Fortress of Faith

Christian Apologetics toward Islam and Missions to Muslims

The Way Of Salvation

Many religious people, including Muslims, are trying to earn their way to Heaven, They think they can be good enough to merit God’s favor. The Bible makes it clear that it doesn’t work that way.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.(Ephesians 2:8-9)

God will not allow anyone into Heaven based on their own good merit, thinking they could be good enough. If He did, they could boast and say look at what I achieved. They would be lifted up with pride.

We are not saved on the basis of  our works, we are saved based on the works of God, Himself, through the God-man, Jesus Christ. God took on flesh and dwelt among us. There is nothing that your works could do to earn your salvation.

Jesus said that the only way you could get to Heaven by the law was to be better than the Scribes and Pharisees. These were the most pious people on the face of the earth. The reason is that we have all sinned.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)

God gave us the Ten Commandments to show us how much we fall short of God’s glory, and how bad we are compared to His righteous standard. No one is perfect, and no one can keep the law perfectly. The law was given to show us our guilt, and our need of a Saviour. It was given to bring us to Christ.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)

I want to look at a passage in Matthew Chapter 7 that talks about entering in at the strait gate which leads to life. Jesus says, a few verses after the verses of the passage I want to look at, that there will be those who say they have done many good things in His name, but they will not be saved.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)

One of the things that saddens me the most is that Hell will be filled with a lot of religious people. It could be that you are one of those who think you are a pretty good person, but the Scriptures tell us that your good works will not be good enough.

I really want to draw  your attention to Matthew 7:13:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (Matthew 7:13)

I want you to notice the spelling of the word strait. It is not spelled like a straight line. It is a nautical term that means narrow, like the Straits of Gibraltar. The idea here is, we are to enter in by the gate that is narrow, and not by the wide gate. It goes on to tell us why.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14)

Sadly, it won’t be the many that find the way to Heaven, it will be the few. The many think they are good, but in fact they are filled with their own self-righteousness. Thinking that they have enough righteousness in themselves is what will keep them out of Heaven. They think they don’t need God, and that they can earn their way to Heaven on their own merit.

I want you to imagine these two gates. This is a  picture painted by Jesus, the master teacher so we can envision what He is talking about. One of the gates is a narrow gate which restricts passage. The other gate is wide and unrestricted. In this passage you have the couplets, narrow and wide, many and few, life and destruction. Many will go in at the wide gate, but few will go in at the narrow gate. There are two different destinations. One gate leads to life, and the other leads to destruction and death.

Who do you think manages the wide gate? Who do you think advertises for that gate? Who do you think is trying to get people to go through the gate that leads to destruction? It would be the enemy of God, the enemy of mankind, the Devil, himself. He wants as many as possible to go through this gate and not make it to Heaven.

If the Devil is operating this gate, what sign do you suppose he has on that gate? Do you suppose he is going to be honest and say this way leads to Hell or this way to destruction? Do you think he would label it the Highway to Hell? If he did, no one in their right mind would go through this gate.

The Devil will not tell us the truth. The Bible tells us he is a deceiver, and that he is the father of lies. The sign he will put on this gate is, this is the way to life, this is the way to Heaven. He will say, follow this religion, do these good deeds, and you will find your way into Heaven. After all, everybody is doing it. He will not get them to go through the gate by deception, making them think they have earned their way to Heaven.

Listen to what Jesus said in verse 22 and 23:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)

Those people who do not enter in at the narrow gate are deceived. One quarter of our world today is Muslim. They are following the lie of Islam. They have been deceived. Islam teaches that, although Jesus was a prophet of God, He was nothing but a man, and certainly not God. Islam says that it is blasphemy to say that Jesus is God. They say that Christians have committed the greatest sin because they make a man equal with God.

Muslims are completely wrong about what the Bible teaches, and what Christians believe, about Christ and His deity. The Bible does not, in any way, make a man a god. It is God who took on flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is called Emanuel, which means God with us. For Christians, it is blasphemy to think that a man could become God.

Islam not only teaches that Jesus is not God, it also teaches that He did not die on the cross. It teaches that Allah could see that Isa (Jesus) was in trouble, so he rescued him and took him into Heaven, not before taking his image off of him and putting it on another. That person went to the cross to fool everyone that Jesus died, but he did not.

In Islam, they take away the deity of Jesus Christ and they take away the blood sacrifice that paid for our sin. The Bible tells us that without the blood there is no remission of sin.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)

The debt of sin cannot be paid without the blood sacrifice. Throughout the Old Testament we have the image of taking the blood of something innocent as a substitute to cover the sins of the guilty. The Old Testament blood sacrifices of animals was a picture of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins, once for all.

If Christ did not die on the cross, there was no resurrection. If you don’t have three things, Jesus being God, His blood sacrifice, and His resurrection, you don’t have the Gospel. These are the three essential ingredients you must believe in. If you believe in them today, if you say to God, I don’t deserve Heaven, I deserve Hell because of my sin, and you turn to God for mercy, if you believe that Jesus died on the cross, took upon Himself your sins to pay your sin debt, and trust this, and this alone for your salvation, God will save you. The Bible says:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

This is the only way of salvation, there is no other. This is the way you enter in at the strait gate which leads to eternal life. If you haven’t done so, will you turn to God for mercy, and put your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation?

Paul summed up his whole ministry this way:

[And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:20-21)

There is no other way of salvation. Repentance, or turning, toward God, and placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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Updated: December 8, 2016 — 8:29 AM
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