Staking my life on this
Pastor Rick Warren was interviewed the other day by ABC. (Watch the interview here.) He was asked a question during the interview about whether he really believed that Jesus is the only way to heaven. In other words, what about people of other faiths who don't believe in Jesus? Was he condemning them all to hell? This is a question I've heard often over the years. People who trust in Jesus are branded as narrow minded because they claim that He is the only door to heaven. (For more on that door, read the blog post "Why it's called Good Friday". I appreciated Pastor Warren's response because it was gracious and thoughtful. He said that he wasn't the one who made the claim. Jesus is the one who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
Pastor Warren said that he was staking his life on the belief that Jesus wasn't a liar.
And isn't that the bottom line truth for all of us who believe? Whatever our faith, whether it is in Jesus or someone else (or ourselves), we are staking our life, our eternal future on that faith. We can choose to believe there is no God or that everything is God. We can follow a cult or a religious system. We can do every good work and give our lives for those in need. We have a choice to believe what we want. That's the way we were created.
God is sometimes accused of being unjust to send good people to hell. He is berated for injustice and evil in the world, as though He alone is the one to blame. But we forget that He created us with choice. And He loves us too much to force us to choose Him.
He did send His Son to make a way so that we could choose Him. He paid the ultimate price to be with us. And He had the audacity to say that His was the only way to do just that. If we want His heaven, we get there His way. If we don't want His way, we don't have to choose Him. We don't have to repent and believe. We can go our own way, and God will let us do that straight into eternity, if that is our wish. How is that unjust or unfair? He is only giving us what we have chosen.
But He does so with a broken heart. He doesn't want us to choose another way. He stands at the door and knocks - as Jesus stood in the temple courts and called out "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9 NASB)
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me."
I'm staking my life on the fact that Jesus spoke the truth, and believing that He was not a liar.