One Way or Many Ways?
I have a female mathematics student this semester who grew up and was educated in Germany. Although she has a heavy accent, she speaks English well and is a good student. However, during the first week of class she became concerned about the method I was using to solve certain types of problems. In Germany, she learned to solve these problems in a different way and wondered if it was acceptable for her to use her own method--a method with which she was much more comfortable.

My response to her was simple: "There is more than one way to skin a cat," I said. I elaborated by explaining that it was irrelevant how a student arrived at the correct answer (as long as he or she got there on their own). I admitted that many mathematical problems can be approached from more than one angle or perspective. Many problems can be solved in more than one way. Typically, one method is more efficient than the others, but that is not to say that the longer, more tedious solutions are wrong. Thus, in mathematics, I believe that there is one goal for each student, namely, arriving at the right answer. However, there are potentially many ways to reach the goal in this field of study.

But, when it comes to religion, my view is radically different. In religion, I believe that God desires each person to learn His truth, believe it, and obey it. Those who do such faithfully will be saved by the grace of God and reside in heaven for all eternity after the judgment. There may be many ways to solve a particular math problem, but I believe the Bible teaches there is only one way to solve man's problem with sin. There is only one way to eternal life--through the Son of God!

Jesus the Christ affirmed in John 14:6 - "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Notice His use of the word "the." Jesus wasn't just one way among many ways. He is the way, meaning the one and only way! It is through the Son of God, and only through Him, that one can find truth and the way to eternal life.

Consider what Luke wrote in Acts 4:12 on this subject - "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Salvation cannot be found outside the Lord Jesus Christ. The way to everlasting life is not found in Buddhism, Islam, or any other world religion. But Stephen, that's some awfully close-minded thinking. That's exactly right. There are certain things we need to be close-minded about. Let me elaborate. I believe the Bible is the truth and that it can be logically defended as the inspired word of God. If the Scriptures affirm that one cannot be saved without Jesus, then I believe it. Unless one can show me where my understanding of God's word is wrong or my reasoning is flawed, I will continue to be close-minded on this matter. There is only one way to heaven!

There is more that should be said on this theme, and we will do so in tomorrow's devotional. But, for now, let me encourage you to ask yourself this question: "Am I trying to get to heaven my own way or the Lord's way?" Burger King has popularized the slogan: "Have it your way." Friends, there's nothing wrong with having a burger your own way, but don't allow this mentality to carry over into the spiritual realm. When it comes to religion, it's not about "my way" or what is most convenient or comfortable for me. I must be willing to humbly submit to the Lord's way--the one and only way set forth in the Scriptures!