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                        "THE PATH TO SALVATION"


INTRODUCTION

1. In June of 2008, the Pew Forum On Religion & Public Life released a
   U.S. Religious Landscape Survey based on interviews with 35,000
   American adults

2. One of the issues covered was this one:  Is there more than one path
   to salvation?

3. Here are the percentages of those who said "Many religions can lead
   to eternal life"...
   a. Hindus - 89%               g. Historical black churches - 59%
   b. Buddhists - 86%            h. Evangelical churches - 57%
   c. Mainline churches - 83%    i. Muslim - 56%
   d. Jewish - 82%               j. Mormon - 39%
   e. Catholic - 79%             k. Jehovah's Witnesses - 18%
   f. Orthodox - 72%

4. The responses are interesting...
   a. Most people believe those of different faiths will be saved
   b. Among Catholics and mainline Protestants, that view is
      overwhelming
   c. Even the majority of those who view themselves as "evangelical"
      agree

[Clearly most people believe there are many paths to salvation.  Is that
true?  What did Jesus and His apostles say about the path to salvation,
the way to eternal life...?]

I. THERE IS ONLY ONE PATH TO SALVATION

   A. ACCORDING TO JESUS...
      1. He said the way to life was difficult and narrow, found by few
         - Mt 7:13-14
      2. He taught that unless we believe in Him, we will die in our
         sins - Jn 8:24
      3. He claimed to be the only way to the Father - Jn 14:6
      -- There is only one path to salvation, and that is through Jesus!

   B. ACCORDING TO HIS APOSTLES...
      1. Peter said salvation is found only in Jesus' name - Ac 4:12
      2. John said whoever denies the Son does not have the Father
         - 1Jn 2:23
      3. Paul said those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ will
         experience vengeance when Jesus comes again - 2Th 1:7-8
      -- There is only one path to salvation, and that is through Jesus!

[Both Jesus and His apostles were very clear:  the path to salvation
must go through Jesus Christ!  If not, consider for a moment the
implication of what many people believe...]

II. THERE ARE MANY PATHS TO SALVATION

   A. IF SO, CONSIDER WHO LIED...
      1. Jesus lied, when He said no man comes to the Father but through
         Him - Jn 14:6
      2. His apostles lied, when they taught salvation comes only
         through Jesus - Ac 4:12
      -- If there are many paths to salvation, then Jesus and His
         apostles were liars!

   B. IF SO, CONSIDER WHO SUFFERED AND DIED IN VAIN...
      1. Jesus' suffering and death on the cross was not necessary
         a. Why die for our sins, if there are other ways to salvation?
         b. Why suffer an excruciating death on the cross, if it was not
            necessary?
      2. His apostles' suffering and deaths were not necessary
         a. Why did apostles like Paul put up with his hardships? - cf.
            2Co 11:23-29
         b. Why did the apostles endure martyrdom if it was not
            necessary?
         c. Why not simply live out their lives as fishermen,
            tentmakers, etc.?
      -- If there are many paths to salvation, then Jesus and His
         apostles died in vain!

[If we profess to be Christians, then we must believe that there is only
one path to salvation, and that is through Jesus!  Let's review the
gospel plan of salvation, the path to salvation...]

III. THE PATH TO SALVATION

   A. WE MUST HEAR THE GOOD NEWS...
      1. For faith comes by hearing the Word of God - Ro 10:17
      2. For this reason Jesus sent His apostles and preachers - Ac
         10:42-43
      -- Have you heard the gospel of Jesus Christ?

   B. WE MUST BELIEVE (TRUST) IN JESUS...
      1. As the Son of God whom the Father sent because He loved us - Jn
         3:16
      2. As the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) offered by God for sins
         - 1Jn 4:9-10
      3. Whose blood provides redemption, the forgiveness of sins - Ep
         1:7
      -- Do you trust in Jesus and His sacrificial death for your
         salvation?

   C. WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SINS...
      1. For Jesus is coming to judge the world - Ac 17:30-31
      2. For we must turn from darkness to light, from the power of
         Satan to God - Ac 26:18
      3. Otherwise, we will perish! - Lk 13:3
      -- Have you made the decision to turn from your sins to serve the
         living God?

   D. WE MUST CONFESS JESUS AS OUR LORD...
      1. If we want Jesus to confess us before His Father in heaven - Mt
         10:32-33
      2. If we want to receive the salvation that Jesus offers - Ro 10:
         9-10
      -- Have you acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?

   E. WE MUST BE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST...
      1. To be saved - Mk 16:15-16
      2. To receive the remission of sins and gift of the Holy Spirit
         - Ac 2:38
      3. To be raised with Christ from death to newness of life - Ro 6:
         3-7
      -- Have you been baptized into Christ for the remission of your
         sins?

   F. WE MUST REMAIN FAITHFUL TO JESUS...
      1. To learn from Him as His disciples - Mt 28:19-20
      2. To imitate Him as our Mentor - Lk 6:40
      3. To remain faithful to Him even to the point of death - Re 2:10
      -- Have you made Jesus your Teacher and Mentor, as well as your
         Savior?

CONCLUSION

1. Believing there are many paths to salvation is...
   a. A comforting doctrine to hold
   b. Viewed by many as tolerant and loving

2. But if one really believes in Jesus, they must abide in His teaching
   (cf. Jn 8:30-32)...
   a. That few will be saved
   b. That Jesus is the only way to the Father
   c. That we must obey His gospel plan of salvation
   d. That we must follow Him as our Teacher and Mentor the rest of our
      life

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life!  Are you on that path that
leads to eternal life...?
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