Writer’s Note: The following is a response I wrote to an individual who posted an entry on one of those personal journal websites. I will not disclose the name or the website, but I felt like what I wrote should be posted on my web site as well. This is not an ad hominem attack, but a general response to what that individual wrote.
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
Sometimes the truth seems harsh, but the Bible commands those in Christ to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Truth (John 14:6). Thus, this is done out of love.
It is not judgmental to say that a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, Gnostic, Taoist, or even a Jew does not know God. It is the truth. The Bible, the infallible Word of God, says so. In John 14:6, referenced above, Jesus told His apostles “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Christ uses “the”, a definite article, here to make it clear that there is no other way, no other truth, and no other life. No one gets to the Father without Jesus Christ. None of the above referenced religions believe the gospel.
Muslims can pay lip service to Jesus, but they do not believe He is the Son of God, God in the flesh. Mormons also mangle the deity of Christ, as do Jehovah’s Witnesses. Orthodox Jews believe the Old Testament, and while that is all well and good, the Bible does not stop there. The name of Jesus is like a cuss word to them. As for atheists, Psalms 14 and 53 tell us that the man who says there is no God is a fool.
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church preaches a mangled gospel in which salvation is subject to works, while in Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul, speaking to the church (true believers), says “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The grace and faith I have is a gift from God. I did nothing to earn my salvation.
Confession to a priest does not work either. There is but one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). When Christ said “It is finished,” the work was done. He took the full fury of the wrath of God, dying for the sins of all who would believe for all time. The temple veil was torn in two; the way was cleared for those who believe to enter into His presence.
Galatians 1:9 says that if any man preaches a gospel contrary to that the apostles preached, he is to be accursed! Throw all of your alternate religions into that pile (the Jews being a special case, but that is another post).
You cannot pray to Allah and be saved. You cannot pray the rosary, confess to a priest, and think everything is alright. You cannot be a “good” person and get to heaven, thinking God could not possibly punish a “good” person. Thus, here is the brass tax.
“There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God. All have turned aside. Together they have become useless. There is none who does good. There is not even one. (Romans 3:10-12)”
Contrary to the gospel that is preached in many a pulpit, Protestant and Catholic, these days, without God’s help no one even sees Him nor seeks Him. Furthermore, aside from Jesus Christ Himself there is no such thing as a good person. God would be totally in the right if He were to extinguish us from the earth immediately upon our first sin. But He has given us grace, and He will give saving grace to those whom He chooses. He is righteous and we are born sinners. We will die sinners unless He gives us the eyes to see and the ears to hear, giving us new life, making us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), making us born again.
John 3:3 is clear. Jesus says “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Are Hindus and Muslims born again? Atheists? Good people? Even Jews? Are they putting their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation? As Paul would say, certainly not!
This “Let’s all just love each other” Christianity is not Christianity at all. Yes, Christians are supposed to love their neighbor, but that will never save said neighbor. One of the last things Jesus told His disciples was a command to go and preach (i.e. proclaim) the gospel. We cannot pick the pieces of the gospel we wish to share. The entire gospel of Jesus Christ, both the justice part and the mercy part, are the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). God has, does, and will punish sin. Those who are not born again, repenting of their sin and turning to Christ, will be given justice.
Harsh? Yes. Just? Absolutely. I praise God for the grace He has given me, and as a follower of Christ I have to defend His Word. I pray you and all who read this will search the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so (Acts 17:11). Truth in love. It is not always easy to hear but it has to be said.