Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The 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? 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 a tolerance for anything except biblical Christianity.

1. According to a 2000 Barna poll about one out of four Christians believes that it doesn't matter what faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.

2. 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."

3. In a March 2008 broadcast Oprah declared to millions of viewers, "Jesus can't be the only way, there are many ways to God."

Actually, 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." 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.

We don't think this way in other areas of life. When traveling, we make sure we're on the right plane to our destination, we do our research, ask questions, and check the schedules. When we're sick, 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. 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 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 Jesus Christ wasn't trying 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 not only recorded in the Bible, but also in the historical works of Josephus, Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Tertullian, Origen.

Many claim that Jesus does not differ much from other religious leaders such as Buddha, but 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 weren't 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.

Jesus also substantiated His divine claims with a perfectly sinless life, compassion for the downtrodden, His genius and authority as a teacher, and His unsurpassed insight into the human condition. It is no wonder that people worshiped Him.

There are those who say, I believe Jesus was 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: 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. "So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son." John 1:14


HappyFace said...

I love that song!!!!!! It's so much fun to sing it. Praising the LORD through music!

JBS said...

I guess Oprah was right in a way...there are many ways to God..as many as there are people....but only one way past His judgement: Jesus.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

This is an amazing post,very inspiring and very thought provoking.

Right from the start of Christianity, the belief in Jesus Christ was spread by his disciples giving up their lives cheerfully vouchsafing that Jesus was God. No one will give up his life for a liar or a lunatic voluntarily. The followers suffered many persecutions and made many personal sacrifices. It was not a blind belief but a firm belief based on what they saw and heard from the very mouth of Jesus.

Christianity has followers all over the world due to tireless work of the followers of Christ.It has become the biggest religion.

Now and again we find wayward people like Stephen Hawking coming up with preposterous views on God and atheists are taking advantage of it without understanding that Hawking is trying to get a short cut to fame just as Darwin did.

Lovely post. I enjoyed reading your magnificent thoughts.

Have a wonderful day,