These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
–1 John 5:13
What about those who have never heard about Jesus? The first biblical truth is that everyone is guilty before God. The second truth is this: no one is saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
A few years ago, I was on a program with a Muslim who had converted to Christianity, and he was going back to share the gospel with other Muslims. He said, “One of the greatest hindrances in speaking to followers of Islam about Jesus Christ is Christians’ unwillingness to use the name ‘Allah’ instead of ‘God.’ After all, both names refer to the same God.” He is absolutely wrong about that. Allah of the Quran is not God of the Bible. They are two completely different beings. I’m surprised at how many Christians believe that everybody worships the same God; they just call Him by a different name. On what basis do people say that? It’s because they don’t understand the significance of a person’s name.
Let me illustrate that. Suppose my church advertised that Sunday’s message would be delivered by David Jeremiah. But on Sunday, I stood up and preached. After the service, you approach me and say, “Pastor, I thought Dr. Jeremiah was preaching today. Is he ill?” I reply, “Not at all. David Jeremiah is just another name I use to refer to myself. Other times I go by Chuck Swindoll, Joel Osteen, or Jesse Jackson. But we are all the same person!” Names represent the essence of a person’s being. And the same is true with Jesus. Yes, there are similarities between Jesus and human prophets or pagan deities, but the differences far outweigh the similarities.
When we talk about Jesus Christ, we’re talking about a particular person who lived at a specific time, who was born of a virgin, who lived a perfect life, who died on the cross for our sins, and who was raised again on the third day. That’s why Peter said in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” No one is saved apart from Jesus Christ. That’s why we ought to be sharing that message. We share the gospel because we love people. We don’t want them to miss heaven.
In 1 John 5:13, the apostle wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Do you know? If you wait until you die to discover whether you are saved, you’ve waited too long. Your eternal destiny is too important to be unsure about. It’s not supposed to be a mystery. God wants us to be certain that we’re going to escape the wrath of God, and the only way to escape God’s wrath is by believing in the name of Jesus Christ. Everyone is guilty before God, and no one is saved apart from Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What about Those Who Have Never Heard about Jesus?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
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.