Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” -John 14:6 (NASB)
His name was Yohei. It was the year 2000 in Tokyo, Japan. He told our mission team that Jesus, Allah, or anybody else who claimed to be God was probably correct. They all led to the same place, and we had everything inside of us that we needed to reach God. Upon questioning him gently (1 Pt. 3:15) concerning Jesus, Yohei claimed that He was one of the greatest teachers who ever walked on earth.
Agreeing with him, I stated that since He is a great teacher, then His teachings must be true. So I asked Yohei what did Jesus mean by “no one comes to the Father except through Me”? Yohei’s reply? “Jesus only meant part of that verse.”
The world says that Christians are intolerant. It is expected that we respect what anyone believes without issuing judgment.
Let me ask you this: are we being respectful if we know the truth, but we refuse to share it for the sake of being tolerant?
In Acts 17, Paul got provoked as he watched the people of Athens follow false gods (17:16). Paul didn’t rush in to condemn the people of Athens, but he did address this “Unknown God.” He explained Him to them. His name is Jesus.
But the world says as long as you are religious, you are fine. “All roads lead to the same spot anyway. A truly, loving God wouldn’t allow anyone to go to hell.” The Athenians were very religious, but Paul thought it was necessary to tell them that their religion wasn’t enough to save them, it had to be Jesus alone.
Many Christians, even Baptists, say that Jesus is Lord, but that He wouldn’t condemn anyone if they were religious. But Jesus said that He was the only way. If He only meant part of that verse, how do we know if He really meant anything He ever said?
C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that “I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God’…A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell…Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
His name was David. It was the year 2003 in Greenwood, South Carolina. He was of the Bahá’í faith, and he told me that Jesus, Allah, and Bahá’u’lláh were all different manifestations of the same god. He said that Christians, Muslims, or anyone who is religious are all following the same god.
Upon questioning him gently about the Qu’ran, the Muslim holy book, David did admit that Muhammad wrote “kill the infidels” which meant kill anyone who was not Muslim. I asked if that presented a problem to him. He said it did and left me to go and get a flier.
I then asked if John 14:6 posed a problem. He got me a flier.
Then I asked him why Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins if any god would do. He told me he had no idea.
So is Jesus really the only way? If He is, our mission must be urgent. We can’t delay. People are dying today without Him. So is Jesus who He says He is?