Summary: Religious Pluralism is wrong - Jesus Christ is the only way to God!
‘No Other Way, Truth or Life—but Jesus Christ’
Preached on October 7th 2001
Text: John 14:1-6
Intro: We are living in what some have called the post-Christian era, where, for most people, Jesus Christ has become totally irrelevant. People still have their religion, but, don’t talk to them about absolutes, or doctrines, or especially the biblical doctrine of Jesus Christ… they don’t want to hear it!
In our post-modern world, Christianity has taken on a whole new meaning. The biblical doctrine of Jesus Christ has been pared down and expunged of everything that is offensive to the natural man. But the fact remains, that the Jesus of the Bible is as offensive to the religious world in our day, as He was to the religious world in His own day… when He walked on the earth.
So, post-modern Christianity has concocted ‘another Jesus; another gospel,’ one that is very different from that which the apostles preached, whose words are not only recorded in the NT Scriptures, but are etched into the hearts of all true believers.
This post-modern teaching is called—RELIGIOUS PLURALISM. Philosophically, religious pluralism is the theory that all the great world religions constitute varying conceptions of, and responses to the one ultimate, mysterious divine reality (that’s their definition).
In everyday language, religious pluralism teaches that, all religions lead to the same God. Therefore we are told that we must not only be tolerant of other religions, but we must not be critical of them. Some have even gone so far as to describe sincere Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists as “anonymous Christians.”
One Roman Catholic scholar said, - ‘Salvation is not only for Christians but for all persons of good will, because in their hearts grace works in an unseen way… God saves these “anonymous Christians” not because of their natural morality, but because he gives them the grace of Jesus Christ without them realizing it.’ – Karl Rahner
Religious pluralism falsely reasons, that since Jesus Christ is found in all the major religions (Buddhism and Islam); then all religions offer salvation. Therefore, missionaries and evangelists need to recognize that the people to whom they are bringing the gospel, already have the gospel. They just need to “enter into dialogue in order to learn how Christ can be glorified through those people’s unique religious expressions,” no matter what their religion teaches.
Some of you are probably thinking, ‘But, who in their right mind would believe all this religious bunk about ‘anonymous Christians’ and all the rest?’ – you might be surprised…
Billy Graham appearing on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power television program, June 8, 1997, said,
‘I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ whether they’re conscious of it or not-(are) members of the Body of Christ…. (God is) calling people from out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world… They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have. And I think that they are saved, and that they are going to be with us in heaven.’
Robert Schuller: What I hear you saying, that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into a human heart and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?
Graham: Yes, it is. Because I believe that I’ve met people in various parts of the world in travel situations, that they had never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard about Jesus, but they believe in their heart that there was a God, and they tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.
Schuller: This is fantastic! I’m so thrilled to hear you say that! There is a wideness in God’s mercy!
Graham: There is; there definitely is.’
Does God ever save people who have never heard about Jesus Christ? (Rom 10:13-14,17> ‘For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?… Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’
Does God ever save people who may not even know the name of Jesus? (Jn 1:12> ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who BELIEVE IN HIS NAME.’ (Is 53:11> ‘…By His KNOWLEDHE My righteous Servant shall justify man, for He shall bear their iniquities.’