July 3, 2008
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4: 12
Today's devotion begins with a simple question in mathematics. Here's the question: 2 + 2 = what?
If you said, "2 + 2 = 4," I congratulate you; you're absolutely right. "Four" is the correct answer to the question. If you said a number other than four, you are wrong.
Now, let me ask you a theological question. Are you ready? "What is the only way an individual can get to heaven?" I hope you said, "only by having faith in Jesus as your Savior."
If "Jesus" was your answer, you are correct. If you said, "Jesus," you did better than most Christians. That's right. According to a major survey released last week, a majority of Christians, 57% of evangelical Christians to be exact, said other religions could get you into heaven. They believe Jesus is a way to eternal life, but He isn't the only way into heaven.
I wonder where they got that idea? It certainly didn't come from the Bible, and it didn't come from the teachings of the apostles.
The Scripture for our Daily Devotion, taken from the fourth chapter of Acts, lays things out pretty clearly when it says, "There is salvation in no one else."
To me that seems pretty simple and completely straightforward. I don't see any wiggle-room in those words; I don't see any spot where another name might be added. When it comes to salvation, the Bible says 2 + 2 = Jesus. Always.
And just so everybody could be absolutely clear on the point, the passage continues, "There is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
No matter what scholars may teach, no matter what a majority of Christians might believe, Jesus is the only One who has successfully managed to defeat death, sin, and devil. Only by Christ's blood can our sins be washed away; only with Spirit-given faith in the Savior can we be adopted into the family of faith; only through Jesus are we given eternal life.
Period. End of reading.
I mean, think about it for a moment. If there were other ways to heaven, why did Jesus come to earth? Why did He live for us, suffer for us, and die for us? If there were other ways to heaven, He really didn't have to bother. If there were other ways to heaven, Jesus went through a great deal of pain for no reason.
But there are no other routes. As Jesus said, "I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No man comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). [emphasis added]
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, today I pray for my brothers and sisters. May they be brought to believe Jesus is their Savior, their only Savior. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries