The Old Way Was One Way
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
David Jeremiah tells about a woman who approached him after a service, protesting, “The God I serve would not send people to hell for eternity for not believing in Jesus.” “You’re right,” David said to the surprised woman. “He wouldn’t do that . . . because your god doesn’t exist.” Many of us are guilty of serving the god we wish existed instead of the God who actually exists. What’s the difference? The difference is eternal life or eternal death.
A. W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” To put a finer point on it, it is very important that when we contemplate God, we are not thinking about the god who resides in our imagination, but instead we are thinking about the God who actually rules over all creation. It’s important that we be worshipping the God who rules instead of the god who resides in our imagination. If the real God issues certain commands, then those commands are absolute. But if an imaginary god issues commands, those commands are optional. If the real God demands certain things from us, then we better do our best to meet His demands. If an imaginary god commands certain things from us and we don’t like them, we can just discard the god we don’t like and create another imaginary god. If the real God claims that there is only one way to worship Him, then we better find that one way to approach Him. If an imaginary god makes such a claim, then we are free to disregard what he says.
I love the story about the first grader in Sunday school who was working hard on a drawing. His teacher asked him, “What are you drawing?” The kid said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” The teacher gently explained, “Since no one has seen God, no one knows what He looks like.” The first grader confidently replied, “They will now!” While it’s true that nobody has seen God the Father, we do know what God is like. We know what He wants from us. We know about His likes and dislikes. We know about His plan and purpose for the universe. How do we know these things about God? They are all recorded in the Bible.
How do we know that the Bible can be trusted? You don’t have to commit intellectual suicide to believe the Bible is true. There is historical, literary, prophetic, and archeological evidence that points to the truthfulness of the Bible. We are assuming the fact that the Bible is the Word of God when we say there are not many ways to God; there is only one way to God. The beginning place for finding the truth of the exclusivity of the gospel is not the New Testament; it’s the Old Testament. This week, we are going to discover what the Old Testament has to say about the exclusivity of approaching God in only one way. And as we will see, the old way was truly just one way.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Old Way Was One Way” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
A. W. Tozer, “The Knowledge of the Holy” (1961; reprint, New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 1.
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.