It seems entirely counterintuitive. On the one hand we have a God who says that He earnestly and sincerely wants all people to be saved. And on the other hand we have that same God saying in the person of His Son that He, Jesus, is the singular way and the singular truth and the singular life. That seems like a logical impossibility, doesn’t it? It seems like either God has to be serious about one and not mean the other or that God has to be less than serious about both, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better if God had just said “I earnestly and sincerely want all to be saved therefore these are the ways to be saved, or even, all roads lead to heaven…” Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Have you ever considered why God insists on a singular plan of salvation even while saying over and over again that He wants all to be saved, why God is exclusively all inclusive? Well, it isn’t for his sake. It’s not as though He craves the recognition, much less needs it. It’s not as though condescending to a fallen race who didn’t want him in the first place, fifth place, or final place was some kind of great resume booster. It’s not as though the price He willingly paid when He gave His only begotten Son to suffer and die on our behalf was cheap.
No, God developed a singular plan and insists on a singular plan of salvation even at the same time as He earnestly desires that all be saved—for our sake. That’s right it was for us. So that we could be certain He has pardoned us and redeemed us and will one day welcome us home to heaven.
See, the problem with all roads lead to heaven, is that, well, then ALL roads lead to heaven. Even roads that are inherently heinous. Even roads that are inherently evil. It’s also a solution that nobody really wants. Those that balk at the teaching of the God of the Bible aren’t satisfied with all roads lead to heaven because it makes a mockery and a perversion of justice. And Christians can’t be satisfied with all roads lead to heaven because then it makes an even greater mockery of God’s goodness and his grace and his love. And so what becomes of certainty is that certainty becomes entirely irrelevant because everyone is dissatisfied with the solution and rightly so.
So if not all roads, then, why not many roads and even most roads? Again the problem is certainty. The problem with many roads lead to heaven or even most roads lead to heaven, is how do I know that MY road leads to heaven? And no matter the proposed answer to the question, there always remains, a “yeah, but, how do you know, know?”
So, it is for our sake, not his own sake, but our sake that he can say in all seriousness that all people can be saved and at the same time say that Jesus Christ is the singular way and the singular truth and the singular life. He can do that because it satisfies his justice and demonstrates his love. In the person of Jesus Christ we have the God appointed Deliverer from sin, the One who bears the weight of sin and shame and inherently evil and heinous things and takes them to the cross. There he bleeds and dies to remove them from God’s people as far as east is from west. In the cross of Christ we see God’s love demonstrated, that he’s not going to punish you and I for our sins because he has already punished His Son for our sins. That God is not going to punish anyone who believes in Jesus Christ because He has already punished Jesus for their sins. And so, God is both just and the One who justifies those who believe in Christ Jesus. And so, yes, God is exclusively inclusive. He can actually mean it when he says He wants all to be saved. And he can actually mean it when He says Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and that all who believe in him shall in fact have forgiveness, life and salvation eternal in heaven!