How can a man be in the right before God?
Right now, conservative Christians are waffling and wavering on the foundational belief of Christianity–that salvation is available only to those who trust in Christ as Savior. A Pew study revealed that 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation say many religions can lead to eternal life. You say, “Most religious people in America are not necessarily Christian. Surely the statistic among evangelical Christians is different.” Not by much. The same study revealed that 57 percent of evangelical church attenders believe that many religions can lead to eternal life.
You may say: “As long as I believe in Jesus, what difference does it make if there are other ways to heaven?” The difference it makes is this: What you believe about the exclusivity of Christ for salvation determines whether you spend eternity in heaven or in hell. If you think that’s an exaggeration, consider this illustration. Suppose you want to travel to Houston from Dallas. But instead of driving south to Houston, you mistakenly go north to Oklahoma. No matter how sincere you are, if you keep traveling north, you will never get to Houston. You are going the wrong way. Apart from GPS or a map to guide you, how do you know which of the many roads and highways in Texas will lead you to your desired destination?
Jesus said if you want to go to heaven, there’s only one way to get there. In Matthew 7:13-14, He said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Jesus said the way to heaven is narrow. He also slammed the door on any possibility of another route to heaven. In John 14:6, He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Let’s say you have decided that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and you are trusting in Him, but then you find out Jesus was wrong about that. You discover that in fact there are many roads to heaven. If Jesus is wrong, then He can’t be the Son of God because God knows everything. If Jesus is not the Son of God, then when He died on the cross He died for His sins, not for our sins. If Jesus died for His sins, then you and I are still dead in our sins and Christianity is false. If Christianity is not true, that still doesn’t help you determine which road to get on to heaven, because there are thousands of religions you can choose from. Here is the kicker: most of those religions teach they are the exclusive way to heaven. So if Jesus is wrong, how do you find the right way to heaven? This issue of the exclusivity of Christ is the essence of Job 9:2. “How can a man be in the right before God?” How you answer that question affects not only your eternal destiny but the destiny of your family, your friends, and the entire world.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christianity’s Most Offensive Belief” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey,” 2008, https://www.pewforum.org/2008/06/01/u-s-religious-landscape-survey-religious-beliefs-and-practices.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.