I’ll lay the setting for you. R.C. Sproul is a brand new Christian and at college and he is with a vehemently anti-Christian professor. She told him to stand up in front of the class (knowing he was a new Christian) and she grilled him by saying, “Mr. Sproul, do you believe that Jesus is the only way to God?” R.C. writes: I wanted to jump out the window or find a hole to hide in because the question put me on the horns of a dilemma. It was a terribly embarrassing situation because I knew what the New Testament said. I knew that Jesus himself had said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by me.” And other passages in the New Testament say, “There’s no other name under heaven through which men may be saved.” I was aware of those passages of exclusivity that we find in the New Testament and that focus on the uniqueness of Jesus. This professor pressed me on it and asked if I thought Jesus was the only way. If I said yes, then obviously I would be understood by everybody in the class to be an unspeakably arrogant person. I certainly didn’t want that kind of label during my college career. But if I said no, then I would be guilty of denying that unique exclusiveness that Christ claimed for himself. So I kind of hedged a little bit and tried to whisper my answer and said, “Yes, I believe that Jesus is the only way.” Well, the wrath of that teacher came on my head, and the teacher just began to lay me out and said, “That’s the most bigoted, narrow-minded, arrogant statement I have ever heard.”
After class, R.C. went up to the teacher and said, “I know you’re not enthusiastic about Christianity, but do you allow for the possibility that people who are not arrogant and people who are not narrow-minded could for some reason or other actually be persuaded that Jesus Christ is at least one way to God?” The professor said, “Oh yes, I can certainly understand that intelligent people could believe that. But how can you believe in a God which is so narrow-minded that He would only provide One way of salvation to the world? Who is this God?”
He then went on to explain the reasonableness of the exclusivity of Christ in this statement:
I don’t know why God hasn’t given us five saviors or fifteen religious ways to satisfy Him? I don’t know the answer to that question.
But let’s just take a hypothetical situation.
Suppose there is a God. Let’s start with that supposition.
And suppose that God is altogether absolutely Holy. And suppose that God, not out of any necessity for Himself, but out of sheer love and graciousness creates a world and He inhabits this world with a vast array of animals and plants. And then when He is finished, His crowning act of creation is a creature that He shapes in His own image. And He breathes into this creature His own breath and gives this creature preeminence over all creation, dominion over all, and gives him the task or mirroring and reflecting God’s own Holy character. And God gratuitously heaps all kinds of benefits on this creature but gives one restriction to this creature and says “You are not allowed to touch or to eat of this particular fruit.” And as soon as God turns His back, suppose this creature, totally ungrateful, which owes his creator everything, turns around and grasps for equality with his creator and openly willfully defies the law of God. And God had told him, “You do this, you die.” And suppose right then that God would erase mankind from the earth. He would have been perfectly just to do it. Wouldn’t He? Yes.
But supposed God was so patient, so kind, that he said I will cover this creature’s nakedness and I will provide a way of salvation for him and I will promise to deliver this ungrateful sinner from his desperate condition. I am going to send to this people that reject everything I do for them, I am going to send my only begotten Son. And I am going to take the sins of My people and transfer them to the back of my own Son who is perfectly righteous and perfectly innocent.
And they kill the Son.
And God said that’s ok, you killed Him. But if you will just put your trust in Him and honor Him, I will forgive you of every sin that you have ever committed again Me and again Him and I will give you eternal life where there will be no more death, no more tears, no more wickedness, no more pain, no more suffering, and you will live forever in unending bliss. But My only requirement is that you honor the One you has died in your place.
Buddha didn’t die for you, Moses didn’t die for you, Mohammed didn’t die for you. And I require you that you honor and embrace my only Son. Would you dare to stand before God on the Day of Judgment and say, “God, You have not done enough.” Would you look into the face of God and say “One way of salvation is not enough?”
How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? Beloved, I don’t think that people who believe in Christ are any better than people who believe in something else. We are not talking about the superiority of the people. But I’m sure it rankles God Almighty to hear any human being even mention Buddha in the same breath as Jesus Christ. Because Christ alone is sinless. Buddha was a sinner and Buddha couldn’t save himself let alone anyone else. Mohammed was a sinner and Mohammed never saved anybody.
Only Christ is sinless. Only Christ has offered an atonement. Only Christ has provided redemption for us.