“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” — 1 Corinthians 15:2 (NIV84)
We are now entering Paul’s powerful chapter on the certainty of the resurrection of the dead: both Jesus’ and ours. At this point in history it had only been 25 to 30 years since Jesus’ death and resurrection, and differing beliefs about the resurrection had already arisen. It amazes me that our sinful human nature can’t stand things to be God’s way. We must have things our way. If things don’t make since to us, we create a reality or theology to fit our perspective. So many people today are offended by any religion that would claim a singular path. Without any objective reference, but only their feeling of fairness, they build a theology in their own image. Just like those who were redefining the resurrection in Paul’s time. Given this reality, Paul began this chapter with the message of salvation. He reminded his listeners that there is but one way to heaven. Faith in Jesus is essential to salvation. It’s simply the plan God set into motion way back in Genesis.
Some might say, why can’t there be many ways to heaven? I guess I would simply say, because God said so! But more specifically, if there is one God who created a plan to save humanity, doesn’t He have the right to govern how it goes? As Christians, it is essential that we hold to the teachings of God’s Word. Luke says in Acts 4:12: “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.” Jesus Himself said, “He who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
So to set the record straight, there is one God. There is one Savior, Jesus Christ. There certainly is a resurrection of the dead. And those who believe in Jesus will go to heaven. How do I know? God said so!