“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:12
In this passage, the Greek word is very clear. The word is “dei” and it means “It is necessary.” We must be, it is necessary that we be saved. Peter did not say, “we can be saved” as if there is some way for us to achieve salvation. He is not say “we may be saved” as if there is some uncertainty. He said, “we must be saved”. It is necessary for everyone to be saved. Why is it necessary for us to be saved? It is necessary because we all have a major problem. We are all sinners. Every single one of us is born a sinner. What that means is that everyone of us fails to live up to God’s expectations for us. Every one of us falls short. God’s law placed demands and expectations on us and everyone both actively and passively breaks God’s laws. The Bible says,
10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away; all alike have become worthless.
There is no one who does what is good, not even one.
In this passage, Paul is quoting the OT; specifically Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3. Therefore, because we all are sinners, we must be saved. The picture is as if you are drowning in the ocean and you can’t swim and there is nothing to float on. You need someone to save you. The question is who, who can save us? Can Allah save us? Can Brahman save us? Can Buddha save us? Can we save ourselves? Look at Acts 4:12 again.
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”
It is through the name of Jesus we are saved. God established the way of salvation and he decreed to save us through the person and work of his Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation does not and cannot come from any other source. The way of salvation is exclusive. No compromise or accommodation can be made. Apart from Jesus there is no salvation. Jesus Christ is the only source and ground of salvation available for mankind.
Now, you might be thinking, “wow, that sounds pretty intolerant and narrow-minded.” You must understand, God made the way of salvation exclusive of any other way. Jesus declared that he is the way the truth and the life and no one can get to God except through him. Jesus said anyone who tries any other way to get to heaven is a thief and a robber. Jesus did not allow any other way or method of salvation because he is the exclusive way. As Christians, we also must not include false gods and false gospels if we are going to lead people to the truth that salvation is only found in Jesus.
I want us to think for a moment. It is not that Christianity is intolerant. It is simply that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. It is simply that the Bible is truth and Jesus is truth. Truth isn’t intolerant – it is simply the truth. Is it intolerant of me to say that the earth revolves around the sun and if you think differently than you are wrong? No, it is not intolerant. It is simply the truth. The problem is the world has become intolerant of truth and as keepers of the truth, we are called to unravel their lies. We are to oppose the ideas and false lines of thinking. Their ways lead to their destruction and we have the way of life. The one and only way, Jesus Christ.