If the earthly life was the only concern man had, then any doctrine that helps him reach the utter abundance of material glory and grandeur would certainly rank as a great religion and merit as being perfectly ‘right’; but if such is not the case and the eternal life is even a higher concern, then a religion has to pass another more significant criteria, which is, that it must show man a way to the gates of eternal kingdom.
So for those who care only about how can they live happily and enjoy this worldly life and don’t care for what happens after they die, the quality and character of a religion beyond certain limits may not matter much as long as they get what they want, but it surely matters greatly to those who concern themselves not only to what happens to them in this life but also what happens after this? Whether they will rise to skies of high heavens or plunge into gallows of lowly hell? Whether they will become the recipient of eternal life or become the sufferer of everlasting condemnation? This becomes the central question for such folks.
And it is these folks who would find the contents of this book pretty informative and interesting, especially the ones, who have an open mind to judge various theologies without any prejudice and presupposition, since they would find the contained subject matter extremely beneficial simply because the presented argument is not based upon some narrow personal belief or a monopolized viewpoint of some single theology but is a reasonably investigated presentation of the facts derived from a collective corroboration of various religious thoughts and doctrines.
Since the title of the book is, ‘I am The Way, the Truth, and the Life ~ Says Jesus’, which has been derived from the verse, John 14:6 of Holy Bible, it is an obligation of this manuscript that its contents be directed to examine this profound claim by Christ and explore all other claims that He has made in this regard, of course, not only in the scriptural brightness of the Holy Bible, but in the light of wisdom as professed by the holy books of other beliefs as well.
It must take an unbiased look at various ‘way’s and examine views of the ‘truth’ as presented and professed by mainstream religions like Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, and judge these philosophies against this unparalleled claim of Christ – where He says that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)” – and see if any of them provide a ‘way’ that lead to the Truth and Life, and open an avenue for release of man’s soul from the shackles of bondage and save her from the eternal captivity.
Using this thought as a primary criteria for its ruling, it must investigate these philosophies and examine their tenets to judge their rightness on the basis of how do they address the issue of life after death? And what kind of provisions do they speak of for man to attain salvation?
It is not hard to understand that only such an interrogation can yield a true measurement on how do these theologies stand and measure up against the claim of Christ that He is not a way but the ‘Way’, not a truth but the ‘Truth’, not a life but the ‘Life’; that He is the only ‘Way’, only ‘Truth’, and only ‘Life’ that is; and that, no one reaches to the Father – the Godhead – except by Him.
The fact is that the presentation of any such supporting theological arguments from non-Christian scriptures not only firms up the foundation of an argument about the truth that Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life, but also contradicts clearly the widely misconceived idea that all religions are the same; that all have the same end; that all are equally good; and that all are the avenues of Truth, and at the end, all lead to the Divine.
It is no secret that even though most major philosophies agree that man is separated from God and acknowledge the need for reconciliation with his creator, they do broadly differ in how this reconciliation can be achieved? Surely, due to the commonality among religions, which we will discussed in the second chapter, the differences among theologies do not surface as clearly until we talk about man’s reconciliation with the Divine, because this is such a testifying authority where various religions fall widely apart from each other.
It is an undeniable fact that all popular philosophies acknowledge that man needs liberation from bondage, and agree that he needs salvation for his soul; that he needs redemption from the fallen state of sinfulness; that he needs rescue from eternal condemnation; that he needs restoration to eternal life; but with what sense of urgency do they address this need and how sufficiently this need is met, and with what certainty, they differ deeply.
Surely the different doctrines have different way of looking at things but the point which clearly sets them apart from each other is: How man, who is living under the grip of sin as per Christian philosophy, or bound by the chains of Karma as per Hindu theology, or repeatedly forced to mortal manifestation due to his desires as per Buddhist belief, can find liberation from the bondage, and if a theology does claim to have vision for such a way, then how much surety can he have in attaining the eternal freedom from the chains of perpetual captivity?
This certainly raises a very important question that even though man has various ‘ways’ of his spirituality – in fact, he has all kinds of ways – in the form of so called ‘religions’, ‘philosophies’, ‘theologies’, ’doctrines’, and many other such names – but where do they ultimately lead him to? Do they lead him to the Truth and take him to the Light and Life? Or, do they lead him to unreality and untruth, and take him to eternal darkness and destruction?
When one investigates various theologies with an open mind, totally unbiased and unprejudiced, the claim of Christ that He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and no one goes to the Father but by Him, begins to find firmness in his mind.
A recently reported survey found that the Christians are the biggest religious group – 2.2 billion, 32 percent of the total world p[population – followed by Muslims, the second largest group which consists of 1.6 billion people, which is about 23 percent of the total population, 6.8 billions. Hindus are about 15 percent, followed by Buddhists which are about 500 millions (7 percent) and Jews who number 14 millions, about 0.2 percent.
The study of about 230 countries revealed that 8 out of 10 – about 5.8 billion people – have some kind of religious affiliation.
Over 400 million (6 %) practice various folks traditions.
With such an intent, to support its theological conclusions, this book takes only a brief but quite sincere look at the tenets of some mainstream religions like Christianity (33-34%), Islam (20-21%), Hinduism (13-14%), Buddhism (5-6%), Chinese Universists (6-7%), Judaism (<1%), which have fairly sizeable followings and seemingly cover the same grounds of spirituality as most of them have the same bandwidth of philosophical spectrum.
- 11.92% Non-religious
- 2.35% Athiests
- 11.92% Non-religious
- 2.35% Atheists
This manuscript is only an intellectual study of a specific claim of Christ, “I am the Way, the Truth and Life..” therefore, the scope of interrogation into other faiths is quite limited, and it certainly does not go beyond the periphery of this declaration. Meaning, the exploration of truth about Christ’s claim does not try to examine any other dimensions of the system-of-beliefs of these theologies as it carefully confines itself to only those tenets that are directly applicable to the subject under discussion.
Well, these are the thoughts that are used as a basis for all deliberations in here, but of course, derived through a vision that is of the light of Christ.
Simple, because it is the Lord Jesus Christ who has inspired me to write this book; it is He who has instructed me to bear witness of His truth; it is His love that has redeemed me and restored me into His righteousness; it is His light that has shown me the way to eternal life; it is His sacrifice that has secured me into His resurrection. That is why it is the light of Christ through which all the discussions and discernments have been arrived.
However, this is not the only reason, as there is much higher rationale for this writing. Please know, it is not a matter of my choice but an insistence by the most profound reality that when it comes to man’s salvation – the liberation of His essence from eth bondage – the truth of Christ cannot be ignored; His crucifixion cannot be denied; His death on the cross cannot be overlooked; His resurrection to everlasting life cannot be disregarded; His victory over death cannot go unacknowledged; His sacrifice to change the eternal course of mankind cannot go unappreciated.
So without the vision of light of Christ how can we ever talk about life after this life; how can we ever think of removing the dark clouds of eternal death above the human soul and imagine the eternal life with the Creator. By all measures, no matter how we look at it, we always find Jesus at the center of it.
Moreover, through the witnessing accounts by His disciples, as documented in four Gospels of New Testament, and hundreds of prophesies that were made over a long period of time by the prophets of Old Testament, the evidence of the divinity and deity of Christ is so overwhelming that for any meaningful dialogue to be held about the redemption of mankind, it is utterly essential and absolutely mandatory that the truth and reality of Christ be taken into account before anything else; because without it, no discourse on this subject can ever be considered truly complete and consequential.
And this is the effort of this book that there can be no meaningful dialogue of man’s liberation from bondage unless first we realize the reality of Christ.
However, quite truthfully, this study is not indented to criticize or condemn any religion by any means or intentionally revile and rebuke it. No, that is not the purpose of this inscription.
One of the goals of this manuscript is to take a honest look at the facts in the light of scriptures of various theologies, and then, not only document the arguments in support of the claim, which Christ has made in the Holy Bible where He says that “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life,” but also expose the truth, that except the sanctuary of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no other asylum, no other way, no other belief, no other faith, no other religion, that can provide a way for man’s redemption from sin and facilitate the eternal reconciliation with his Creator.
Although, it goes without saying that I have honestly applied quite an unbiased examination of various system-of-beliefs and have consciously remained impartial in all of my deliberations in this book; nonetheless, I must admit, that I have not been able to fully hide my inner inclination for Christianity and holdback my admiration for its gospel simply because it preaches and professes the love and light of Christ, and glorifies the divinity of His humanity by elevating the reality of His deity.
So, even though I have stated only the truth that I have learned through the devout meditations on the holy word and what I have come to know through the intimate communions with the Creator, and have written only those things that I thought to be true in my holy knowledge and found them being upheld by the scriptures, yet my enthusiasm for Jesus still becomes quite evident in all of my theological expressions, since my love for Him knows no shame.
However, the honest objective that has been in the heart of this manuscript is to reflect upon the reality that the eternal safety and security of the soul of man is in no other name but Jesus, “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). Surely there are ways whereby man can walk in his self-glorified holiness, but his ways of purity and piousness have no power over what happens to him after he leaves this world since all other ways but the way of Jesus, are the ways of eternal destruction and death; but only the way of Christ is the way of true Life.
Written with much veneration in heart, I hereby present this book to you that expounds upon the reality that Jesus is the only way to the Truth and Life; He is the only mediator between man and God; He is the only ladder through which man can ascend to high heavens – and it is so because Jesus said so; because He triumphantly proclaimed for all generations to hear that He is the way, the Truth and the Life.
And while doing so, this writing also exposes the reality of some mainstream religions in terms of their true utility for mankind by exploring the extent of spiritual empowerment they offer to their followers while proving the fact that none other, except the way of Jesus, can help man in attaining freedom from bondage and securing the salvation for his soul.
Please know, that may be for others, who are well-versed in scriptures and are quite fluent in holy writings and are highly anointed in everyway to speak about the truth of Jesus, it may not be a matter of great significance, however, for me – oh! The most wretched of all, the most unworthy and undeserving of God’s grace, and the most unknowledgeable and unqualified – it is a matter of great privilege as I find myself utterly favored in His sight to be chosen by Him to speak on His behalf regarding a matter that is so important to all mankind.
So, as I reflect upon this reality and think of boundless mercy of the Savior upon my soul and acknowledge what He has done for me – that not only He revealed Himself to me with utter intimacy, and took me under His refuge and granted salvation to my sin-sicken soul, but also made my vain and void life most meaningful by anointing it with His goodness and grace – my face falls at His feet in sheer gratitude, and I become so filled with thankfulness that my heart does not know how to express its gratified emotions.
May you be blessed with the love and light of the only Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ – that is scattered in the pages of this book authored through His invoked inspirations.