Summary: The final message ina seires on the reliability of Christianity.
A Ready Defense
April 3, 2005
Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
Intro: Why believe in Jesus? What makes him so different from Socrates, Buddha, Mohammed, or any of the others? After all, don’t all religions lead to God? According to the teachings of Jesus – the answer is a definitive NO!
Insert: Ancient Hindu story about 6 men brought to see an elephant. The 1st man touching the elephant’s side – “it’s like a wall.” The 2nd man touching his tusk – “it’s like a spear. The 3rd man holding the trunk – it’s like a snake. The 4th man embracing the leg said – it’s like a tree. The 5th man holding the ear – it’s like a fan. The 6th man grabbing the tail – it’s like a rope. The Hindu concept is that each man is correct so long as he is touching the elephant – all religions lead to God – just pick one.
Truth: Sounds good! Certainly it’s politically correct – but it’s not accurate. Sadly, many people look at the different religions as different roads to God – but eternity isn’t determined by a popularity vote – but rather by the standard set by God.
Verse: Broad is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the road that leads to life.
Note: In an age of conflicting religious claims, no issue challenges the modern mind more than the authenticity of the founder of Christianity. For if He is who He said He was, then all other paths are dead ends – and His way is the only way. Nearly 2000 years have past since Jesus walked on the earth, and yet only a fool would turn a deaf ear and ignore His claims as God and never truly investigate their authencity.
Trans: We’re in a series entitled A Ready Defense. We’re learning how we can share w/ others the truth w/in us. Today, we’re dealing w/ how do I respond to a man who asks, “But how can you believe Jesus is the only way to God?
I A Matter of SINCERITY What about those people are sincere?
Note: It doesn’t matter how sincere you are if your wrong. Sincerity in religion has no advantage if a person is worshiping a non-existent god.
Insert: People who are members of the Flat Earth Society can believe that the earth is flat but their beliefs will never change the fact that the earth is round.
Idea: I can sincerely believe my 94 Accord is a twin turbo Porsche, but I’m not expecting to wake up to a twin turbo in my garage tomorrow AM?
A man can sincerely believe a gun isn’t loaded, it won’t change the effect of pulling the trigger if the gun is loaded.
You can paint wings on a pig, call it a bird, toss it off a cliff but it won’t fly.
Point: The issue is truth – not sincerity. Truth operates independent of feelings and desires. The thrust of the Bible is never on blind belief but rather the object of belief. The way to God isn’t a matter of sincerity but a matter of fact – only Jesus died for sin.
II A Matter of OPINION Isn’t religion just a matter of opinion?
Funny: Who is Jesus – Mexican, Black, Jewish, Italian, Californian, or Woman.
Note: If you hit the streets and ask others about life after death, you’re certain to get a plethora of answers. You’ll hear comments like – if your good!, if your baptized, if you believe in something, if you … Certainly these are popular responses – but the highway to Hell is going to be paved w/ the opinions of man?
Note: Are you willing to bet your eternal soul on the unsubstantiated opinions of others?
Insert: Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Jn 14:5-6
Reality: That’s narrow – Truth is narrow by definition.
1962 Gallop Poll 84% of Americans agreed that absolute truth exists – 26% today. Even in the church – 51% do not believe that real truth exists.
Note: Think about it – everybody can’t be right? Christianity claims there is one God who exists in three persons. Muslims and Jews disagree – they believe God is indivisibly one. Hinduism claims that everything is God – you’re god, I’m god, my dog is god. Islam claims that Jesus was not a god and that he didn’t die for the sins of humanity. Buddha was non-committal about the existence of God – pretty much an agnostic.
Point: We may all be wrong – But we all can’t be right!
Quote: There isn’t a halfway house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you’d gone to Buddha and asked, “Are you the son of Bramah?” He’d have said, “My son, you’re still in the vale of illusion.” If you’d gone to Socrates and asked, “Are you Zeus?” He’d have laughed at you. If you’d gone to Mohammed and asked, “Are you Allah?” He’d first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you’d asked Confucius, “Are you Heaven?” I think he’d have probably replied, “Remarks which aren’t in accordance w/ nature are in bad taste.” C.S. Lewis