When engaged in some sort of project requiring a plan B, our dad used to say, “Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat!” As revolting as is the thought of skinning a cat, we knew early on that it was just an expression. We had never seen any cat-hating evidence. We had even hosted, for a time, a couple of cute little kittens as house guests. Still the expression was heard often enough to have lodged firmly in our memories. Some of us don’t think far enough ahead to have a plan B. We wait until plan A falls apart before scratching our heads to come up with a plan B. But, so far as this life is concerned, there is more than one way to get the job done—more than one way to skin the cat.
But, so far as spiritual things are concerned, we have often emphasized the fact that there is only one way to get to the Father and that is through Jesus our Lord (Jn. 14:6). In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Enter through the narrow gate; 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” (Matthew 7:13–14). Majority opinion is an unsafe guide to follow if we hope to enjoy life eternal.
When it comes to our eternal destiny, many reason that there are many ways to heaven. But, as we have just shown, such is not the case. If there is an alternative plan B that will get us to heaven, then the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was unnecessary and the Father was an accomplice to the murder of His own Son!
But, the matter needs to be taken a step further. Even among those who express belief in the Lord Jesus, there is but one way to heaven. In the same chapter we referred to a moment ago, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, ESV). Obedience is that essential characteristic of biblical faith that brings it to life (Jas. 2:26). Biblical faith and obedience are inseparably connected to one another (Hb. 3:18-19; Jn. 3:36). One cannot be effective without the other. We are not talking about works of merit; but works of faith. In this respect, there is only plan A—following Jesus as Lord and trusting in Him to lead us to our heavenly home.