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.
This week we are examining four objections to the claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved. Not only is that idea intolerant, people say, but it also leads to hatred. A third popular objection is this: How could billions of people be wrong? Charles Templeton, a former preaching colleague of Billy Graham who later became an agnostic, summarized the argument this way: “Christians are a small minority in the world. Approximately four of every five people on the face of the earth believe in gods other than the Christian God. . . . Are we to believe that only Christians are right?”
Let’s see how Jesus weighed in on this question. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus predicted that the majority of people are going to be wrong, not right, about the way of salvation. 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.” The highway that leads to hell is a wide road and most people in the world are on that road. On the other hand, the road that leads to heaven is a very narrow road, and few people are on it. Jesus predicted that the majority of people will spend eternity in hell, not in heaven.
But as jarring as such a thought is, even more jolting is the idea that many of those in hell will be religious people. Look what Jesus said in verses 21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Many people who will be consigned to an eternity in hell will be religious people who miss the way of salvation.
So when people say, “But surely billions of people cannot be wrong about which religion is the right one,” that objection does not negate the idea that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved–it proves it. Jesus Himself predicted it. If Jesus Christ was right in His prediction of the number of people who will be in hell, isn’t it logical that He was also right in His prescription of how to escape hell? The fact that the majority of people will miss heaven undergirds, rather than negates, the truth of the exclusivity of Christ for salvation.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Why Every Other Religion Is Wrong” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Charles Templeton, “Farewell To God” (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1996), 27.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.