The ONLY Way: Is It Exclusive?

The Lord Jesus Christ says He is THE way and THE door and THE gate.

Many people who are still unbelievers argue that this is EXclusive; that is to say that He (or the Christian doctrine found primarily, but not solely, in Acts 4:12) is somehow partial, biased and very limiting in who can participate in this great salvation and, therefore, gain entrance into the eternal kingdom of G-d Almighty. It is believed to be narrow-minded and narrow-hearted. One might have heard it described lately as even being bigoted or hateful. Love, they say, should be INclusive.

If they are referring to Matthew 7:13-14 which says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few,” then this text is correct, but they are misusing it or misunderstanding it. And this is understandable since the Word tells us that such things are spiritually discerned; they are worldly-minded and must be kingdom-minded to comprehend. What the Lord Jesus is referring to is the fact that many will choose not to follow Him and, therefore, will not be saved. (How can you follow someone if you can’t hear their voice and can’t see them? Whether you speak to someone face-to-face or read through those same words expressed in a letter, book, email, text, etc. the same thoughts are being expressed and can be equally communicated and understood. So when we read the Word of G-d, the Bible, it is the same as if we are hearing His voice with our ears. The problem with those who don’t follow is that they don’t read and so don’t hear and so don’t follow.) While this truth may be unpalatable to many, it is logical and makes perfect sense. Since Jesus is G-d and left Heaven to come to earth, He alone knows the way there. He is the only One who can lead us there because He is the only One who has been there. But I don’t really believe this is where most of their hearts are. When they speak of this way calling it “narrow” and “exclusive,” what they are really meaning to express and suggest is that it is unfair. They, as all humans and from an early age, don’t want limits and boundaries of any kind (even when they are there for good), yet they still want to attain the goal or the prize of Heaven where G-d dwells. They don’t even want to believe there is a Hell.

Many are touched with prayer and compassion for the people who are living through Hurricanes Harvey and Irma’s aftermath in both Texas and Florida. When these states’ respective governors issued states of emergency and urged people to evacuate, what if there was only one road or highway out of those areas? Would people be complaining that there was only one way out- one way to safety- or would they gladly take it and be thankful it was even available? They could think it exclusive in that it is the only open and safe route and, therefore, refuse to follow it until someone made another route available. Or they could realize that even though it is the only road available to lead them to a place of well-being and protection (seemingly exclusive to them), EVERYONE is not only allowed but urged to take that way. Since that way is available and accessible (spiritually, through JESUS CHRIST) for anyone and everyone to take, it really is absolutely and totally INclusive!

The problem with these unwilling travelers isn’t that there is only one escape route. The real issue is that they are, for whatever personal reasons, unwilling to take it. They are either stubborn or foolish, or both. You do see this don’t you, even if this is your own heart and mind we’re speaking to? I recently watched a video with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of “Living Waters Ministries.” In this clip, they share this point of view also. They speak of a hypothetical scenario where Kirk and an atheist have a conversation. The atheist doesn’t believe in G-d and asks Kirk questions that he asserts must be satisfactorily and intelligently answered in order to sway his opinion toward Christianity. In this hypothetical, but possibly very real, exchange every single one of the man’s questions and doubts have been addressed. Kirk then assumes since he rightly, logically, biblically and fully answered all of the unbeliever’s questions that the man would surrender his life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So when he gladly and eagerly asks the unbeliever if he is ready to confess his sins, be forgiven, get baptized and receive eternal life, the man (in his hardness of heart and disbelief that Kirk would actually think the truth would change his mind) replies, “No.”

What is then revealed without the need for any other words is that, for this man and maybe for you—atheist, agnostic or not—the matter of belief in the Almighty and salvation was never really the issue at all. It was not an intellectual debate or persuasion that needed to take place. After all, every question to his purported doubts had been answered fully, articulately, graciously and truthfully. So, there was another barrier that really stood (and still stands) in the way all along: it was and is rebellion. The intellectual arguments and the scientific, humanistic or secular theories were (and are) just a smokescreen. How right was our Lord Jesus when He who knows men’s hearts declared in John 3:19, “And this is the judgment: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light because their deeds were evil.” And those verses are especially poignant considering just three verses earlier He proclaims, “For G-d so LOVED the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes (TRUSTS) in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For G-d did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that THE WORLD MIGHT BE SAVED THROUGH HIM.”

When you know the Truth, it really can’t get any more INclusive than this. Is He the only way? Yes. But that way is an invitation to ALL and He paid for it with His blood and on a Cross. If you are feeling conviction, that’s good. It is what leads you to repentance. If you are feeling guilty, that’s good. It is the inner acknowledgment that you have sinned and are a sinner in need of THE Savior’s forgiveness. Read Jeremiah 3: 13-15 and get on your knees and take care of business. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day to be washed clean. Today is the day He, incredibly, wants to take your sin and give you His righteousness. Today is the day to take hold of the amazing promise and reality found in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 which blesses and says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION. The old has passed away; behold, the NEW has come.”

G-d bless you as you make this ultimately important decision to walk away from your life of sin and submit yourself to His Lordship and authority in and over your life with commitment and devotion. No turning back.

Advertisements