Indeed, has God said . . .?
You may wonder, “As long as I trust in Jesus as my Savior, does it really matter if there are different roads that lead to God?” The fact is, if we surrender the doctrine of the exclusivity of Jesus for salvation, there are several key beliefs we have to surrender as well. Consider a long row of dominoes. Just as toppling the first domino in a line begins a chain reaction of collapsing dominoes, one event often sets in motion a chain of consequences. It’s the same with the exclusivity of Jesus for salvation. Let’s imagine the first domino is the belief that Jesus is the only way to be saved. If that first domino falls, other key beliefs are toppled as well.
If we believe there are many ways to be saved, the domino that falls behind that is the nature of truth. George Barna said that 68 percent of adult Christians and 91 percent of Christian teenagers reject the concept of absolute truth. Absolute truth says there are truths that apply to everybody regardless of their culture or the time in which they live. But most Christian teenagers and adults have instead embraced relativism. Relativism is the belief that all truth is conditioned by time and culture. That embracing of relativism explains why so many Christians today support same-sex marriage, practice adultery, and engage in unethical behavior regardless of what the Bible says. They’ve bought into this idea of relativism that you can’t say something is right for everybody all the time. All truth is relative. And it’s that embracing of relativism that also explains why so many Christians are waffling on this issue of whether there is only one way to heaven when we die. There are some truths that apply to everybody regardless of when they live, and whether they are believers. That is also true when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we surrender the exclusivity of the gospel, the nature of truth must be surrendered as well.
The second doctrine we give up is the inspiration of the Bible. Since the beginning of time Satan has tried to cause us to question whether God’s Word can truly be trusted. Remember what the serpent said to Eve? “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). Are you sure that’s what God said? Are you sure you got it right? And that same attack from Satan continues today. Can you really trust what the Word of God says? Given the abundance of evidence for evolution, has God really said that He formed man out of the dust of the earth? Or given the number of people that are attracted to same-sex partners, has God really said that marriage is to be between one man and one woman? Given the prevalence of different religions in the world, has God really said there is only one way to Him–through faith in Jesus Christ? If we waffle and waver on this issue of exclusivity, then it diminishes even further the trustworthiness of the Bible.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Sharing an Exclusive Jesus in an Inclusive World” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Barna Research, as quoted in Robert Jeffress, “Outrageous Truth” (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook, 2008), 5.
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.