Is Jesus Christ Man’s Only Hope for Salvation?
In Singapore this title will be the topic for the workshop that I will co-lead with Ajith Fernando from Sri Lanka. I thought it might be helpful for you to have the biblical texts that provide my answer. I divide my paper into three parts. Each part is a list of texts with brief comments. I’ll provide the texts for you here.
Part One: Texts which teach the reality of eternal punishment for some people. These texts show that universalism (the doctrine that all will be saved, with or without Christ) is unbiblical.
- Daniel 12:2
- Matthew 26:24
- Romans 2:6-8
- Matthew 3:12
- Mark 3:29
- 2 Thessalonians 1:9
- Mark 9:43-48
- Matthew 12:32
- Hebrews 6:1-2
- Matthew 18:8; 10:28; 25:41, 46
- Luke 16:26
- Jude 12-13
- Revelation 14:11; 19:3; 20:10
Part Two: Texts which teach the necessity of Christ’s atonement for salvation. These texts show that it is unbiblical to say that a person can be saved on some other basis than the death of Christ.
- Romans 5:17-19
- 1 Corinthians 15:21-23
- 1 Timothy 2:5
- Revelation 5:9
- Acts 4:12
- Romans 3:23-24
Part Three: Texts which show the necessity of hearing and believing the truth of Christ in order to be saved. These texts show that it is unbiblical to say that people today are saved through faith in a merciful Creator by the merit of Christ’s death even though they never hear about him in this life. To grasp the full implication of these texts some of them must be taken together.
- Acts 10:1-11:18 (the Cornelius story), especially 11:14 and 15:14
- Romans 9:30-10:21, especially 10:13-15
- Ephesians 3:4-10
- Colossians 1:24-29
- Romans 16:25-27
- Acts 17:30-31; 26:15-18
- Acts 13:38-39,46-48
- Romans 15:15-18
- John 10:27,16
- John 11:51-53
- Revelation 5:9
- John 17:20
Conclusion: Ever since “the times of ignorance” (Acts 17:30) ended with the coming of Christ and the “mystery hidden for ages” (Colossians 1:26) has been revealed, no one is saved but those who hear and believe the gospel.
This puts an awesome responsibility upon the church of Christ to send messengers to the unreached peoples of the world.
Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:13-15)
We simply must become more and more a sending church. The responsibility is huge; the privilege is magnificent! The victory is sure.
Seeking your prayers for the trip!