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Chapter 6 - Jesus is the Only Way
A frequently asked question about eternal life is whether it was possible for people who have never heard about God (such as pagans or tribal people) to receive eternal life. We do know that Jesus is the only path.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
We also can know that tribal and pagan people can be judged for having rejected God from what can be known of him through his revelation in creation.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: - Romans 1:20
However, there is no specific declaration that the general revelation of Jesus through creation is insufficient to be a path to eternal life for those who would trust in it. It is a poor practice to determine a doctrine from silence. We cannot declare that there is this option available, but one can hope that some may have been so moved by the majesty of God as seen through his creation as to trust in the hand that made all things.
Since Jesus is the creator of all things, and has paid the price for all sins, it is logical that it is only in him that one can find life eternal.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. - John 1:1-4
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:2
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. - 1 John 5:11
It can be difficult to understand the mechanism by which we receive eternal life. Those of Israel who had faith will receive their eternal life at the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. - Revelation 20:6
Those who have a faith in Christ outside of the ministry of Israel and receive the gospel of grace given to Paul receive immediate eternal life. This is because we receive life from Christ by being 'baptized' into the body of Christ. (it is important to note that this baptism (the Greek word 'baptiso" simply means 'immersion') in Christ should not to be confused with water baptism).
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. - Galatians 3:26-27
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. - Colossians 3:1-4
From the bible we can see that there is eternal life only in Christ.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. - Acts 4:12
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. - John 17:1-3
We can see that there is eternal life available for those who trust (have faith) in Jesus. This is not based on 'being a good person', doing the 'right' things, or making ourselves worthy. We know that this is 'eternal' life not because the meaning of eternity is in the word aion, but because aion receives its meaning from the context of 'never dying'.
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? - John 11:26
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