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.”
Wingmen, you will probably be confronted with the question, “Is Jesus the only way to heaven?” You need to be prepared to answer that question.
The persecution of Christians had begun. The religious authorities were threatened by this particular name—the name Jesus. When asked about that power, Peter responded with the words in this verse. “Salvation” means deliverance, a rescue. Jesus came to rescue us from our sin from hell, from an empty life, from eternal death. Our salvation required that someone outside the world who was not bound by time and space to come and rescue us. Jesus alone could go back into time to address our past sins and forward in time to address our future sins. The phrase “no one else” means nobody besides Him. Then Peter said, “No other name under heaven that has been given among men.” Jesus name represents Who He is with all the power of heaven and earth.
There are Three Take-Aways from this verse:
- Jesus Was Either Lord, a Liar, a Lunatic, or a Myth
We know Jesus was no myth. He really lived. He is part of history. He had a birth date and a death date. It would be foolish to deny that. Some would suggest that Jesus was simply a good moral teacher; however, Jesus made very clear, specific statements that he was God in the flesh. A good moral teacher won’t be a liar.
So Jesus didn’t leave us the option of choosing good moral teacher or Son of God. Also, Jesus made some outrageous claims. He claimed to be God, to be the only way to heaven, to be truth, to have all authority, to forgive sin, to have been raised from the dead, that He could answer prayer, and that He never sinned. Either Jesus was telling the truth or He was crazy to make such claims. You have to choose. The only alternative is to confess that Jesus is Lord.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
2. All Religions Are Not the Same
That statement is simply false. Not all religions are the same. In Judaism, people gain heaven by good works and following the laws of Moses. In Islam, Jesus is a great prophet but denies that Jesus died on the cross. In Confucianism, you are saved through some creative moral power. In Hinduism, there are as many as 330 million gods.
In Buddhism, there is no God or Savior to help man—man saves himself. In Mormonism, God was once a man;Jesus is a created being. In Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus is not divine, but a creation of Jehovah—Jesus was just a man. In Christian Science, there is no sin, hell, Satan, or need for forgiveness. Everyone has god in him or her. In Scientology, all people’s souls are gods, the Bible is useless, and there is no hell from which to be saved. In Atheism, there is faith that God isn’t. In Christianity, God became flesh; Jesus lived a perfect life; He died on the cross for our sin, rose from the dead, and is the exclusive way to salvation, which is a free gift of God by faith.
I could go on, but you get the point. Not all religions are the same. Someone has to be wrong.
3. What Do You Do With All Those Fulfilled Prophecies?
46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (ESV)
One mathematician calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of these prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. That is 1 followed by 157 zeroes. Yet there are 1093 prophecies about Jesus that He fulfilled. There are 92 prophecies in the Psalms fulfilled by Jesus. There are 121 prophecies in Isaiah alone fulfilled in Jesus. These prophecies are specific such as where Jesus would be born (Micah 5:2); Jesus would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14); Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9); Jesus’ betrayal by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12); The soldiers dividing His garments and gambling for His clothing (Psalm 22:18); No bones of Jesus would be broken (Psalm 34:20). Jesus saying, “My God My God Why Have You Forsaken Me” (Psalm 22:1); the time of His birth (Daniel 9:25); Jesus crucified and pierced through His hands and feet (Zechariah 12:10). I could go on and on.
Understanding these three observations underscores the fact that Jesus is Who He said He is and that what He said is truth. Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.
Peter tells us to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in you. Use these three observations to explain the truth of your faith. Wingman, start with your family.