Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Exclusive Christ

The Exclusive Christ

A survey of pastors was recently taken. The question was whether Jesus was the only way to eternal life.

Here are the results.

Do you still believe these are not the last days? The very heart of apostasy is when preachers deny the exclusivity of the Lord Jesus as it pertains to redemption. That is a monstrous betrayal and makes way for the Antichrist whose spirit now roams the earth. This discussion is not about women preachers or the mode of baptism. This rips apart the fabric of redemptive truth. It suggests that the incarnation was not absolute and not completely necessary to provide the way to eternal life. It despises the cross and minimizes the resurrection.

This kind of spiritual treason emanates from the fallen intellect of man. It indicates just how hollow most Bible colleges and seminaries are today. The entire concept of a multifaceted way to heaven begins with what is called the “unreached islander”. That is an idiom which indicates a man who has never heard the gospel and lives on some uncivilized island. The question is usually along these lines: “Can a person who has never heard the gospel but still believes in a God be saved?”

In light of the overarching theme and specific teachings of the New Testament that question is easily answered. The answer is no, he cannot be saved without Christ.

Jn.14:5-6 - 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.

Acts 4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Rom.10:13-17 - For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

These and other Scriptures openly and clearly teach us the very cornerstone of redemptive truth, and it is that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. No one reaches heaven through some nebulous genuflect to a nameless deity. Does that seem unfair to your fallen sense of justice? Well, just the contrary. We who will arrive on heaven’s shores because of Christ, that is the zenith of unfairness and injustice. We who are demonstrably guilty, and we who continued to sin even after we were washed, we get to spend eternity with the Risen Christ? That, my friends, is a monstrous injustice and absolutely unfair! Hence the word “grace”.

You see it isn’t unfair if any sinner does not inherit eternal life, it is unfair when some sinners do. But in this modern day of correctness and inclusiveness even preachers have made some convoluted way for lost sinners to be saved without Jesus. Think about that very concept. How can a sinner be saved without the blood? Without the stripes? Without the suffering? Without the resurrection? Without Jesus Himself? What kind of religion is that? That is nothing more than universalism under the guise of Christianity.

At the heart of the disagreement is whether God is God or does His plan have to meet with our approval? A broken heart before God says, “I can hardly believe God has provided a way for me!” A fallen and self righteous heart says, “I cannot believe God wouldn’t save everyone.” But the entire missionary effort is based upon the revealed truth of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. For if the unreached can be saved without Christ, then why reach them?

Men and women of God have given their very lives for the cause of Christ and in an effort to spread the gospel. We are traitors to their cause when we pompously suggest other avenues of eternal life. And to think that so many so called preachers disown His exclusivity only indicates how close His return is.

It was somewhere around 2002 or 2003. I will not reveal there names for their own safety. Here is a story of courage and gospel honor. I was there.

They were missionaries in Pakistan. They had three wonderful children. It is a very difficult mission field and filled with many dangers. One Sunday morning, as they we worshiping in church, a terrorist threw several hand grenades among the congregation. The mother was hit and was severely injured. But the ten year old little boy was in critical condition and was fighting for his life. After he was stabilized it became evident he needed more medical expertise than was available in Pakistan.

The entire family was flown to an American hospital in Germany. The mother was released in less than a week, however she would walk with an observable limp for the rest of her life. The little boy’s life hung in the balance for weeks. Many prayed, many wept. I was a Sunday School teacher in the church that had sent them out, and their extended family worshiped there as well. The sister of the husband was in my class.

After almost a year they were cleared to return home. One Sunday, at the end of the service, the entire family was given the pulpit to say a few words. As they walked up the stairs to the platform the mother struggled with a limp. The little boy showed no outward signs of his ordeal although he was still on much medication. Jeff, the husband, came to the pulpit with his family behind him. We were all in tears as we listened.

He praised the Living God and he spoke eloquently of God’s amazing grace. He recounted some of their struggles, but he went on and on about how good God had been to them and what God’s grace had meant and still means to them. After about ten or twelve minutes Jeff asked for continued prayer. But this time he did not ask for prayer for the physical condition of his family. Well, what was he going to ask us to pray for?

He asked us to pray for their family since they would soon be leaving to return to southeast Asia to pick up where they had left off. What?? His entire family had almost been killed and now they were going back to witness to the people who seemed to hate them? And Jeff’s demeanor showed no signs of being a martyr, in fact he and his wife seemed to glory in the direction God was leading. Yes, the limping wife who stood next to the son who had almost comeback from the dead. I am not a spooky Christian, but there was a glory that surrounded that family on that Sunday morning. Not many weeks later they left, just as they had said.

Now you tell me, all you compromising preachers, how do you explain your compromise to such a family? If what you believe is true than this family are fools. But in reality, the honor and gospel integrity of this family shames you and your lying theology. Go ahead and debate and discuss all your “what if’s” and all your human reasonings. But one day, in the expanse of the corridors of the place called heaven, if you are there, you will see a family such as this be given the honor of placing great rewards and crowns before Him who you so glibly dissected.

And if you are indeed there in heaven, look around. There will be no one there who came any other way then through faith in the Lord Jesus. Amen.

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