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Pastor Tim Swigarts Blog

Missio Dei is a Contemporary Baptist Church located in historic Galena IL. Senior Pastor Tim Swigart shares his thoughts on numerous topics concerning the church.

Do I Have to Believe in Jesus to Be Saved?

Timothy Swigart

Many people wonder if they have to believe in Jesus to be saved. Aren't all religions equally valid ways to approach God? Isn't it arrogant of Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven? These are great questions.

I always think it is best to go directly to source material to see what has been said regarding important subjects in theology. Don't let the word "theology" scare you; it simply means the "study of God." So, let's go to the Bible and see what Jesus and his disciples had to say about this very important subject. I'll let them speak for themselves. Ultimately, my answer to this question is of little importance. Jesus' answer, however, carries weight.

In John 14:6, Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This is an exclusive claim made by Jesus. In John 3:36, Jesus says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." Jesus clearly saw Himself as the only pathway to eternal life and to a restored relationship with God, the Father.

Jesus' disciples struck a considerably similar tone. The words of Peter in Acts 4:12: "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." The words of John in 1 John 5:12: "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." Those who knew Jesus best testified to the fact that Jesus was the only way to have eternal life and a restored relationship with God, the Father. I think it's safe to assume they got that idea from Jesus, Himself.

Jesus gave us many proofs to support His claims. Many miracles are documented throughout the New Testament. The most important of all was His miraculous resurrection from the dead. Romans 1:4 tells us Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead." Jesus did what only God can do, which means we'd be wise to listen to what He says. He says He's the only way to salvation. I take Him at His Word.