WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Do you wonder at times why people seem so determined? The members of the early church were willing to endure hardship and privation to spread the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Why were they willing to endure such adversity and even persecution for their cause?
They believed that Jesus was the only way to receive salvation. As the Apostle Peter was on trial before the Sanhedrin, he boldly declared,
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. – Acts 4:12
Peter was not being exclusive in his claim, rather he was graciously offering the way of salvation. Some people find this claim intolerant, they assert that there are many roads to heaven. They believe that you can take the best of all faiths as long as you are sincere. The problem is you may be sincerely wrong.
You may believe that there are many roads that lead to salvation, but that is not the teaching of the Bible. We must realize that this was not a teaching that the church arbitrarily decided – it was the specific teaching of Jesus:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Rather than reacting to the phrase, in no one else, we would be better served to focus on the wonderful promise – There is salvation. The word salvation is a rich term indicating a state of safety, soundness, health, and deliverance from the danger of destruction resulting in a state of preservation. We see that Luke, the author of the book of Acts, had already used the latter sense of this word earlier in the book of Acts:
And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” – Acts 2:40
The verb tense, Be saved, indicates that they were to do it at once, they were not to delay, there is a sense of urgency. The Apostle Paul also wrote of the necessity of trusting in Jesus for salvation:
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus – 1 Timothy 2:5
The early church was willing to endure hardship because they believed that Jesus was the only way of salvation. Christians proclaim a message that may seem exclusive in an age of tolerance. Jesus taught that there are two pathways – the broad way leading to destruction and the narrow way of faith leading to eternal life. The good news is that God has provided a way for us to be forgiven and entrance into eternal life. If you’re on a ship that is sinking, you don’t complain about the emergency evacuation plan, you take your place in the appropriate lifeboat.
Do you realize that Jesus is the only way?