Though seeing, I was blind. Though hearing, I was deaf. Though feeling, I was numb.
The truth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the living Word made flesh, the savior of mankind, is heard by many all of the time. This gospel of abundant eternal life is spoken by millions and heard by billions. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Have you ever considered the implications of Jesus Christ for yourself? I’ll never forget the time when it finally struck me as a freshman in college. All of those sermons, all of those prayers, all of those lifted hands and raised voices were not in vain. And they were not in vain because Jesus Christ actually did the things they said he did and actually was the one he said he was.
What a revelation that is, when you accept God by accepting the greatest gift of all, His only son.
What has God given us?
The greatest example of love. Death on a cross was supremely unfair for a sinless and good man. Yet Jesus endured this agony and shame. Who did he do it for? When you get to that place where you see that he did it for you, you are looking into the face of God. Jesus himself told his beloved disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
But this isn’t the whole picture. Jesus did this, not for good people who made some mistakes, or just for his friends, but for each of us who has turned to his or her own way. He did this for his enemies. You were his enemy. The Bible says, “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son” (Romans 5:10 emphasis my own).
If you don’t feel that you need God, you will not find Him. That is why Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”(Mark 10:25). And that is also why Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). If you read through the gospels you will see the types of people that Jesus connected with. The downcast, the sick, the needy, the hungry, the humble. The satisfied have no need. But the needy will certainly be satisfied.
Over the past few weeks, I have been commenting on Brian McLaren’s book, A New Kind of Christianity. In it he claims that Jesus is not the only path to God, and to claim as such is religious arrogance. This is a fatal flaw. And for a Christian to claim that Jesus Christ is anything short of the only hope for all humanity is not loving. It appears humble and loving to not claim such an exclusive truth in the presence of those who do not believe it, but this is not the reality.
When you accept Jesus Christ, you quickly recognize that your life has changed. You view yourself and those around you differently. You start to recognize the sin that has been keeping you a slave and stunting your ability to love. Over time, you learn to trust God with more of your life because you realize that the parts that you’ve already given to Him have been redeemed and enable you to live better and love more freely.
Now if someone were to come up to you and ask, “Do you believe that the only way to heaven is by believing in Jesus?” What would you really be saying if you said, “I don’t know” or “It’s not my place to say.” ?
To walk with Christ, to allow him into your heart and self, is really the process of coming to life. A true Christian recognizes that the Kingdom of Heaven is being made manifest through him or her and only through Jesus. Because it is the process of lifting Christ higher than yourself (an act of love) that in turn lifts you higher. The truth of your own salvation is evident now in this life.
To accept Jesus, is to accept your identity in him. You are no longer separated from him. Jesus said, “Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21)
To deny that Jesus is the only path to life is to deny what Jesus said, deny what Jesus accomplished, and most definitely to deny the truth of the life you have once you’ve accepted him.
The apostle Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This man walked with Jesus and he was willing to give his entire life to the point of death for him. In the same way, the other apostles held to their faith unto death. They didn’t die for their “religion” of Christianity. That’s not worth dieing for because it’s not worth living for. They died for Jesus Christ.
Consider the implications.