40 Days Following Jesus: Day 19
“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. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:13-20 (NIV)
There are many people who have come along through the centuries who claim they have the secret to eternal life. How do you know who is right?
Are Christians correct? Are Muslims included? What about Buddhist—surely they are good people who will go to heaven. And what about just good moral people who believe there is a God?
Who’s included? All groups? Or is this eternal “reward” reserved for only one lucky tribe?
Every religion has their own approach to God that has been passed down from generation to generation. They all have leaders who were moral men and women with a desire to see people live after we die. But only one leader gave a prediction that would either make him crazy or would validate he is King. Jesus predicted he would die and he would rise again from the dead. No one else has made that prediction and pulled it off. Only Jesus.
Why do we believe that there is only one way to God and that road goes through Jesus? Because the man who said he would die and come back to life three days later and did exactly that said he “is the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through” him (John 14:6). If Jesus says he’s the only way to God, I believe it. I don’t believe it because I hate other religions. No. I believe it because Jesus came back to life. If Jesus didn’t come back to life, then I would be on board with the idea there are multiple roads to God. But since Jesus died and rose again and more than 500 people saw this—and it wasn’t a hallucination, no matter what your Western Civ prof said—then if Jesus says he’s the only way, I believe he’s the only way.
Muslims, although they have good intentions in living for peace, don’t have access to God. Buddhists, even though they are centered, don’t have a connection with God, the Father. Those who believe in God, and hope they will have enough “good” merit points on the board to outnumber their “bad” merits to have God grant them the “golden ticket” to heaven, will be disappointed.
When Jesus says that the gate to eternal life is small and it’s road is narrow and wide is the path that leads to destruction, he is warning his listeners there is only one way to eternal life. Many roads don’t lead to heaven. The most popular route doesn’t get you there. There is only one way to having a relationship with God and receiving life after we die. It comes from the only One who died for us and came back to life—as he predicted—to give eternal life to those who turn to him and trust Him as their Savior.
So what road are you on? Trying to get it on your own effort? Trying to be good enough for God? Or do you think if you follow a little bit of every religion you will have enough of each to in your account if one is the right way over another.
My next step:
Life like Jesus is the only way so others will see the way to him through me.