You Want Heaven but Not Jesus?
Most people want heaven but they want it their way. True love does not force itself on you. True love must come from a free will. Either we have free will or we do not. If we don’t, we're just moist robots. If we do have free will than love can occur.
This is one of the reasons evil exists. Free will exist so we can love however we can also use our free will to choose evil.
Then the question is asked, "If Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but by me, then isn't that forced love?" Since there is no other choice am I not force to choose Jesus? For example, if I'm a train going to hell, not choosing to be a sinner but I just am by default. I didn’t chose this train.
All true, however God would not be loving if He didn’t provided a way to get off that train. That way off is Jesus. However, if you don't want that way off, you're free to reject it. It's your prerogative. No one will force you off that train.
God wants you off it. He loves you but remember love will not force you to love back. That is why we have free will to either chose His loving offer or not chose His loving offer. So, here's the real question. "How many different ways do you need to get to heaven?"
The reason Jesus is the only way is because he's the only one that can solve humanities problem. What is the problem? Not only is God loving, which is what everyone likes to hear about, however He is also just. Not only is he just but perfectly just. Which means He cannot let law breakers go unpunished. The bible uses a word for breaking the law - sin.
"Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness." - 1 John 3:4
It also tells us that everyone has sinned, you, me, everyone.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," - Romans 3:23
That’s the problem, we all stand-alone before God guilty of sin, breaking His law, like: lying, stealing, cheating, lusting, coveting, idolatry, sexual immorality, greed, hate. You get the point. The list can go on and on. No one is without sin. No one has done God’s will perfectly. And because we are all guilty before our Creator, we must be punished for the law breakers we are. And that punishment is eternal separation from Him in spiritual prison after we die, and we are all going to die, in a place the bible calls Hell. Not a pleasant place. Imagine prison but a 1000 times worse.
Now this is why Jesus came voluntarily. God became flesh and was able to live a perfect life. A life we could have never lived. A life without sin in thought, word, or deed. He came to stand in our place, for all of humanity, before the judgment seat of God's perfect justice. He freely chose to be punished on behalf of humanity sins so that we could chose to get off of that train going to Hell.
"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his patience he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." - Romans 3:25-26
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
"For Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God..." - 1 Peter 3:18
Some might say, "But I don't want to choose Jesus and he's going to punish me for that choice?"
You are not punished because you reject Jesus. You are judged and punished because you are a law breaker, because you sinned. Here is an example. Do you die because you do not go to the doctor? No, you die because of the disease you have. Now maybe by going to the doctor you might prevent dying. Just like going to Jesus the great Physician you can escape eternal death. However, the reason for your final destination is eternal death is because of sin and you refused to cure.
That's your choice.
Then Jesus called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.”- Mark 8:34-38
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live," - Deuteronomy 30:19