Exclusiveness is not such a bad thing

One of the objections raised against the Christian religion is the objection to its exclusiveness expressed by the words of Jesus in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Since God is love, as Christian teaching proclaims, why does He demand belief in Jesus Christ as absolutely essential for His favor, forgiveness, and entrance to heaven and why are other sincere opinions and religious beliefs excluded? It is a legitimate and important question but not surprising in light of the prevailing philosophy of the day. That is, that exclusiveness is a terrible moral offense against human dignity.

Logic and reason should prove exclusiveness is not such a bad thing. The exclusive relationship between a man and women in marriage is one example. And, think of the current immigration chaos caused by ignoring laws intended to make U.S. citizenship special and exclusive privileges that noncitizens do not have. Exclusions and qualifications for privileges are absolutely necessary in human society. Dangerous criminals are excluded from the privileges of freedom for society's protection. In heavenly society, exclusions are a prominent feature also. Heaven excludes Satan, evil, sin and death.

The more important point is that exclusiveness is not the main emphasis of the Gospel - quite the opposite is true. I think this is exemplified especially well in the ministry of men like Franklin Graham, the son of Dr. Billy Graham. The fact that he and many Christians like him bring so many blessings to the desperate and needy all over the world regardless of nationality, culture, religion, or race is evidence that, if anything, the Gospel is less exclusive than any religion in the world. Many passages in the Bible make this fact crystal clear. None put it better than the familiar one of John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

The fact is, all of us have committed transgressions which we wish we could undo if it were possible. Jesus Christ was the most unique person in history because He lived a perfect and sinless life. The incredible blessings God makes available only through Jesus Christ are twofold. On one hand, the perfection of the Lord Jesus, by the mercy of God, is accredited to all who receive Him as their Savior. On the other hand, by His death, Jesus paid the full penalty for the sins of the whole world. 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

A false assumption that one can be automatically qualified for God's forgiveness, favor, and blessing without acknowledging the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, who makes it possible, is the ultimate dishonor and insult to God. It would make His extraordinary plan of redemption through the sacrifice of His Son, totally irrelevant.

Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.


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