Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
-- Feeding Jesus' sheep
-- Equipping His servants
-- Proclaiming His Gospel

No Other Name

By Dennis Pollock


The apostle Peter was the foremost proclaimer of Christ in the infancy of the church. Peter was a born leader and a passionate preacher. When you read his sermons in the Book of Acts, during those crucial formative days when the church was in its infancy, you find he was incredibly bold, forceful, and effective in presenting Christ to his people, the Jews. In the fourth chapter of Acts, he makes a statement which has become a significant rallying cry and central doctrine of the church. Peter had been called before the Jewish leaders, who were furious over his courageous preaching of Jesus. He did not give in an inch but doubled down on his previous assertion that Jesus was the only way to God, saying: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)


There is a word which describes Peter's proclamation here, and that word is exclusivity. Sometimes we hear news anchors talk about an "exclusive interview," meaning that their network is the one and only means through which you can hear that particular interview. So, if you want the inside scoop, don't change your channel or you'll miss it. When Peter declared that there was no other name but Jesus by which we can be saved, he was announcing that Jesus is the exclusive "road to God." Jesus does not represent one of several roads or one of many roads; He is the one and only means for men and women to know God and relate to Him as their Heavenly Father.


If you wonder, "Where did Peter get this idea?", it is quite simple – Peter got it from Jesus Himself. In one of the most often-quoted verses of the Bible, Jesus stated, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). In saying that there is no other name by which we can be saved, Peter was simply reiterating the words of Jesus Himself. But in case the words of Jesus and Peter are not enough for you, we could also share the words of the apostle John, who wrote: "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12). And if that is still not enough evidence for you, the apostle Paul declared, "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His" (Romans 8:9), and also: "In Him (JESUS) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Romans 1:13). To Paul, belief in Jesus saves, disbelief condemns one to an everlasting punishment.


Irritant to the World


This concept, the idea that Jesus alone saves and bestows eternal life, irritates the world tremendously. They would not mind Christianity nearly so much if we just considered ourselves one more option for our world – right along with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and all the other religions. "Different strokes for different folks. You live your truth; I'll live mine." But when we dare to suggest that there is only one truth, and that every other religion, every other philosophy, every other viewpoint is dead-wrong, this is just more than they can stand.


Our unwillingness to compromise on this point, to join with nearly everyone else in accepting all religions, all faiths, or no faith at all as being equally valid upsets them to no end. In their minds we are archaic, haters, intolerant, backward, and living on the wrong side of history. We obviously must be of low intelligence and certainly must be uneducated, unsophisticated, simple-minded, and totally out of sync with our modern world.


Talk show hosts love to trap prominent Christian guests by asking them questions like:


  1. Will everyone who is not a Christian go to hell?
  2. What about those who live and die in some remote village and never hear of Jesus. Will they go to hell?
  3. Do you believe I (the interviewer) am going to go to hell?


And so forth. They think that these questions are quite clever and that they have trapped us in a corner. If we answer yes, unbelievers will go to hell, we look like a hater and a rabid fundamentalist, but if we answer no, they will not go to hell, we essentially deny one of the primary pillars of the Christian faith and a teaching that is clearly set out in the Scriptures.


Even Pastors…


Sadly, a lot of prominent Christian pastors have totally wimped out when asked such questions. Rather than declare what the Bible says and acknowledge their belief in the authority of the Scriptures, they make little anemic declarations like, "God is merciful, and I will leave that up to Him," or "It is not for me to judge."


But when asked if those who do not believe in Jesus will go to hell, it is not judging to say, "Yes, they will perish in hell, according to the words of Jesus, Peter, John, and Paul." That is simply declaring the plain truth of the Scriptures. If someone asks me, 1) "Did David commit adultery with Bathsheba?" and 2) "Is adultery a wicked act?" it would not be judging for me to answer in the affirmative for both cases. If the Bible is true, then of course David did commit adultery, and unquestionably this was wrong.


If I were asked, "Did Peter deny the Lord three times?" I would not be judgmental in replying, "Yes, he denied the Lord three times." I would simply be acknowledging what my Bible has plainly stated. Judging is when you think your brother is less of a Christian than you are because he wears jeans to church, and you wear a suit and tie. Or thinking your sister is not as spiritual as you are because she watches TV several hours each day, while you rarely watch TV. But repeating what the Bible says is simply… well, repeating what the Bible says. So, if the Bible says, from the very mouth of Jesus Himself, "No one comes to the Father except through Me," it cannot be wrong for me to repeat this when asked if anyone can come to the Father by any other means than Jesus. If the Bible is true, if the Scriptures are indeed inspired by God, as Jesus believed they were, then the correct answer is, "No – no one can come to God, no one can go to heaven, no one can live eternally, no one can escape everlasting punishment unless they put their faith in Jesus and are born-again.


What Makes an Evangelical


To believe the Bible as it is written is what makes an evangelical an evangelical. Unlike our secular friends, we do not have the luxury of believing whatever we want or embracing the latest intellectual or moral trends, or putting our fingers to the winds, and then moving in whatever direction the wind is blowing. Our beliefs, our values, our morals, our convictions come straight from the pages of a book that is thousands of years old, a book called the Bible. If we are curious about what is moral and what is immoral, we do not have to read People magazine or buy the latest paperback book on philosophy. We open that book which begins with the words "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and we start reading. We will soon gain a clear understanding of right and wrong, of moral and immoral.


When people have a problem with the exclusivity of Jesus, their problem is not with us; it is with Jesus Himself. He is the One who said it first; we are simply affirming and repeating His words and His views. To get upset with us for believing and holding tenaciously to the words of Jesus would be like being angry with the mailman for delivering a letter to you from someone who says something you don't want to hear. Your problem is not with the mailman; it is with the person who sent you the letter. We need to tell the world, if you do not like our insistence upon Jesus being the only way, then you must think that Jesus is a liar or a fraud, or both. But of course, most secular Americans would never dare to say such a thing about Jesus. He is still far too popular and respected by most. So, they criticize us instead. They say we are backward, we are stubborn, we are haters, we are intolerant…


In truth we are simply believers. We are the hated evangelicals, men and women who base their lives and their souls on the words of Scripture. In some cases, the Scriptures are difficult to interpret, and we may have disputes and disagreements over the true meaning of the Bible, even among ourselves. But when it comes to Jesus being the Way, the Truth, and the Life – the exclusive Way, the exclusive Truth, and the exclusive Life, we are all in perfect agreement. Of course He is. We have heard it from His own mouth.


As followers of Jesus, it is our job to keep pressing, to keep pushing, to keep confronting the world around us with this thought: "He who has the Son has eternal life; he who does not have Jesus has no life." We cannot back down; we cannot wimp out. Nor can we use delicate language which gives the impression that this is a non-essential issue. It could not be any more essential. The Bible is far too plain, and people's need for Jesus is infinitely too paramount for us to do otherwise. There is no other name by which we must be saved – but the name of Jesus!




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