One of the most basic questions a person has to come to grips with in their faith journey is, “Is Jesus God?” If He is not God, then we have an option. We can examine His teachings and accept what we like and dismiss what we don’t agree with. After all, if He’s just another “good teacher” His words are human and subject to error. On the other hand, if Jesus IS God, that takes His words to a whole new level. We must accept ALL of His teaching as perfect, and binding on humanity, which He created.
That leads us to a second basic question with which we all must wrestle. Is Jesus the ONLY way to eternal life in heaven, or is He one of many ways? Will all people who express some type of faith in “God” be rewarded at the end of their earthly lives?
In John 10, Jesus takes a stand on these two issues. He leaves no doubt as to who He claims to be, nor why He came. After explaining that no false teacher has the authority or ability to open the door to heaven, He presents an analogy of sheep (believers), the sheepfold (the kingdom of God/salvation), and the Good Shepherd (Jesus Himself).
John 10:7-11 – So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, “I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
Next, Jesus tells us why He has the authority to declare Himself as the only way to heaven.
John 10:25-33 – Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
Jesus is very clear:
1. He declares that He is the only way into the kingdom of God. Salvation comes through no other; He is the only One who will lay down His life for the sheep, thus paying the sin debt of humanity and securing entrance into heaven for those who believe in Him.
2. He declares in no uncertain terms that He is God, equal with His Father. They are One.
If anyone teaches you that Jesus is less than God, or only one of many ways to heaven, he is a thief and a robber. Jesus can’t just be a “good teacher,” a “prophet of God,” or even a “high-ranking angel.” If He is, then He is also a liar. And I don’t think any of us want to believe in or follow a liar!
What’s your belief about Jesus? If you accept His teachings, then you must come to the conclusion He is God and He is the only way to heaven. If you cannot accept this, then Jesus makes it clear, you are not one of His sheep and you do not belong to Him. You cannot call yourself a Christian and reject these two important truths.
Why do I write about these things? I write because the truth is important. The devil wants to deceive us, to appeal to our human flesh by making us believe that it’s unkind to say that other faiths aren’t true. He would rather we go on in our deception and miss who Jesus really is. I don’t want that for you. Jesus came for you, but He came on His own terms and made it clear who He was. No other substitute will do.