Summary: Fifth in the series aimed at answering objections. This one discusses exclusivity, and that people feel sincerity is the main issue.
Answering Our Culture
#5 – “Jesus is Not the Only Path to God.”
(Sincerity is All That Matters)
August 25, 2002
NOTE: SOME OF THE MATERIAL FOR THIS MESSAGE WAS FOUND IN PAUL COPAN’S BOOK "TRUE FOR YOU, BUT NOT FOR ME." (1998; BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS)
One only has to look around our country and in the media to see that it’s not very popular to be a Bible-believing Christian nowadays.
There are a few reasons for this:
First, it’s not politically correct to put more value on your religious beliefs than on others and to claim that yours is true and others false.
Second, there are people of faith that have committed crimes against those who trusted them.
Then we have the obnoxious Christians who only know how to yell and be rude to people they disagree with, because they think they louder they yell, the more truth they communicate.
And lastly we have the hypocrites, who claim to love God, yet treat people who are made in the image of God as though they did not matter.
No, it’s not really popular to be a Christian right now. So why be one? Why be part of a religious system that invites ridicule and scorn from a pluralistic society?
The reason is because the Bible is true, and Jesus is the Savior of the world, and without Jesus there is no hope for heaven. And no amount of political and social correctness can change that.
And even with the presence of people like those I just described, there are many more who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to live for Him, benefiting the kingdom of God and the society in which they live.
But most of the world today would not consider themselves to be Bible-believing Christians, either because they do not know the name of Jesus, or believe He is not the Son of God who came to save the world.
We are told that Jesus is not the only way to God as we Christians would claim.
Today I want to address that topic, and my earnest prayer is that I will communicate to you in a way that will not just challenge your thinking on this vitally important subject, but also gently encourage you to consider what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of the world.
I. The Debate
A. The Bible claims that Jesus is the only path to God.
There are those who would say that Jesus would never make a claim to be the only way to God, because He was more loving than that.
The man who taught the Golden Rule was incredibly tolerant, and would never force Himself on people that way.
And in a sense, they’re right. Jesus doesn’t force Himself on anybody. He laid out the truth, and waits for you to act on it.
Let me read just three passages from the Bible.
Acts 4:12 – (Peter and John getting told to knock off this teaching about Jesus, and they’re like, “Dude! We have to tell people about Jesus,” because:
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him."
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
You see, Jesus did make the claim that He and only He was the way to God.
And we Christians stake our eternal destiny on it.
You know what I find interesting? People are all the time quoting Jesus when they mistakenly say that Jesus told us to not judge, or when quoting the Golden Rule, but they choose to ignore other sayings of Christ, like when He says that unless you are born again you cannot enter heaven.
You cannot have one and not the other. You need to have both. And by the way, some Christians can learn that, too, when dealing with people who disagree, or when talking about the love of God and being mean and spiteful in their actions.
B. Pluralism denies that any religion can
make such a claim to exclusive truth.
The pluralist says that no truth is any more valid than another, and that all religions are of equal value, or at least contain elements of truth that are equally as valid as another.
Pluralists feel that claiming that Jesus is the only path to God is arrogant and imperialistic, and leads to religious intolerance and ultimately to hatred toward other religions and viewpoints.