June 23, 2008

The ABC evening news reported a survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The result of the survey is that 70 percent say that their religion/belief system is not the only way to heaven. Here is the breakdown of the percentage of people who believe there are multiple ways to heaven:

83% mainline Protestants
79% Catholics
82% Jews
56% Muslims
57% Evangelicals

These numbers are not surprising since inclusiveness is in vogue and a claim to exclusive truth is viewed as arrogant and hateful. In addition, there is the understandable desire for most everyone to be okay – that only those in the league of Hitler would be kept from eternal life.  The problem for those who claim to be followers of Jesus is that He doesn’t view it this way.  He emphatically states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me!” (John 14:6).  When Jesus is stripped of these claims, the pseudo-believer ends up with a different Jesus and a different Gospel altogether.  

Is it arrogant and hateful to teach that Jesus is the only way to eternal life?  I do not believe so.  Let’s assume for one moment that Jesus is the only way.  If that is true, and if I teach that you are okay to believe whatever you want to, would that be loving?  No, the only loving thing to do would be to teach Jesus as the only way.  As for arrogance, the belief in Jesus is anything but arrogant because the believer must admit that he NEEDS Jesus because he is not good enough on his own.

A question worth asking is, “Why is Jesus the only way?”  The answer is because He is the only one who was sinless and by death could pay for the sins of others.  Sin is our serious disease and Jesus is the solution. In love He offers eternal and abundant life to you – even now. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:17-18).

Do you believe in Jesus as He really is or are you swimming with the popular current?

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