How many ways are there to be saved? Have you ever given that any consideration? The fact is that this is one of the most important, basic fundamental concepts to understanding the New Testament; to understanding the Bible, really, as a whole; to understanding the plan of God. And the failure to understand what I’m going to be talking about today has led to untold amount of confusion in some people’s minds about what God is doing, and their relationship with God has been distorted by not understanding how many ways there are to be saved.
Is there, for example, a way for Christians and another for Buddhists? There are a lot of people in this world who believe that most of us in the world are all going to heaven by different routes. Is there one way for Catholics and another way for Baptists? Is there one way for children and another way for adults? Because there are many people who believe that children who die before they reach the age of accountability take a short circuit to paradise—they go directly to be with God; whereas once you have become an adult, if you have sinned, then you must go through a different way of salvation: you must be baptized and repent. Is there one way for Jews and another way for Gentiles? Was there one way of salvation in the Old Testament and another way of salvation in the New? What is the difference between the way of salvation in Old Testament times and the way of salvation in the New? Do you know? Is there an inferior way of salvation and a better way of salvation?
What about man’s geographic location? Does it does it make sense to you that God would have one way of salvation for people living west of the Jordan River and another way of salvation for people living east of the Jordan River? Or our temporal location: Would God have one way of salvation for people who lived before Jesus’ last Passover and those who lived after—a totally different route to God at that time? What about physical characteristics? Would he have one way of salvation for men who had a foreskin and another way of salvation for those who had the foreskin removed?
Now, logically you would want to say,
It doesn’t make sense to me. I really don’t think that God would work that way, but what does the Bible say? I want you to turn back with me to the 12th chapter of Exodus, and let’s start by taking a little look at what God’s word has to say about the subject.