It is often humorous how things change after marriage and children. This past week, our family gathered in our living room floor on Friday night for family time. We played with Play-doh and watched the movie – Finding Nemo. I often see great illustrations in things I read and watch, and this past Friday evening was no different. As we watched the movie together, we came to the scene where the fish were planning an escape from the fish tank. The fish were talking about their plan and one of the fish made the statement that all drains (toilet, spit drains, and sink drains) lead to the ocean. In case you have not watched the movie, the scene is in a dentist’s office. Sure enough, a little while later, little Nemo was able to make the escape down the spit drain next to the patient’s chair with the help of a Pelican and another fish. And just as they discussed, Nemo ended up in the Ocean.
While the producers surely never intended to splash a theological subject into the movie, I was able to connect the dots to our modern day view of religion. Just as the fish said that “all drains lead to the ocean,” many people today have a similar view of religions. Many people believe that mere dedication to a belief system or religious path will lead them to Heaven. The problem with this view is that it is obviously disconnected from the teachings of the Scriptures – and it also flatly denies the claim that Jesus made in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (KJV).”
Furthermore, in our present day, we who teach and preach this truth from Holy Scripture are viewed as inconsiderate, judgmental, narrow minded, and intolerant. With so many opinions floating around in our society regarding religion and a push for fair tolerance in regard for all views – such a statement of exclusivity is often seen as dangerous. What does that mean for Christians? Should Christians agree to lay down their exclusive view of the Gospel in respect for others? How should Christians truly respect the views, opinions, and beliefs of the entire society in general? Below are several points that we as Christians should remember as we take our exclusive message to our society:
1. Christians should never lay down the exclusivity of Jesus Christ (the doctrine which states that He is the only way to true salvation) in order to respect views of other people. We have a Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) from Jesus Himself that must be obeyed over and above the tolerance movement.
2. Christians must show genuine love and compassion for people while sharing the message of the Gospel. It is possible to faithfully share the Gospel with respect and gentleness – with a goal of seeing the person come to the knowledge of the Truth – rather than debating doctrine.
3. Christians must remember that true love for people is not rooted in tolerance, but in a willingness to share the truth of the glorious Gospel message with people.
4. Christians must be totally committed and convinced of the exclusivity of the Gospel in order to make a difference in their communities. That is why the disciples and Apostles made such a difference in their day. They were totally convinced that Jesus Christ was the only way of salvation and that without Him – all men were doomed. If we had that same understanding about people in our present day, we would be faithful to share Him with others more consistently.
Jesus is the only way of salvation! We must love Him supremely, serve Him earnestly, and worship Him fervently. Rather than being led astray by the modern tolerance movement, we should gain a love for the glorious doctrine of the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. When we see the glitter of this wonderful truth shining from the pages of Holy Writ – it should move us to the heights of praise for the Savior who died for our sins.
John 14:6 – I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (KJV).
Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (KJV).
For the glory of God!
Pastor Josh Buice