The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Why are we losing the battle for the exclusivity of Jesus Christ for salvation? Christians in America have been outfought, outargued, and outmarketed on this issue.
First of all, we are being outfought on the issue of exclusivity. This issue is ground zero for the larger battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. It is the heart of everything God is trying to do and everything Satan is trying to do. The eternal issue for mankind is this: Will you accept God’s way of forgiveness through Christ, or will you try to manufacture your own way to God? Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin in the garden, the choice has been, how will you cover your sin? When Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to manufacture their own covering of fig leaves to cover their guilt. That didn’t work. God came to them; He killed an animal, took the skin of that animal, and offered it as a covering for Adam and Eve. They had a choice: they could keep their own self-manufactured covering, or they could accept God’s covering. That is what the word “atonement” means. It means “covering.” Adam and Eve accepted God’s covering for their sin. Later, they had a son named Cain. Cain tried to approach God on his own terms, and God rejected it. Every false religion is an adaption of the way of Cain, trying to approach God on your own terms. The largest issue we face in life is this: Will we follow God’s way of salvation, or will we follow our own way?
Because we were created as spiritual beings, we all have a desire to be reconciled to God, and Satan knows that. That is why Satan doesn’t hate religion; he loves religion because it appeals to our desire to be reconciled to God. Satan uses religion as a way of deceiving people away from the true way of knowing God. For example, let’s say you are lost in a mountain range. It’s nighttime and you don’t know the way to safety, but there is a single star that lights the way of escape. That’s a no-brainer if there is one light illuminating the way to safety. But suppose if instead of one light there are a thousand lights, and they all illuminate different paths, and 999 of those paths will lead you over a cliff. Suddenly it is much more confusing, isn’t it? It’s the same way with the world’s religions. Satan uses religion as a false light to lead people away from the true light, Jesus Christ, who illuminates the only safe pathway to heaven. That’s why we cannot underestimate Satan’s desire to deceive people away from Jesus Christ. In John 8:44, Jesus said Satan is a liar. In John 10:10, He said Satan “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Satan’s number one aim is to take as many people to hell as possible, and how is he doing it? By deceiving people into following other religions that turn people away from faith in Jesus Christ alone. Most people don’t understand that we are in a spiritual battle. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” Paul said, “but . . . against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). We are being outfought on the issue of the exclusivity of Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christianity’s Most Offensive Belief” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
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.