In a recent article from the Christian post, it stated “Nearly 70% of born-again Christians say other religions can lead to Heaven: study”
Despite being in a post-modernist, pluralistic society, the percentage was staggering. I would expect a percentage that high from all peoples, or from non-believers, but seeing as how Christ Himself said “I am the truth, the light, and the way, and no one gets to the Father but through me,” and seeing as how this is a major defining doctrine of Christianity, it is disturbing that as a whole, the church is this far off base.
I personally ran in to this twice during conversations with two different Christians, but both of whom had family members that were Muslim. In both cases, it was apparent that the belief was an emotional one, not one based in study of the word, and not one they were willing to reconsider at the time. These mental commitments to falsehoods were born of love and concern, born of fear, and of being unwilling to face an unpleasant reality that would exclude past and present family members from eternal life with God and Jesus Christ.
This sadness, and angst I can certainly understand. In times past, this tension would cause people to evangelize with great fervor. But today, in a watered down, luke warm society, where all manner of doctrine are considered mainstream, and doctrinal truths are preached as out-dated and misunderstood, is it not concivable that one can enjoy church themselves as a comfortable truth, but in a weak enough church to not force them to commit to the absolute truth of the word?
Let us look at a couple examples of how exactly eternal life is offered:
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1 John 5:11
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
There are many more, and a study of this could be extensive. But from this sampling, it is quite obvious that not only is eternal life presented in conjunction with Jesus Christ alone. More than that, it is dependent upon Him alone. This is to say nothing of the fact that many warnings exist about the narrow path to salvation, such as the above mentioned narrow gate from Matthew. In John chapter 10 when Jesus says, I am the door. Or how bout the clear, definitive, and powerful statement from Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
With these clear distinctions made in the word of God, we can be certain that if someone believes there is another way to eternal life with the Creator, than he or she does not believe the Bible. I don’t mean to be cruel, and I speak from a broken heartedness at the willingness of churches, mentors, and believers to soft sell this point for so long that a possible 70% of Christians are scared to proclaim this truth. But it is truth.
Imagine the logical confusion that would naturally follow if God, who came to make himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, who made clear that no other gods exist, none save Him should be worshipped, and that there is but one creator, decided to for some reason allow any worship of any false thing to diminish His work on the cross. Imagine pantheism or polytheism, multiple gods countering the commandment God wrote with His very finger somehow leading to fellowship with Him. Just pick your own god. any god will do! Imagine Him allowing the complete dismissal of His act of love and sacrifice, and acknowledging false religions who not only don’t think Jesus is Lord – demanded for salvation in Romans 10 – but many who think He was merely a teacher, on par with Confucius, Gandhi, Siddhartha, thereby making Him a liar. Was He not Resurrected?! Certainly not according to Islam.
The bottom line is this. If faith, specifically faith in the Resurrected Christ, is nullified as a means of salvation, you have turned your back on the gospel. You have tried to render unnecessary the very thing that God did to take judgement and sin from you, the very person all of creation itself is made by, and for. I can only hope that this poll is wrong, that the numbers are inflated.
The Bible asks us to repent, and believe. Believe! Believe that He is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead. Not believe in whatever you want. Believe in the truth. The one and only way. I know it is scary to commit to truth sometimes. But being afraid to acknowledge this truth with loved ones, with church congregations, is not love. It is to protect yourself from uncomfortable feelings, difficult conversations, and from people nowadays thinking you are a close-minded, judgmental, bigoted Christian. The truth is not popular in our society anymore. And it may be easier to navigate society pretending Jesus is cool with whatever. But unless you want to throw out your bible, you will have to square with what it says someday.