Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

No Other Name?

The Bible has some pretty clear and unambiguous statements about the exclusivity of Jesus Christ regarding salvation. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me." We are told "There is no other Name given among men whereby we must be saved" and "Whosoever will call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved." There are many others.

But it is popular these days to try and widen the scope of salvation so that people who know nothing of Jesus may also find their way into heaven. The Roman Catholic Church and others have said that "All truth is God's truth" therefore is any person follows whatever truth they have, they are, by default, following Jesus (since He is the truth). One of the most often used texts in support of this thinking is Romans 2:14. "So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law." They will say, "There, you see, these people are judged according to a different standard. God has a different way of dealing with those who have never heard the gospel."

The glaring error here is that Paul, in the first three chapters of Romans, is dealing with the universal sinfulness of mankind. Romans 2:14 is saying that one is convicted of their guilt by their conscience, even without the law. So, far from letting people off the hook (so to speak), they themselves are convicted by themselves of their guilt in sin. But I digress...

The question is this ... is there more than one gospel? Can a person find entrance into heaven without explicit faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, and God? The answer of course is "no."

The mercy of God in salvation is wide, so wide it encompasses all the world (John 3:16). There is no group of earthly people who will be untouched by God's merciful and gracious work in salvation. Our God is a God of love, and compassion, and mercy. God has provided for the salvation of sinners. He has provided in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Some people would like to believe that God is culturally sensitive ... that is He sent Jesus to us westerners, He sent Buddha to the Chinese, Krishna to the Indians, Muhammad to the Arabs. But this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says that when God purposed to save sinners, that He Himself, left the glories of heaven behind, and put on a robe of flesh and became a human being. God on earth as a man. That God Himself did for us humans, what we could not do for ourselves. The Bible teaches that God died in the place of sinners, as a substitute, taking on Himself the wrath we sinners deserve and by doing so He satisfied the demands of a righteous God in Himself for us. God came to the earth and He did so in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God, the second member of the Blessed Trinity. There truly is "no other name." The mercy of God is wide but to experience that mercy, there is a single gate into the sheepfold ... Jesus Christ. Any man who wills may come, but he must come God's way by God's provision.

Beloved, don't go trying to rationalize in yourself telling yourself that you will find your own way into heaven. If you want to be a good, moral person, most any religion will do. If you want to be right with God, you must come to the Father through Jesus Christ. If you have never looked to Him in faith before, look today and believe that when He suffered and died, it was for a sinner such as yourself. When someone tells you any good person will make it to heaven, don't you believe it. Even Jesus Himself spoke against that idea.

Salvation is through a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Buddha, Krishna, and Muhammad cannot save you. No one else can. Only God Himself can save and He walked among us as Jesus Christ. He did not come as anyone else. If you doubt me, be like the Bereans and search the scriptures, the Holy Bible, to see whether the things I am saying are true. Jesus said to the Jews, "You search the scriptures because in them you think you find eternal life; and they are they which testify of me." In truth, there is "no other Name."

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