Hi everyone, in the next 10 days I am going to address approximately 150 teenagers in Nairobi on the subject Is Jesus the only way to heaven? Your views are much appreciated. Blessings
Short answer: yes
Longer answer: make sure you break down the question itself and define your terms. The 3 key words I see there are Jesus, way, and heaven. Tell them what you mean by each of those things and then answer the question. Also anticipate objections to your answer. The biggest one I encounter is always, but what about those who have never heard of Jesus?! There are some good threads on here on Connect on this topic if you’re looking for some food for thought.
Blessings to you!
@Askew May the Lord Jesus bless your talk with His power and wisdom and open the eyes of these kids to the glory of God in the Gospel of Jesus! I am so thankful for people like you who are doing the work of the Kingdom. I have linked a thread at the bottom of this post on how God will judge people who have never heard - there are a lot of great resources there that should be directly relevant.
With this generation, I think the main point to drive home is that God is more than fair - He is good. He judges us each according to the thoughts and intent of our heart and that the law of God is written on the heart of mankind. God is not unfair. He testifies through creation (Romans 1:20) and has proven His love for us by sending His Son (Romans 5:8).
Romans 2:12-14 - All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
We all quote John 14:6 about Jesus being the only way, but I think we sometimes miss John 14:7, which makes a very powerful point.
- if we really know God, then we will recognize that Jesus is God. There is no way to know God and miss Jesus. It is possible that someone who has never heard of Jesus might, like the Old Testament saints, worship God. But it is not possible for someone who truly knows God to reject Jesus if they encounter Him.
John 14:6-7 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
I also loves this story from Acts 4:8-12:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Hope those thoughts are helpful in some small way. Let us know how it goes
@SeanO - I’m glad you brought up John 14:6-7; I was going to insert that passage as well. Something about that combo (the Way, the Truth, & the Life) continues to draw my attention. I feel like there’s some masterful synergy there. It’s one of my favorites.
@Askew - I am a bit late responding to this as you are now about half way through your speaking engagement. This video includes Ravi (as well as others interviewed) on the question “What is Truth?”
It’s interesting to see how often this question is struggled with. I think a common view that teenagers hold is “relative truth” or “what’s true for you and what’s true for me”. This relative truth is really opinion; it is subjective “truth”. The question “Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?” is not a subjective question, but an objective question.
In short, I would encourage discussion of the difference between subjective and objective truth, where subjective truth is “how things appear to me” and objective truth is “how things really are, independent of my (or any other) perspective.”
God bless! Thank you for your service to the King.
Thank you so much for your insights. They were very instrumental in the talk. God bless you!
Thank you so much! I had a nice session with the teenagers. God bless you
@SeanO thank you so much. That was quite insightful. The talk was amazing and there was a great response. God bless you