Mark Alan Williams
Does Salvation Come Only Through Faith In Christ? (Exclusivism)
"Christianity Questions and Answers" podcast CQA 031
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Exclusivism is the belief that there is only one right way of truth. The opposite of exclusivism is universalism—the belief that all paths are equal and will eventually lead to the eternal blessings of God and heaven.
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
While some condemn being exclusive, (even some who call themselves Christians), it is the clear teaching of Jesus Christ and Christianity.
Jesus said about Himself: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:17-19 ESV, emphasis mine)
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV) | CLICK TO TWEET
Other Scripture leaders and writers were equally clear about exclusivism:
The Apostle Peter: “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.” (Acts 4:12 ESV)
The Apostle John: “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12 ESV)
The Apostle Paul: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 NIV)
Each of these believed so strongly in exclusivism that they gave their lives in the spreading of the Gospel of salvation through Christ. So have many others over the 2,000 years since Christ gave His own life.
The Apostle Paul expressed this missionary zeal compelled by exclusivism in this way: “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”(Romans 10:13-15 ESV)
Recently I interviewed my friend Dr. Chris Gnanakan on the subject of exclusivism. Chris has a remarkable background having been raised in India, educated in England and now living in the USA and a professor in a seminary. He holds three doctoral degrees, serves as a professor and also serves as Executive Director of a Christian missionary organization to Asia.
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Here’s a short biography for Chris:
Dr. Chris Gnanakan is originally from South India, and now lives with his family in Virginia. He is currently a professor at Liberty University’s School of Divinity, serving as a bridge between the mission field and the next generation of Christian leaders. Dr. Chris is also the Director of Outreach to Asia Nationals (OTAN), a mission organization that enables nationals to reach nationals in restricted-access countries with the Gospel.
You can learn more about Chris and contact him via his website: chrisgnanakan.com
The wonderful promise of the Bible is this: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 ESV)
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Here are some of my articles that look at religious pluralism:
Five Questions for Those Who Think Many Roads Lead to Heaven
4 Great Questions to Ignite Passion for Evangelism in a Lost World
Here are some of my podcasts and a vlog that looks at religious pluralism:
Podcast: Is salvation found in various faith traditions? (religious Pluralism)
Podcast: Isn’t Christianity arrogant to claim to be the only way to heaven?