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Jesus Is the Only Way: How to Answer Questions About Salvation

With the anything-goes, relativistic mindset of society these days, kids are constantly asking me, “Is Jesus really the only way to heaven?” In fact, I’m getting sick and tired of having to answer this question over and over in my youth ministry context. But it’s the most important topic we can address. Young people need to know that Jesus is the only way to heaven and the only path to salvation.

Students at our church seem to be having a very difficult time embracing the reality that Jesus is the only way, truth and life. Or, more specifically, they’re having a tough time sharing that reality with others without sounding like arrogant, judgmental, uneducated idiots. No one wants to seem like a know-it-all, or like someone who seems to be telling everyone else they’re going to hell.

So I’ve assembled some helpful strategies you can share with your teenagers. Use these tips to reinforce the absolute truth that Jesus is the only way.

First, let’s take a look at some approaches to take.

How to Say Jesus Is the Only Way: 3 Reasons You Need to Proceed With Care

1.  Dan Kimball argues in They Like Jesus But Not the Church that our hearts and heads need to be gentle but firm when talking about the exclusive claims of Jesus (1 Peter 3:15).

2.  Kimball suggests that we treat people who have different beliefs with respect while strongly claiming Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.

3.  Be ready, because claiming absolute certainty in a pluralistic society is considered ludicrous. Don’t succumb to pressure or allow any wiggle room.

Next, let’s look at ways to convey this important message to other people. (This next section is from Stand to Reason: Jesus, the Only Way: 100 Verses by Gregory Koukl.)

What to Say: 9 Reasons Jesus Is the Only Way

In Scripture, Jesus makes many very clear statements indicating that he is the only way to salvation. For example, see John 14:6; Acts 4:11-12; Acts 16:30-31; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:23; 1 John 5:11-12; Luke 10:16; Luke 12:8-9; John 3:18; John 3:36; John 8:24; John 10:7-8.

Reason #1

Jesus is the only source of salvation for the world (Mark 14:61-62; Acts 16:30-31; Titus 2:13).

Reason #2

Jesus is the Father’s beloved choice (Mark 9:7; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:1-3).

Reason #3

Rejection of Jesus is rejection of the Father (John 8:19; John 15:23; Luke 10:16).

Reason #4

Rejection of Jesus brings judgment and wrath; belief in Jesus rescues us from wrath (Luke 12:8-9; John 5:24; John 3:18; John 3:36; Acts 3:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; Revelation 19:13-16).

Reason #5

Jesus is the only One who provides forgiveness from all our sins (Luke 7:48; John 1:29; Acts 3:38, 40; 1 John 2:2; Romans 8:1).

Reason #6

Many impostors and false teachers will claim to provide other ways of salvation (Galatians 1:8-9; Matthew 7:13-14; John 10:7-8, 10; Matthew 7:15; Mark 13:5-6; Mark 13:22-23; Jude 1:4).

Reason #7

No other alternatives for salvation exist; Jesus is the only way (John 18:37; Romans 8:8-9; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:41-42; Galatians 2:21; Revelation 21:27).

Reason #8

God wants us to share the good news of his Gospel message with all nations (Matthew 28:18-19; Luke 24:47).

Reason #9

On the final day, Jesus will judge all people (Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 1 Peter 3:21-22; John 5:26-27; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1).

What other suggestions and Scriptures do you recommend for letting young people know that Jesus is the only way? How do you encourage teenagers to handle these conversations with their family and friends?

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Jeremy Zach easily gets dissatisfied with status quo. He reeks with passion and boredom is not in his vocabulary. He becomes wide awake when connecting with student pastors, thinking and writing about student ministry, experimenting with online technology, and working out. He is married to Mikaela and has two calico cats, Stella and Laguna. He lives in Alpharetta, Georgia and is a XP3 Orange Specialist for Orange—a division of the REthink Group. Zach holds a Communication degree from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities and Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.