In today’s postmodern culture, the one point of orthodoxy is this: “There is no absolute truth.” Many people argue that absolute truth does not exist. Instead, morality and religion are simply preferences with no right or wrong. Therefore, everybody can be right even if their beliefs contradict one another.
Of course, postmodernism is self-defeating. When a person says, “there is no truth,” he is making an absolute truth statement. By asserting there is no right or wrong, he is making a moral judgment that all truth claims are wrong. As a result, the postmodernist’s argument is inconsistent.
We must understand the crumbling foundation of postmodernism, because Jesus makes absolute exclusive claims about the path to heaven. Without seeing that postmodernism makes absolute exclusive truth claims, a person may see Jesus’ words as being narrow minded and antiquated. However, everyone believes in absolute truth.
What does Jesus say? In John 14:6, Jesus responds to Thomas’ question about the way to heaven. Jesus had finished telling the disciples that he was going to leave. He told them that they knew the way to follow him. Despite Jesus’ statement, Thomas did not understand. After asking about the way to heaven, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
The way to heaven is not through a path but a person. Thomas thought in terms of direction. Imagine taking your Garmin and putting “heaven” in the address bar for your destination. This is how Thomas viewed Jesus’ statement. On the contrary, Jesus meant that by trusting in him as the Son of God and the only means of forgiveness, then you will go to heaven. At the same time, Jesus is the way to truth. As God, his words are perfect. Therefore, he is trustworthy. If a person contradicts Jesus, then Jesus is right and that person is wrong.
Jesus is also the only way to life. Eternal life is a major theme throughout the Gospel of John. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” A sinner can only have forgiveness and everlasting life through Jesus Christ alone. John 3:36 continues by giving the opposite consequence, “Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” By rejecting Jesus as the only way, a person will die in their sins. God as a good judge will declare the sinner, “Guilty!” Then, he will be sent to an eternal hell.
Back in John 14:6, Jesus stresses the point of exclusivity again. He says that “No one comes to the father except through me.” Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. Therefore, the world has many paths to hell, but there is only one door to heaven. That door is Jesus Christ.
What are the implications? First, universalism is false. When a person dies, he will either go to heaven or hell. Unfortunately, many people will go to hell. Second, all religions of the world cannot be equally true. Jesus Christ makes an absolute truth claim which cannot be reconciled with the beliefs of atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Hence, religious adherents from the various perspectives cannot join hands and pretend that our differences do not matter when the truth about eternity is at stake. Third, either Jesus is a liar or he is true. However, he cannot be one of many ways to heaven. His words demand absolute acceptance or outright rejection. What do you choose?
Brandon was born and raised near Springfield, IL. He graduated from Illinois College in 2007 with a B.A. in History and from Moody Theological Seminary in 2010 with a Master of Divinity. He is a PhD student in Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City and an ACBC certified Biblical counselor. In April 2016 Brandon accepted the call to pastor at Faith Baptist. He loves history and reading and has a heart for street preaching and evangelism.