“Jesus is the only way to heaven because he is the only Messiah and the only true king,” says Claribel, 10.
At the time of Jesus’ birth, Caesar Augustus ruled the Roman world. He was considered divine during his lifetime and was called the Son of God.
Before Rome ruled the world, a Greek named Alexander conquered much of the known world. On ancient coins that display Alexander the Great’s image, a ram’s horn protrudes from his head. The horns symbolize the Egyptian god Amun from whom Alexander claimed descent.
Many coins from the ancient world contain the word “soter,” which means savior. Ancient rulers proclaimed themselves as saviors of their people.
From this soup of deity claims comes Jesus, who lived in a small, backwater town where he toiled as a carpenter. His claim of deity stands in stark contrast to the power, glitz and glamour of mighty Roman emperors and Greek conquerors.
“Most if not all religions are religions of works like do this and you can go to heaven or be a good person and you can get to heaven,” says Enoch, 11. “Christianity is different because the Bible says, ‘There is none righteous, not even one,’” (Romans 3:10).
“So God sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us (because we are sinful people) and was raised to life so that if we believe in him, we can go to heaven and be with God forever. This is why Jesus is the only way to heaven.”
Notice the contrast between Jesus and other self-proclaimed saviors. Can you imagine an ancient Roman emperor offering to die for his people? They usually asked others to die by joining the Roman legions to fight their wars to amass more riches.
Jesus’ mission and claims are unique. He didn’t come to offer a path to heaven through religious rules. Jesus said that our condition is too far gone for that. Religious efforts actually drive us further from God. We become proud of our improvements, real or imagined.
Jesus came to take the punishment we deserve by dying on the cross. The issue is life and death, not improvement.
“God’s grace always, always, always comes as a contradiction to what makes natural sense to us,” writes author Tullian Tchividjian. “When God crosses the great divide from heaven to earth, from righteousness to sinfulness, He turns the spiritual economy of our business as usual upside down—which is to say, right side up.”
Yes, the idea that eternal life is a gift to be received by faith alone in Christ alone contradicts all of our natural instincts. In this world, we usually earn our way. We impose earning upon God. We don’t realize that the gap between us and God is much greater than we imagine. We think we can reach heaven by our own efforts.
“Jesus is the only way to heaven because he is righteous and true,” says Kaira, 10. “He is not fake. He is real. You can only go through Jesus to get to God.”
Think about this: Author C.S. Lewis said that Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or God. He can’t be only a good person because a good man wouldn’t falsely claim to be God.
Memorize this truth: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,’” (John 14:6).
Ask this question: Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your only way to heaven?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING