If we are driving to a location we have never to been before, we often use a road map to find the way. After opening the map (either paper or digital), we pick the route that best suits the purpose for our trip.
In religion, it seems many people have the same thought process when it comes to choosing a church. We hear them say, “After all, we’re all going to the same place, we’re just taking different roads to get there.” The question that must be answered is, “Does every road really lead to the same place?”
When we look at a road map, if we are honest, we must answer that question with a “No.” Oh, we can adjust our route and eventually arrive at the desired destination. But that means taking a different road from the one we started out on. In other words, “all roads do not lead to the same place.”
Jesus indicated there were only two roads. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “…for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Yes, there are different roads, but according to Jesus only one goes to Heaven, and it is narrow.
The Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well, immediately pointed out that her people worshipped differently from His (John 4:19-20). But notice, Jesus did not reply that both roads led to the same place — He said that one road was right, and the other was wrong (John 4:22), and that if she wished to please God, her worship must be “in truth” (John 4:24).
In Acts 15:1-31, the apostles disputed with some who believed in Jesus but taught error about what was necessary to be saved. Instead of concluding that there were different roads, they gave notice to the churches that one road was right and the other was wrong.
The idea of “different roads” is a “Red Herring” used by many to avoid a discussion about different religious teachings and practices. After all, many say, does it really matter if you are sincere? Indeed, it does. The Bible says that there are doctrines that God hates (Revelation 2:15), and that some doctrines are of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). Taking heed to doctrine is necessary for salvation (1 Timothy 4:16, 2 John 9), because obedience to God’s “form of doctrine” is what makes one free from sin (Romans 6:17-18). Even many who believe in Jesus are on the wrong road because they do not obey (Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:21-23).
Men may choose their own way, but that doesn’t make it right. Only God’s way is right. The “different roads” philosophy has led churches to abandon the question of what is right, and instead accept a wide diversity of belief. But we should not be ashamed to say that some beliefs are right, and others are wrong, because that is what God says (Proverbs 14:12). If people are on different roads, we must conclude they are not all headed for Heaven.