Only one Way, Only one God
Sunday as we continued our series on some of the seemingly harsh words of Jesus we find in the New Testament, Pastor Cody Tupps shared a passage that has brought a lot of criticism on the church. This passage has led to people calling Christians judgmental, legalistic, self-righteous, and narrow minded. And the irony of all of the name calling is that this verse is basically making the same claim all religions make. Let's take a look:
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT)
The church has received a lot of criticism over the years for what has been deemed our "message of exclusivity." But I want to look at a couple of things here quickly:
First, Christianity is incredibly inclusive. There are no steps to take, no boxes to jump through. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world, He sent His son Jesus to die, that whoever would believe would be saved. Literally the only prerequisite to joining the kingdom is faith in the saving death of Jesus Christ. The gospel is inclusive, in that it is truly available to everyone.
However, the gospel is exclusive, not in who can come, but in how you can come. That is where John 14:6 comes in. Jesus is the only way to God- period. But before you criticize us and call us narrow minded, this actually leads to the second thing I want to point out:
All true faith systems are exclusive. Even those that claim not to be exclusive, are exclusive, based on their belief in a god of some sort. By definition, the idea of multiple gods (which many faith systems adhere to) is ludicrous. A God is by definition a divine being, above all others. By that definition, there can only be one God. There can't be multiple "highest beings." There can only be one. Even polytheistic religions (those who believe in more than one god) tend to raise up one god as more powerful than the others. But truly, this eliminates a whole host of faith systems who adhere to the idea of multiple gods or that you are your own god- because there can't be more than one supreme being. And if you believe in a god, a single supreme being, then you automatically believe that god is the one and only god, which means you automatically believe in an exclusive gospel. So this isn't limited to Christianity by any means.
So when Jesus says "I am the way, the truth and the life," we can't be angry that He is claiming exclusivity, because He is claiming to be God and there can only be one God. And that only leaves us with one question- do I believe Jesus is God? And the real question is, do I believe in a gospel that is salvation by works or salvation by faith? Do I believe I have to be good enough? Or do I believe that I'm not good enough, and I need a Savior?
If you have come to the conclusion that there must be a God, that you are not good enough on your own to deserve forgiveness from that God and that you are in need of a Savior, let me introduce you to Jesus Christ. He is the Way to God. He is the truth that you need to put your faith in. He is the only way to life. No one gets to God except through Jesus. But everyone has the opportunity. What are you doing with yours?
If you're interested in learning more about Jesus or want to put your faith in him, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk to you about Jesus, the only way to heaven.