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Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved?
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Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved?

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  427 ratings  ·  51 reviews
If the evangelical church at large was ever too confrontational in its evangelism, those days are gone. In our shrinking, pluralistic world, the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation is increasingly called arrogant and even hateful. In the face of this criticism, many shrink back from affirming the global necessity of knowing and believing in Jesus. In Jesus, the ...more
Paperback, 123 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Baker Books
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Greg Wilson
Jul 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Must you hear the gospel to be saved? Piper answers a resounding yes. He actually breaks it down into three questions that he answers yes to. Is there an eternal hell of conscious torment to be rescued from? Is the death and resurrection of Christ essential for that rescue? Do people need to hear this good new and believe it in order to be rescued? Since the Bible answer to all these questions is yes, then the truly loving thing to do is to tell people the truth. You may be labeled arrogant, nar ...more
I think this book was just alright, but maybe better than I expected in some ways. This is my first book to read by Piper, though I've obviously heard a lot about him and have read excerpts of things he's written before. I really like the topic of the book, and I think it's intriguing and an important question that most Christians will/should consider at some point in their Christianity. Actually, the interesting thing is that even while I was reading it, a brand-new believer asked me the same q ...more
Jeremiah Whiteman
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Piper did a great job of staying on topic and confronting not just the ideology of the people, but the theological error that is the foundation of those ideologies (annihilationism, universalism, pluralism, inclusivity).

The book is a good primer, in my opinion, to aid in supplementing the heart of the reader to share the gospel with all since it is only thorough Christ and in Christ that we are saved. Thus, Piper quickly defines (broadly since it is a small book) what he believes (and I agree w
John Brackbill
This is a short helpful read. The kind of book that I will have handy to give to a Christian who is struggling with the implications of the necessity for all people to have conscious faith in Christ for salvation.

While dealing with this issue he raises the issue of annihilationism (I was pleasantly surprised that he took on John Stott explicitly regarding this)and universalism.

It is written in a very accessible way though like the other Piper books I have read he does not just give the answers
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not going to lie, this was a challenging book, as are most of Piper's books. It is just so dense in logic and scripture that getting more than 10 pages down in one sitting requires serious focus. That said, this book is excellent and worth the read if you, like me, believed that the Bible (particularly verses in Romans) suggests that people that don't hear about Jesus can come to salvation. That simply doesn't line up with what the Bible teaches unless you take verses in isolation or out of cont ...more
Brian Eshleman
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I probably went through this book too quickly to get its full benefit. Even the level at which I read it showed Piper's reasoning to be sound and biblically based. Everyone needs to hear and be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. Anything else cannot be defended but by speculation, and such speculation leads to diminished motivation to lead our lives for Christ.
J.R. Coltaine
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
I bought and read this book as part of a larger study on inclusivism and exclusivism (particularism), and my thoughts about it cannot help but be informed by comparing it to other works (many of which Piper cites).

This book is short, clear, and easy to read. The title makes it seem that the subject of the book is the inclusivism/exclusivism debate, but Piper begins by tackling pluralism, universalism, and annihilationism (conditional mortality). The sections on these topics are very short and fa
Nathan DiBagno
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I first looked at the title of this book, I incorrectly assumed that many or most Americans believe that Jesus is the only way to God.

Salvation through Christ doesn’t sound too controversial for people in America, especially in the South. But if you actually delve into what it means, you’ll probably find that there are many who don’t truly believe it.

John Piper spells out in this book the following facts:

-Universalism -- the view that all will eventually be saved from sin and damnation in
Carol Arnold
Excellent book explaining biblically why you MUST hear the gospel to be eternally saved. The only problem that I had with the book was the format. I am not so much an audio learner and usually reserve audio books for my fiction/pleasure reading. Theological audiobooks always leave me wanting to purchase a hard copy! One that I can read, reread and mark up. I did listen to this book two times but would still like a hard copy. That said, the content was excellent!
Theunis Snyman
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Piper shows convincingly that, according to the Bible, faith in Jesus is the only way to salvation. There are not many ways, but only one way. He rejects current views, very common in our pluralistic society, that the all religions, in their own way, can bring about salvation. This is a wake-up call to many Evangelistic churches who departed from the Biblical view that makes missionary work so necessary. He stresses the urgency of missions in a world that don’t see the need for it any more.
Jerry Owens
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Piper makes good Biblical arguments for eternal punishment in hell, Christ is the only means of salvation and of the necessity to have a faith in Christ for salvation. These being the case he shows that we must proclaim the gospel because it is necessary for people to hear before they can believe.

I rated it a 3 because it did not keep my attention. The writing did not seem to flow.
Mathew Nix
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is very helpful for debunking any misconceptions about the way of salvation. It is well written and concise, so a quick read that is worth it for anyone needing to clarify their doctrine on salvation.
Alexis Neal
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, religion
Baptist preacher and self-proclaimed Christian hedonist John Piper addresses the question of whether it is possible to be saved apart from Jesus. (Hint: His answer is No. Which, in an increasingly pluralistic society, is a deeply unpopular answer.)

In explaining his conclusion, Piper breaks the issue down into three separate-but-related questions:
1. Will anyone experience eternal, conscious torment under God's wrath?
2. Is the work of Jesus necessary for salvation?
3. Is conscious faith in Jesus
Kevin Bensema
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
John Piper presents an argument that all people need to hear the Gospel to be saved. It follows from these propositions:
1) The entire human race has sinned and offended God.
2) The punishment for such sin is eternal.
3) Man cannot atone for this sin by his own means.
4) By grace through faith in Christ, man can be saved from eternal punishment.
5) Apart from the grace of Christ, there is no satisfaction for man's sin.
6) Man can come to the grace of Christ by hearing the Gospel.
7) Without being preac
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Through the years there have been those who have decided that perhaps people can come to God without Jesus. Some have declared that those who reject Jesus are annihilated. Others claim that the condemned eventually are brought to repentance after a period of punishment. Then others tell us that those who have never heard of Jesus can actually come to God by following the knowledge that they have from nature. A Hindu who is a good Hindu can come to God without consciously believing Jesus.
The ques
Ben Zajdel
For starters, this is a good book. Piper does a great job of stating his case, which is three fold: 1. Hell is a place of eternal, concious torment. 2. Humanity is saved by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and through his resurrection. 3. A person must hear the gospel in order to be saved.

Piper presents his views clearly and succintly, and even includes some correspondence with John Stott, with whom he disagrees about issue number one.

I do, however, disagree with some of his conclusions, in
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Is it necessary for a person to have actual, conscious faith in Jesus Christ in order for them to be reconciled to God? Do those who either refuse Jesus or who simply never hear of Jesus spend an actual eternity in hell under the wrath of Almighty God? In Jesus, the Only Way to God, John Piper addresses these questions in his inspiring, helpful, and typically thorough style.


Simply put, Piper nails this issue with the word of God. He is not arrogant, belittling of others, or sensational
Frank Peters
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
John Piper is an outstanding man of God who says he is on a mission to correctly represent God’s word. Throughout this short book, he systematically examines all of the relevant biblical passages while discussing the in what sense the bible teaches that Jesus is the only way to heaven. His purpose was not only to eliminate any biblical base for a belief in universalism, but to extend his views in an attempt to dismantle a biblical case for any form of inclusivism. While attempting to do this, I ...more
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Piper wrote this book to demonstrate to the reader the necessity of missions to yet-unreached lands. If people believe that the “innocent” natives who have never heard the Gospel will not be condemned, they will not have a compelling motive for evangelizing them. Piper writes to convince us that conscious faith in the name of Jesus is required for salvation.

Overall this was a good book. Piper makes a convincing case that unreached people are condemned and without excuse. They need to hear about
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Modern society holds tolerance as one of the most central of all virtues. Because of this, many in American churches have softpedaled Christianity’s central message of Christ as the only means of salvation in order to tolerate and respect other faiths. In this book, John Piper examines the related questions: Does hell exist, and if so, what is it? Is Christ the only means of escaping hell? Is conscious faith in Christ the only way to salvation? Piper takes on universalism, inclusivism, and plura ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good book.

Piper does a thorough job of arguing from scripture that a conscious faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation. He does this by demonstrating that there is real eternal conscious torment for unbelievers, that the work of Jesus is the only basis to be saved from that torment, and how natural revelation is insufficient to save those who have never heard of Jesus.

This book is for Christians who struggle with questions regarding the existence of hell, the exclusivity of Jesus' claim as t
Piper argues that the Bible says that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the only name by which we are saved. Piper explains that universalism (all roads lead to God) and annihilationism (unbelievers are simply destroyed and do not suffer eternal punishment in hell) are not Biblical. As much as we would like to believe that someone who hasn't heard of Jesus will be saved that belief is contrary to Scripture, which should create a sense of urgency for missions and for each of us ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not enjoy this book at all.

Did not find any of his arguments compelling or conclusive. However, two biggest issues revolve around everlasting punishment of the wicked and God winking.

Regarding everlasting punishment,

A. First, I really have no idea how this is germane to the issue at hand.
B. Second, this definitely should not be the initial reason one proposes as why you need the Gospel to be saved.
C. His arguments against the annihilist viewpoint is at best weak. Multiple of the points he
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
As with most of Piper's books, this little work was theologically solid, expositionally clear, and a bit underwhelming in terms of its style (I maintain that Piper is the greatest living preacher, but that doesn't always transfer over into being a phenomenal writer).
This book is an excellent introduction to the question of whether pagans and other non-believers who seem to be sincerely seeking some sort of religious experience can be considered "believers." Piper gives the traditional and ortho
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: apologetics
This is an excellent book about the necessity of sharing the Gospel. Piper uses a substantial amount of Scripture quotations and Scripture references, and more importantly, he is very faithful to use the Scripture references in their context (as opposed to just taking random verses out of context in an attempt to bolster his opinion) as he lays out what the Bible says about Jesus being the only way to get to God and have eternal life. He deals with some seriously tough topics (such as hell) very ...more
Jeff Short
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: missions, evangelism
Excellent and timely book. Piper deals with the reality of Hell and the necessity of hearing and believing the Gospel in order to be saved. In our fuzzy, increasingly pluralistic society, few have the courage to unequivocally and publicly state that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Ours is an age of gate-wideners and way-broadeners who want to reduce salvation to moralism and sincerity. If they are successful, then all roads lead to God. Not so according to God's Word. Jesus Christ is the (o ...more
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was intensely helpful for getting a full side of the debate between universalism, inclusivism and exclusivism. (Incidentally I needed the book only just after it had been published.)

Piper basically deals with three questions: Is hell real? Is Jesus the only way of salvation? (and) Can people be ignorant of their own salvation?

I naturally agree solidly with Piper on the first and lean on the third, but unfortunately, the book's rhetoric is lacking. Piper goes through the tried and true
Don Bryant
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Piper's quick answer is "Yes." So is mine. People are lost without hearing the message of Jesus. The New Testament world is one where explicit faith in Jesus is the way of salvation.

There are caveats, for sure. They need to be made. But what is amazing is the emerging of a whole industry of salvation based on the supposed well-intentioned pagan of Romans 1 who lives up to the light that is within him. My impression in the reading of the Bible that this cannot be a certain path of salvation. In f
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I finished this one in a couple of days. It was either really good, or just realy applicable to my circumstances at the time (or both). I often hear these types of questions being asked (ex. what about the people that live in the jungle who have never heard...will they be saved? What about my grandmother who is Jewish? ) I, of course, never have the right answers, but this book gave me some guidance on my role to those who've never heard.
Mark A Powell
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Is Jesus necessary for salvation, or can people attain heaven through other religions or even merely by God’s general revelation through creation? These are the questions Piper carefully addresses in this short book which, though brief, is powerful in its treatment of these issues—critical points of contention in this postmodern, pluralistic age. Piper is unflinching in his affirmation of the Biblical truth of Jesus—there is no other name by which we may be saved.
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John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel Co

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