Jesus said: noone comes to the father except through me.
Readily, some pastors concluded that to mean that Jesus is the only way to heaven. In that case, its a jump to conclusion concept as there’s no contextual basis as much so insensical bec how could the Ifugaos during Christ incarnation that never heard of Jesus fare with regards to Salvation? Incriminately, they were damned. They were good people, hard workers building the famous rice terraces and suddenly without any consideration, they were damned just bec they were uninformed regarding Christ? It seems inconsiderate and uncompassionate. They were good people for god’s sake. Its unimaginable how a merciful god damns good people just bec they lack information regarding Christ.
But is it indeed true, that Jesus is the only way for all people to heaven?
Nope. I don’t believe so. Here are my reasons:
Salvation has branches. You can be saved through many other ways. Firstly, you can be saved by being a good person. This is applicable to those outside the church having not been called to this service. They could be people in other sects who has other belief than the church. Do you condemns them? Is it their fault that their belief is leaning to their religion other than the truth? This could be applicable too, to people who never heard about Christ. They could be the ifugaos building the rice terraces.
How could they be saved?
By having good conscience. By standing on a good heart. Innately, God imprinted things of the law in the heart such as do not kill, that’s why even when we were kids we knew killing is bad. There were others put in the heart. If we abide by these laws written in the heart and be doers of it, we are justified, meaning, saved and that as absent from the intervention of Jesus blood. In short, we could be saved even without Jesus blood. It says:
(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Secondly, we can be saved simply by direct submission to God Almighty. This can be done by a sincere penance. This is applicable to people outside the church who never been called to this service and has other faith, including the Jews who rejects Christ. Its not their fault that their understanding serves them to rejects Christ. They cannot force themselves to believe if their understanding is telling them otherwise. Its unacceptable that God condemns them just bec of misunderstanding, isn’t it? So by simply, atoning through asking of forgiveness, they could be saved just like the parable of the prodigal son who was saved without the intervention of Jesus.
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Lastly, Salvation is through Jesus blood. So as you can see, Jesus is not the only way to heaven bec matter of fact is, you can be saved through many other ways such as through a good conscience and through direct submission to God.
What does it mean therefore by the concept: Jesus is the only way. Contextually, it means Jesus is the only way for believers as emphasized in john 3:16. Who are these believers? These are the predestined to be children of god called to this faith as it say:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
These called out ones has no other way but Jesus. It was to them the specifics: Jesus is the only way bec ignoring the calling would mean damnation as it say:
Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Others might say, believing not Jesus translates to damnation as it say:
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
That is not applicable in general terms as some who don’t believe are blind which makes them innocent as it say:
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
It only means that those unbelievers condemned are people who have knowledge that Jesus is the way, the truth and life yet they prefer not to believe. These are condemned but for any ordinary person who rejects christ bec of blindness is innocent. They cannot be condemned. Does god condemns innocent people? Obviously not.
So were are we?
I have shown that, In the general terms, jesus is not the only way to heaven but simply on the specifics, that is for people who are called. These are to whom Jesus is the only way.
May God bless you!