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If there was ever a topic that causes agitation and hostility in this world, it is the proclamation that Jesus Christ is the preeminent path to God.  The opposition would declare that belief in a God who is restrictive to one and only one Savior is narrow-minded and bigoted.  Because biblical Christianity is at stake, it is necessary for the Christian to respond.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”  John 14:6 (ESV).  Jesus makes the astonishing claim of the radical connection with God Himself.  Unfortunately, the Christian faith is unfairly targeted for exclusivism although many other religions do exactly the same thing, e.g., Buddhism and Islam. 

Who is this God of the Bible?  He is the God who created the heavens and the earth.  For His final masterpiece, He created man in His own likeness.  Despite man’s rebellion, God didn’t turn His back on them.  He sent His only begotten Son and transferred sins to Him.  He allowed Him to die for us.  He forgives us and eternal life is ours.  No more pain.  No more tears.  The only requirement is to honor the One who died in our place. 

While Christians are not superior to believers of other faiths, world teachers of other faiths cannot be mentioned in the same breath as Jesus.  Who else provided atonement for our sins?  Confucius, Buddha, Moses, or Muhammad didn’t—they’re dead, and they stayed dead.  Furthermore, only Christ is sinless.  Only Christ is alive and has the plan of redemption for all eternity.  Jesus is absolutely unique among all human beings who ever lived.  If all this is true, can you stand before God and tell Him that Jesus is not enough?

Nevertheless, the naysayers will point to other religions as fundamentally equivalent to Christianity and only superficially different.  However, it’s the other way around.  They are fundamentally different from Christianity, but at best superficially similar.  Most religions are concerned with what man does to bring salvation upon himself:  how many laws must be obeyed; how much money must one give; how many prayers are required; or what must be done to gain reward.  The Christian concept concerns what God did to bring us salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Way.  Jesus does not say “this is the way to heaven” as so many religious leaders have done, but rather I am the Way.  Christ’s way was unique—He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption Hebrews 9:12 (ESV).  Therefore, the requirement to attain heaven is not based on philosophy but on the person Jesus Christ.  Jesus makes clear that He is not simply the pioneer, but the way itself. 

The Truth.  Jesus adds that He is the truth.  Jesus is not saying that He discovered the truth, but rather He is the embodiment of the truth.  Scripture maintains the opposition endorses the antichrist, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist” 1 John 4:3 (ESV).  To cavalierly say “who cares about truth?” is playing with matches.  If the Bible is true, then everyone’s eternal destiny in heaven and hell can be read from its pages. 

The Life.  In contrast with other religious teachers that tell us how to live, Jesus gives us the power to live the life that leads to heaven.  He does not only give life.  He is the source of all life.  11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus  Romans 6:11 (ESV).

For writers of the New Testament, Jesus’ resurrection was the focal point of their teachings.  The apostle Paul was adamant when he wrote, and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” 1 Corinthians 15:14 (ESV).  Such a historical test of truth leaves no room for ambiguity.  If Jesus was not raised, then at best Christianity would be counted as one among many religions.  Conversely, if Jesus was raised, then He truly is The Way

Christians should be delighted that Jesus’ resurrection is a verifiable claim, not a myth handed down through the ages. Innovative research conceded by essentially all critical scholarship conveys credible historical evidence: Paul’s writings, oral tradition, and the early works of non-biblical authors plus the virtually undisputed facts of Jesus’ crucifixion, appearances of Jesus after Resurrection, radical conversions of Paul and James, and Jesus’ empty tomb (Gary Habermas and Michael Licona:  The Case for the Resurrection of Christ, chapters 3 and 4).  Christians can confidently cite credible historical proof for the explanation JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

Christian hope is built on promises.  God made good on the promise to send a Savior who would deliver mankind from the bondage of sin.  And, He will make good on His promise to return to vindicate God’s people.  While we do not know the hour, let us live as if the hour is near.   For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man  Matthew 24:27 (ESV).  It behooves all who maintain that Christianity is narrow-minded and bigoted to examine Christ’s Way.

Posted by Jerry Lawrence with 1 Comments
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Lately I’ve been living with a frustrating physical problem.     You see, I noticed about two weeks ago that I was struggling to see clearly.  At first I thought my sunglasses had a stubborn something on them that I just couldn’t polish off.  Then I noticed that my reading glasses weren’t doing their job.  Frustrated, I went to the store and purchased a stronger pair.   I  then realized the problem wasn’t my glasses. The vision in my left eye was cloudy, as if I was trying to see through a fogged up bathroom mirror.  Alarmed, I paid a visit to my  eye doctor.

Much to my dismay, after a thorough examination, she let me know that the cause of my “sudden” inability to see clearly was a cataract that would need a surgical solution.  Say WHAT?  I just turned 50 about six weeks ago, and had in fact renewed my driver’s license and passed the vision test at the DMV.  How could this have happened so suddenly?

As the days have gone by, exactly 14 today, my sight has diminished more and more.  Where I could see color and some details the day I visited the doctor I can now see only light and dark shapes with only a hint of color.  Cataracts are progressive, and apparently mine is an over-achiever.

It is interesting that as my physical vision deteriorates daily the Holy Spirit is revealing some spiritual truths to the eyes of my heart.  You see, while I noticed my “blindness” exactly two weeks ago,  my doctor is confident that the cataract didn’t suddenly appear that day.  It had been silently developing, little by little, and I hadn’t noticed it.  I didn’t even realize what I wasn’t seeing, until BAM, all of a sudden, I knew I was “blind”.  How could this be?  I believe the same thing can happen to our spiritual eyes, even as followers of Christ.

Pastor recently stressed the importance of being disciplined in our walk.   When I fail to have self-discipline I inevitably begin to wander away from Jesus, little by little.  My daily time in the Word and in prayer diminishes, and eventually can even disappear for days in a row.  Sin creeps in, a little at a time.    Old habits that I thought were long gone  begin to rear their ugly heads.   When complacency takes over and I move away from God, I don’t even notice at first.  Others around me often see what I cannot.  They may try and point out to me that something is amiss.  However, the process happens so slowly, the scales that form over my spiritual eyes are not noticeable to me.  I cannot see clearly.  I am blind to my own sin.   I do not see an accurate reflection of my own heart.  I cannot.

In hindsight, I can think of many times over the past year that my children have told me I was not seeing something clearly.  They would insist something was one color and I would be absolutely certain it was another.  There were other hints that my vision was not as it should be, but I did not catch on to them because I was comfortable.  Complacency and sin work in much the same way.   When I am not listening for that still small voice but rushing around in my business the Holy Spirit’s alarm bells get missed.  My cloudy  vision takes me further and further off of the path of God’s best for me and I don’t even realize it.  If I am confronted, even gently, by those that love me enough to speak truth, I am likely to deny there is an issue because I truly cannot see it. 

Recently in Sunday school we looked at Psalm 146.  Verse 8 saysThe LORD opens the eyes of the blind.   Hallelujah!  Indeed Jesus came to give sight to those who could not see.  Praise God that means He won’t leave me in the darkness.  When my vision is clouded, He will restore my sight.   It is an ongoing work, that began when He opened my eyes on the day of my salvation twenty-nine years ago. 

As I move forward with plans to have the surgery to have my vision restored, I am asking God to do surgery on the eyes of my heart.  I am praying the words of Psalm 139: 23 & 24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

point out anything in me that offends you,

And lead me along the path of everlasting life.

How about you?  Is it time for a spiritual eye appointment?    I think the waiting room music will be from SonicFlood, “Open the Eyes of My Heart”.  

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