This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, ‘These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation. (Acts 16:17—NKJV)

Americans love to travel. Expressions like “go west, young man,” “hit the road,” “make my own way,” and “carving out a life for myself” attest the wanderlust of our culture. We look at the freedom to travel as a ticket to adventure.

When you plan a journey to get to a place where you have never been, you have to get the directions. It makes perfect sense that when heaven is considered as your ultimate destination, you need to search out the directions which God gives. None of us living has ever been there before.

To find out how to get there you first must know where you are. When you look to the “roadmap” of the Scriptures and discover where you presently are, another expression comes to mind, “you can’t get there from here.” Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The particular term Paul uses for sin means to miss the mark and to fail in the doing. You are lost without intervention from God. There literally is no way for a sinner to go to heaven, for you have fallen short of His glory. Romans 6:23 says it this way, “The wages of sin is death”—eternal separation from God. It is apparently no more possible for you to get to heaven on your own than it is for an astronaut to take off in a rocket and get to heaven, let alone find it.

Interestingly, the early New Testament church fell into the habit of calling themselves “people of the way.” This is not surprising when the church was focused on its Founder, the Lord Jesus Christ. He stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” It is this “straight gate” and “narrow way” which is the only way for any man to reach the destination of heaven. Though you may have heard from well-meaning people that there are “many ways,” our Lord’s words are very exclusive, very specific, and without exception. He is the only way, without whom there is no going; the only truth, without whom there is no knowing; and the only life, without whom there is no living.

If you wish to arrive in heaven then you must follow the road as outlined by the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. “Way” is expressive of both the road and the method to take in order to arrive at the destination of heaven. Hebrews 10:19–20 reads, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.” The author of Hebrews is plainly teaching that Jesus fulfills all the Old Testament types illustrated in the sacrifices for sin. He is the truth behind the symbol. The “fresh” (new) sacrifice of Christ is the entryway into the presence of the Father just as the fresh sacrifice of the lamb paved the way for the priest to enter into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. Jesus is also the living way, for He not only died upon the cross at Calvary while bearing our sins, but He also rose on the Sunday following and forever lives as our living Savior. This is the Gospel: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Him.

Those disciples who knew Jesus on earth, witnessing His crucifixion and resurrection, and those early church saints, who followed along behind them, were not ashamed to be known as the people of “the way.” The same name was freely given to them by those who observed their manner and message because the exclusionary nature of the name fit their life message (Acts 9:2; 18:27; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).

Are you on your way (or better yet—The Way) to heaven through faith in Christ’s shed blood for you? If so, is your testimony such that you leave no one confused by any word or act that there is only one way to the Father? Are you eagerly pursuing the way and finding that life with God is the trip of a lifetime? Trust and obey.