Friday, November 21, 2008

One Way

During the Jesus Movement of the '70s, the "One Way" sign became a popular icon. "One Way" bumper stickers, posters and lapel pins were everywhere, and the "One Way" slogan for a time became the catchphrase for Christianity. Christians knew that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. "One Way" seemed to be an unshakable belief that all Christians held in common. That was then...this is now.

Why have we abandoned what believers once all agreed to be absolutely true? It's because in our quest to be relevant, we have actually failed to see where the contemporary world is going and why.

The dominant worldview today is called postmodernism. That means reality is whatever you imagine it to be. What is "true" is determined subjectively by each person, and there is no such thing as objective, authoritative truth that governs or applies to all humanity. "Truth" becomes nothing more than a personal opinion, usually best kept to yourself. Postmodernism seems driven by a broad-minded concern for tolerance. But the postmodernist belief system has an utter intolerance for biblical Christianity.

According to a Barna poll from 2000, about one out of four born-again Christians believes that it doesn't matter what faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons. A June 2008 report by the Pew Research Center revealed some interesting stats: 57 percent of the evangelical Christians surveyed reported believing that "many religions can lead to eternal life." In a March 2008 broadcast Oprah declared to millions of viewers, "Jesus can't be the only way, there are many ways to God."

Technically, all roads do lead to the same place. Ultimately we will all stand before a just and holy God. The question is, will you stand before Him as Savior or as Judge. Proverbs 14:12 states that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Therefore according to scripture, all roads paved and walked by men lead to spiritual death, i.e., eternal separation from God. Revelation 20:11-15 says that only those whose names are written in the Book of Life will have eternal life. So all roads do lead to God, but only one road leads to eternal life.

Why don't we think this way in other areas of life? In boarding a plane, we want to make sure we are on the right plane to our destination so we do our research, ask questions, and make sure we are boarding the right plane. We want to make sure we take the right medicine so we ask questions, do our research, and listen to people who have spent years studying medicine. In areas of nutrition we realize that there is healthy food and unhealthy food. Not all foods are the same. There are right ways and wrong ways to handle money, to conduct our relationships, and to drive our cars down the road. Isn't it possible that there is a right way and a wrong way to view spirituality?

Jesus Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." These are not popular words in today's culture. But then again, Jesus Christ was not seeking to win a popularity contest. He said it because He knew it was true. He backed up his claims by many miracles and by rising from the dead. The evidence for these facts is recorded not only in the Bible, but also in the historical works of Josephus, Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Tertullian and Origen.

Although many claim that Jesus does not differ much from other religious leaders such as Buddha, Jesus' claim to be God in the flesh singles Him out of the crowd. Buddha, Muhammad or Confucius never claimed to be God. But Jesus' did and His claims were not spoken in a vacuum. They were backed by His credentials. He fulfilled a host of prophecies given by the Hebrew prophets concerning His virgin birth, His divinity, His atoning work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

Besides this, Jesus substantiated His divine claims with a perfectly sinless life, compassion for the downtrodden (which was often expressed through His many healing miracles, including raising the dead), His genius and authority as a teacher, and His unsurpassed insight into the human condition. It is no wonder that people worshiped Him. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciple Thomas, who had doubted the reports that His master was raised from the dead. When Thomas saw Jesus, he cried out, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus accepted Thomas' worship.

There are those who say, I believe Jesus was a great teacher, a prophet, a good man ... but not God.
You can't have it both ways because He claimed to be God.
So that only leaves us with three possible choices:
either He is a liar, lunatic or Lord.

Maybe He was a liar: He knew He wasn't God, but He convinced others that He was. This would make Him a vicious liar.

Maybe He was a lunatic: He thought He was God, but He wasn't. He was insane.

Or just maybe He was the Lord God: He was who His followers claimed He was – the Son of God, sent to Earth to redeem man from his sins; God in the flesh. Think about it.

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