowing the way is not the same as taking it
    10. 10. TENSION and objections• Is heaven real?! We have never been there!• How do we get there?! I can’t figure it out.
    11. 11. 3. There’s only one way• “You know the way” (v4)• “I AM the way” (v6a)• “No one comes to the Father, except through me” (v6b)• cf. Matt 7:13-15, Acts 4:12
    12. 12.  Jesus said, “I AM the way…”  Jesus said, “I AM the door…”
    13. 13. John 13:36-37• Willingness, in all sincerity, to sacrifice everything to achieve this eternal presence is useless• Jesus is the only way, His sacrifice made the difference
    14. 14. Hebrews 9:11-14• All the religious activity you can possibly do to achieve this eternal presence is useless• Jesus paid once and for all for us to be cleansed, acceptable to God
    15. 15. Ephesians 2:13, 16, 18• It does not matter whether you are born into the right family, heritage, or culture – that is useless to gain heaven.• Jesus has created access for all through his own bloody cross.• We are now brought near and into the family of God.
    16. 16.  Jesus said, “I AM the way…”  Jesus said, “I AM the door…”
    17. 17. Conclusion1. DEEPEN your roots and experience NEW growth in 2013 a. SPIRITUAL VITALITY b. APOLOGETICS c. RELATIONSHIPS2. Be a trail GUIDE not a travel AGENT