1997-07-25 - Sometimes Being Exclusive is a Good Thing
It is not good to be exclusive when exclusiveness means being "stuck-up." Both Christ and Paul detested snobbery (and it's one of my pet peeves too!). It is not good to be exclusive when it comes to how we treat those of different races when we encounter them at church, work, school or on the street. But there is one area of life that is exclusive -- the means to eternal life.
John 14:6 (NRSV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Note that Jesus did not say He is one way or a way. He is the way. The truth. The life. Active church membership is honoring to God, but it won't get us to Heaven. Good works, like helping those less fortunate, are expected of us by our Lord, but they won't get us to Heaven either. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs can be literally life-savers, but they are not a means of salvation. We need more than a Higher Power. We need, specifically, GOD and CHRIST. We can receive eternal life only through faith in Christ's atonement for our sins.
Acts 4:12 (NRSV) There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved." No ambiguity at all! It's crystal-clear that there is only ONE way for us to be saved.
John 10:9 (NRSV) I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
Jesus Himself spoke of the narrowness of the way to eternal life.
Luke 13:23-24 (NRSV) Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?" He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.
Have you believed in the salvation that the Son of God purchased for you, when He died on the cross and was resurrected? If not, you can be sure you are going to Heaven today. Just pray, sincerely, "Dear Lord, I have sinned, and I realize that faith in Christ is the only way I can be forgiven. Please forgive me for my sins, and be the Lord of my life. In Jesus' name, amen." If you have any questions about this, or have just accepted Christ as Your Savior, please don't hesitate to write me. : )