Christian Urban Legend # 3

jesus1While attending Bible college, one of the requirements of the Pastoral Ministries class was to go door-to-door and take a community survey concerning people’s religious beliefs. One of the survey questions was “Is there more than one way to God?” The vast majority said with strong conviction that there are a multitude of ways to God.

If you were to say that Jesus Christ was the only way to God, people would classify you as racist, narrow-minded or self righteous. Several years ago, Oprah Winfrey said, “One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to believe that there is only one way to God, There are many different paths leading to God.” In our very politically correct world that we now live in this legend is very acceptable. People will say, “When you boil all the religions down they are all saying basically the same thing.” “All religions teach the same thing, treat your brother with respect,”

But what does the Bible have to say about this urban legend? What did Jesus say about Himself? People don’t debate that He ever existed. People don’t debate His great teachings, but what people reject is Jesus exclusive claim to be the only way to God.  Jesus said, “I am way, truth, life. No one comes to God BUT BY ME.” This is pretty clear. He is saying there is only ONE way to God and that is through HIM. John 14:6

This is not the only time Jesus said this. He said this often and this is what eventually caused Him to be put to death.  Deciding on the answer to this urban legend or issue is one of the most important things a person will ever do in their entire life. This is very, very important and needs to be resolved by each person individually at some point in their lives. Our eternal destination hinges on how we answer this.

Who Cares?

Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. [Psalm 142:4]

Personally, I think this maybe one of saddest verses in Scripture. I guess to some degree we have all felt like that at some point in our lives. But let’s look at this verse from a different perspective. How much do WE care about others? If you are a Christ-follower, you know of someone that does not possess a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This means that they have not experienced eternal life. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life. 1 John 5:12

The church in America has lost its passion for the “lost.” I am not trying to put you on a guilt trip but rather to help us regain a compassion for people without Christ. Throughout the Gospels, we read the Jesus had compassion for people and we are to have the same attitude as Christ. “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” 2 Phil.2:4-5

The Apostle Paul had this kind of burden for the nation of Israel. “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race.” [Romans 9:2-3] 

My prayer for the church is that God would rekindle our love and compassion for the lost.

Finishing Well

“…Run in such a way as to get the prize…”  1 Corinthians 9:24  “…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us”. Hebrews 12:1 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,…” 2 Timothy 4:7

051913_DenverMarathon_19-LThe story is told of a young man who had the same testimony every Wednesday night. Everyone knew exactly what he would say before he shared his testimony.  He would always say, ” O Lord, please fill Me!” An elderly lady, who had grown weary of the same testimony, said, “Don’t do it Lord,  he leaks.”

My concern is that Christ-followers  come to their golden years and find out that much of their original experience has leaked out.  They are not back-slidden in life but rather back-slidden in their heart. No one can tell by their outward conduct that they have grown cold in their heart. But they still testify to a relationship that has lost its joy and meaning.

The new birth an amazing thing and is the beginning of our life journey but finishing well is crucial. It will not matter that you begin the race if you do not finish. In the race of life, you win by finishing your course, not who comes in first. The race is not a sprint but a marathon. ” “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Mt. 24:13