I Am The Way
This week, you may have seen the results of a poll called the "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey." The Pew Research Center questioned over 35,000 Americans on whether they believe in God, how often they attend church, whether religion is very important in their lives, etc. The different news media handled the story in different ways. One focused on the huge majority who believe in God. Another pointed to the political affiliations of the people surveyed. But more than a few focused on the belief that many religions can lead to eternal life.
That really caught my interest. About 70 percent of all the people in the survey agreed with that idea. But strangely, 57 percent of those in evangelical Christian churches also said their belief system was not the exclusive route to salvation. This is a huge issue! Christians have long been accused of narrow-minded theology, but remember this: In the Garden, Jesus Himself asked if there was another way. He said, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me" (Matthew 26: 39). The fact is, there is no other way but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I have sometimes said from the pulpit that you can believe differently than me if you like -- but you'll be wrong. It's a joke, of course. But there is One that you have to agree with in order to be right. And that One is Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). That's pretty cut-and-dried. Jesus said he was "the way" to the Father. He didn't say He was one of many ways.
Now, you may say, "That's pretty narrow!" Well, yes, it is. Listen again to what Jesus said: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). When Jesus said he was "the" way, He knew He was making a narrow statement. And He meant to do just that.
Now, you can disagree with me all you like, and we can still be friends (really!). But you can't disagree with Jesus and expect to receive eternal life. You can't receive it by doing good things, or praying enough, or giving enough, or anything else. There is only one sacrifice that God accepts for our sins, and that is the one He provided -- His only Son.
Romans 6:23 calls eternal life "the gift of God." You won't find it in any other place than in Jesus Christ -- the way, the truth and the life.