"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." Matthew 7:13-14
JESUS, NO MIDDLE GROUND
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          Have you ever heard someone say something like, “Jesus was a good man with a good message, but I don’t believe he is the only way someone can get to heaven.”?  Some Christians have even made statements like, “Well, I know Jesus is the way for me, but he may not be the way for everybody.” There are a couple of reasons why people would make these and other similar statements.  They are either not familiar with what the Bible says or they don’t believe what the Bible says.  It is not likely that people have misunderstood what the Bible says on “who” Jesus is and “what” His message is since the Bible is quite specific on both of these topics.  The message of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is quite clear.  It is our choice simply to believe it or not. 

  

           For example, who does the Bible say that Jesus really is?  Is He just a “good man”?  Jesus answers this question Himself. “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30.  This is the clearest statement of the divinity of Jesus that He ever made.  Jesus is not merely a “good man”.  He is God!  When Jesus taught at the Temple, He stated that He was eternal.  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58. When Jesus proclaimed that He existed before Abraham was born He undeniably proclaimed His divinity.  Abraham lived more than 2000 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Not only did Jesus say that He existed before Abraham; He also applied the holy name of God, “I AM”, to Himself.  “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites:  I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14.

 

The fact is - the Bible proclaims that Jesus is God!

 

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:9-10.

       

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17.

 

“In the beginning the Word already existed.  He was with God, and he was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.  Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.  The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:1-5.

 

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

 

“No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he told us about him.” John 1:18.

 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13.

 

“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show me the Father?’  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” John 14:9-10.

           

           Jesus asks the question Himself.  Do you believe Him when He says specifically that He and the Father are one?  Do you believe Him when He says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him? Do you believe the Bible when it states that Jesus is the image of the invisible God?  Do you believe the Bible when it states He is the creator of all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible? Do you believe Jesus when He says that He is the Beginning and the End?  These are only a few of the verses which proclaim the divinity of Jesus Christ.  The Word of God leaves absolutely no room to believe that Jesus was merely a “good man”.  To believe that Jesus was simply a “good man” is to have no belief at all!

 

           Is Jesus the only way to God?  Is He the right way for some people and not for others?  Again, Jesus answers these questions Himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.  Jesus makes it absolutely clear.  He is the only way to God the Father!  This is the truth for everyone!  The narrow road to God is the only road to God, Jesus Christ!  The narrow road to God, however, is also wide enough for the entire world!  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18.   

 

           As Jesus proclaimed, He is the one and only truth for all mankind. He is the source of all truth, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17. “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32.  He said, “I am THE way, and THE truth and THE life.” He did not say “a way”, “a truth” or “a life”.  He is the way and the truth and the life!  The Bible says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.

 

The fact is - the Bible proclaims over and over again that there is only one way to God, and that way is Jesus Christ!

 

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.  Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:10-12.

 

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” 1 Timothy 2:5-6.

 

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look!  There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29.

 

“He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” Acts 10:43.

 

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16

 

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord” 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9.

 

“He who hates me hates my Father as well.” John 15:23.

 

“He who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16.

 

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.

 

           The Bible teaches with absolutely no ambiguity that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way for anyone to find salvation.  For any Christian to make a statement like, “Well, I know Jesus is the way for me, but he may not be the way for everybody” is to completely deny the words of the Bible and Jesus Christ Himself.  It is simply impossible to be a believer in Christ and not believe the words of Christ!  To believe in Christ without believing the words of Christ makes you a “fan” not a “follower.”  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24.  “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” Matthew 7:26. 

 

           Jesus said He was God.  Jesus said He was the only way to the Father.  There is no middle ground in either of these statements. This is true of the entire Word of God which proclaims Him to be Our Lord, Our God and Our Savior!!  You either believe it or you don’t.  It is impossible to regard Him simply as a “good man” with a “good message”.  This “good man” said He was God. His message was that only through faith in Him will anyone find salvation. He’s either right or wrong.  He’s either telling the truth or not.  If He isn’t exactly who He said He was then He would have to be the biggest liar or the craziest person to have ever lived. Either one would disqualify Him as being a “good man with a good message.”

 

So what do you believe? 

 

Do you believe that Jesus was born of a virgin?  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23.

 

Do you believe that Jesus walked on water? “When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But he said to them, ‘It is I; don’t be afraid.” John 6:19-20. 

 

Do you believe that Jesus calmed the storm with His words? “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet!  Be still!’  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?’  They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him!’” Mark 4:38-41.

 

Do you believe that Jesus healed the sick?  “Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Jesus.  He knelt before him, worshipping. ‘Lord,’ the man said, ‘if you want to, you can make me well again.’ Jesus touched him, ‘I want to,’ he said.  ‘Be healed!’ And instantly the leprosy disappeared.” Matthew 8:2-4.

 

Do you believe that Jesus raised the dead?  “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.  It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  ‘Take away the stone,’ he said.  ‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’  Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’  So they took away the stone.  Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’” John 11:38-44.

 

Do you believe that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross? “Finally, they came to a place called The Skull.  All three were crucified there – Jesus on the center cross, and the two criminals on either side.  Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:33-34.

 

Do you believe that Jesus was placed in a tomb?  “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.  Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.  He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Matthew 27:57-61.

 

Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?  “Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.  Then the angel spoke to the women, ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said.  ‘I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here!  He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen.  Come see where his body was lying.” Matthew 28:1-6.

 

Do you believe that Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was crucified and buried?  “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘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 28:16-20.

 

           We are not called to be “cafeteria Christians”, which is a person who picks and chooses the parts of the Gospel they want to believe. It is either all true or it’s not.  As Christians, by definition, we believe all the words of Jesus.  We believe all the words He spoke and all the accounts of His life given to us in God’s Holy Inspired Word by the people who followed Him, suffered for Him and died for Him.  In doing so, it becomes clear, by His own proclamation, He is divine, that He is in fact, God!  When He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6, Jesus declares, with absolutely no uncertainty, all other beliefs, philosophies and religions which disagree with Him, are false and that there is only one truth and only one way to God the Father.  This is the foundation of our belief as Christians!

 

           As true followers of Jesus Christ, we should never compromise the truth of the Gospel as stated by Christ Himself and His disciples. When it comes to the salvation of the human race, all the political correctness and relativism in the world will not allow one person to enter Heaven with God!!  The only thing that will is faith in the one and only Son of God, Jesus Christ!  As Jesus said,“He who hates me hates my Father as well.” John 15:23.  “He who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16. 

           

           This is the truth we hold to as we approach those who do not believe. Our efforts to share the Gospel with the world should spring from the joy we have in proclaiming the “Good News” of salvation which is available to everyone who believes!  We should share the Gospel with the genuine compassion and love each of us should have for all who are lost, not with arrogance or pride.  This is the example Jesus has set for us to follow and the instruction we receive from the Word of God.  “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15.

 

             Each of us will personally stand before the judgment seat of God one day.  On that day there will be no discussion, no excuses.  The truth about Jesus will be proclaimed by everyone who has ever lived!  “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.  The choice of life and death is before each of us.  It’s either one or the other.  There is no middle ground!