Are there really many paths to God? In today’s politically correct society, Jesus is deemed as a narrow and exclusive way. Jesus said as much when He spoke in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” In fact Jesus said to “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt 7:13-14). He tells us to “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (Luke 13:24).
Friends of mine who don’t know Christ have said that this is narrow-minded. How can Jesus claim to be the one and only way to heaven? Isn’t that a bit restricting? What about Eckhart Tolle who teaches that there are many paths but one summit? Or Karen Armstrong who once said that it’s “a mistake to regard myth as an inferior mode of thought, which can be cast aside when human beings have attained the age of reason” and that “Islam is a religion of success.” How about Bhagavad-Gita which states that “man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground” (whatever that is). Even Oprah Winfrey dismisses the idea that there is only “one way” to God when she says that “There couldn’t possibly be just one way.” She speaks less about salvation through Christ but instead it’s all about a “Christ-consciousness” and that heaven’s not really an eternal destination but an “inner realm of consciousness.” Then how come Jesus spoke of heaven so frequently and as being a very real place!
Truth by definition is exclusive and it may seem narrow-minded but would you want a surgeon who didn’t believe in the truth of sterile instruments or anesthesiology or him just making it a relevant truth and subjective observation that any old scalpel will do. Or if a sky diver jumps out and doesn‘t believe that there is only one law of gravity but their might be more than one way to jump out of a plane without a parachute. The exclusivity of Christ does not mean that no one can come to Him. Quite the contrary for He said that “whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37) and “no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28) and “no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand” (John 10:29). The way may be narrow, hard, and difficult, but at least there is a way…but it is only one way! In Acts 4:12 it states that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This is black and white…for any who choose to come may freely come, but there is no other way. You can pick another path alright but it is the wrong path and it is a broad path that leads to destruction.
I finally said to my friend, “Yes, there are different paths to God. Two to be precise and here they are":
Revelation 20:11-15, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
That’s the path that most will apparently take. Then there is the other path and it’s found in Revelation 21:1-4, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, “for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Sorry Oprah, there is a heaven and it’s not an “inner realm of consciousness.” If I have to choose Oprah or Tolle or whomever against Jesus, I choose to believe Jesus! There are differing paths to God but only one path that I recommend. Hell is just as real as heaven and there is path that leads there too…and a pretty broad path at that. I am unapologetic for telling my friends and family about it because the truth sets you free or it makes you really mad.
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believers daily walk with God and the Bible.