One God. One Son. One Way. Here’s Why.—Mentoring Letter June 2016

Author Greg Koukl Published on 06/01/2016

STR speaker, Alan Shlemon, recently wrote about a Tweet he sent that packed a lot of theology into 138 characters. I liked it so much I’m passing his advice on to you. Here’s what Alan wrote.

Twitter is not the place to post profound theology. You’re limited to 140 characters to make your point. Nevertheless, I recently tweeted the reason Jesus is the only way to Heaven and had two characters to spare!

Here it is: “There’s only one way to Heaven because there’s only one God that exists who’s made only one offer of forgiveness through His only one Son.” Though I didn’t write a lot, I still said a lot. Now let’s unpack it.

You’ll notice I wrote “one” several times. That’s because one excludes two. Okay, that’s not particularly profound, but it’s important. One God precludes two gods or multiple gods and that means there’s only one Being we must listen to about our eternal destiny. Here’s what I mean about each component of the tweet.

One God: We have many good reasons to believe God exists. For one, everything that’s created needs a creator. This is hard to deny since it’s our universal experience, without exceptions. The world’s existence requires a Creator. Even if you lean towards Big Bang cosmology, a Big Bang still needs a big Banger. All matter, space, and time came into existence because of someone or something. That creator of all things is God.

Given that God is real, we also know there can only be one ultimate Being in the universe. This is simple common sense. If there’s a being greater than God, then He would be God. He is the one who is ultimately in charge and who we are accountable only to. We also know from revelation that there’s only one God. The one God has plainly spoken to humanity through Scripture and told us there are no other gods.

The universe, then, is God’s creation. He is the King and He rules over His Kingdom, His domain. He is our Sovereign and we are His subjects.

One offer: Since there is only one God, there is only one offer of forgiveness, because there’s no one around to make an additional offer. The one God makes the terms of the one offer of pardon, whether we like the terms or not.

Fortunately, the one God is merciful and His terms are gracious. Even though we consistently violate His laws, He still is willing to grant us pardon. We can either accept the pardon and be released, or we can pay the penalty ourselves. It’s our choice.

One Son: Since the one God makes only one offer of forgiveness, we must learn the details of His offer from Him. It turns out, God has appointed an advocate to appeal on our behalf, His one Son. The Son is God’s “next of kin,” making Him a divine being and without guilt. He is, therefore, the only candidate to fulfill the terms of the pardon.

God arranges a trade: our guilt for His Son’s innocence. The guilty are made innocent and the innocent is made guilty. We are absolved from our crimes while the Son is punished.

One way: Since there is only one God who has made only one offer through His only one Son, there can be only one way to Heaven. We live under God’s jurisdiction. The crimes we have committed are against Him. Consequently, He is the only One who can offer a pardon. That is why there is only one way.

Suppose you were convicted of a crime committed on United States soil, which is under U.S. jurisdiction. Only the U.S. government has the authority to pardon. You can accept the terms of the pardon and go free, or you can reject the pardon and pay the penalty for the crime. There are no other “ways.” No other country can offer you a pardon. It is the U.S. way or there is no way.

That is why Jesus is the only way. As I said in my tweet, “There’s only one way to Heaven because there’s only one God that exists who’s made only one offer of forgiveness through His only one Son.”

In His grace,

Gregory Koukl