I have a very distinct memory of a conversation I had many years ago. One afternoon in junior high, our science teacher had stepped out of the room for a few minutes. I am sure we were left with instruction as to what we were to be doing. But as is typical with junior high students the task had been set aside for conversation.

What got discussed was religion. I don’t remember the entire exchange but what I do remember, and can still visualize today, was the drawing that my classmate sketched in response to the conversation. He started with a circle in the middle. This he labeled “God”. He then drew an outer ring. This represented people. From the outer ring he then drew lines to the “God” circle saying that the spokes of the wheel all lead to “God” and therefore this represented religion…all roads lead to God.

I was a bit stunned and speechless. I had never seen such a drawing and I had no words in response. If I recall correctly I simply nodded and said very little. Was it true? Did all the spokes and all religion lead to God? Could I be wrong in that Jesus was the only way?

Today we live in a culture of religious tolerance. The mindset is the we don’t want to exclude anyone and everyone determines their own “truth”. We are gracious in agreeing that if God is the center of a belief system, it is all good, your spoke in the wheel is just in a different place.

I want to believe this as I have friends and family members who are on the various spokes that go directly to God but not through Jesus. I want to appease my mind in saying, “That’s close  enough, surely they will get into heaven.”

At the same time there are passages in the Bible that I just can’t shake. In the  book of John, Jesus responds to a question from Thomas by saying:

“‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.’”

Sometime Jesus spoke in parables but this is as clear as can be. What He is saying is that no man (or woman) comes to the Father (God) other than through Him (Jesus).

And there is more:

“’Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.’” John 14:1

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6:29

“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” I John 3:23

There is no work around. It’s clear that salvation and our freedom is through Christ Jesus alone.

To spread the message of Jesus, the Bible tells us to live like Jesus, tell His story and tell our story. And if we do this others will be attracted to Jesus and want to know the same peace, joy and hope along with all the other fruits of the Spirit we have in our lives.

As Jesus told His disciples, He is telling us, “‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18b-20

So go:

  • Live Jesus
  • Talk about Jesus
  • Share your Jesus experiences

JW