Jesus, The Only Way. 03/30/2014 (Evening thought)

John 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This passage of scripture contains one of the most sacred truths to be found in the Bible, for it tells us with absolute certainty that there is only one way that persons can be saved eternally, and be reconciled to God. Given in response to the inquiry of Thomas, it addresses the question of whether there are "other ways" for a person to be saved. This question must of necessity be addressed head-on, for there have arisen many other ways and means by which it is purported that man can inherit eternal life.

There are many different religions and denominations and creeds, most of which offer to their adherents immortality, if certain conditions are met. And there have been many efforts made recently, to harmonize the various belief systems, giving to everyone an equal seat at the table of reconciliation, on the grounds of political correctness. Now while it is true that the God of heaven desires that all men should be saved, the way in which our salvation is accomplished occurs only through Jesus Christ.

There are many people belonging to different religions, who are law-abiding citizens of the countries in which they dwell, and many of them do very good deeds, and make very good contributions to modern society, and pay their bills on time. While all of these things are good and should be encouraged, yet in and of themselves they do not qualify an individual as being a candidate for heaven. The Bible teaches us that good works, in and of themselves, do not merit us the favor of God, and this truth applies across the board to all religions and belief systems, including Christianity.  While it is good to profess to be a Christian, that profession does not necessarily guaranty a person an entrance into God's kingdom.

In order for us to qualify as potential candidates for heaven, Christ must be permitted to take up permanent residence in our hearts, and this includes much more than merely accepting Him as Savior. It also includes accepting Him as Lord of our lives, meaning that we give Him total freedom to do whatsoever is necessary to save us from sin, and also to begin and complete the process of writing His law in our minds. This is what Christ was addressing when speaking to the rich, young ruler as to what is necessary in order that one may obtain eternal life. This young ruler represents the many other ways and means that have been invented by man to achieve the desired goal of immortality.

The rich, young ruler was an honorable member of the community in which he lived and he was, what many today would refer to as a "good" role model. Like millions of respectable people from different religions, he had a stellar reputation in his neighborhood, but he had not surrendered to Christ when given the opportunity to do so, and consequently, he left the presence of Jesus, destitute of the only means available for obtaining eternal life.

It is very likely that after leaving the presence of Christ, that he did some charitable work in his neighborhood. Maybe he started a foundation that would help the less fortunate obtain an education, or maybe he became an animal rights activist, or maybe he became an ardent environmentalist, seeking to prevent global warming and oilslicks on the sea of Galilee, et cetera. We do not know, however one thing is certain. When he rejected Christ's offer of salvation, he turned his back on the only way that anyone can be saved, and therefore all of his good deeds and stellar reputation will amount to nothing in the final analysis. This is what Christ has plainly stated in His word, and we all should take heed, as it is written for the instruction of all generations. Let's read:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In our day there are numerous charities and foundations that make very good contributions to the betterment of society. There are many animal rights activists who rescue deserted or malnourished puppies and kittens. And then there are many from Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, who have done a whole lot of tangible good their entire lives. While these acts are to be commended, God is reminding us that Jesus is still the only way. God does not condemn anyone for their efforts at doing good, as a matter of fact He actually encourages it, as is evidenced by the following passage of scripture. Let's read:

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

But what God is saying to us is that there is a specific way that has been provided, so that all persons desiring to obtain eternal life, may do so by going through the door that has been opened through Jesus Christ. Let's read:

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The same truth is reiterated again by the apostle by stating that eternal life, as it pertains to us, is to be found only in Jesus Christ and no other. Neither Buddha, or Hanuman, or Mohammed, or Ganesha, or any of the other many gods that abound, have eternal life. Immortality for the human family can only be found in Jesus, and there is absolutely no exception or negotiation to that truth. This is what the Bible teaches, and this is what has been proven by Christ's death and resurrection. Let's read:

1st John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We hope and trust that every person, from every country, from every religion, denomination and creed would come to a saving knowledge of Christ, who is the only way for the human family to obtain immortal life. We therefore end with a passage of scripture, encouraging everyone to do just that. Let's read:

1st Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

May this scripture be fulfilled in our lives both now and forever. "Good night" and God bless!