Sunday, October 18, 2009

Is Jesus the Only Way?

Okay, I have taken several days... Um... Well, a few weeks off when it comes to blogging... I'll try to get back in the habit this week.

This morning we kicked off the brand new series, Cow Tipping @ a2 on "sacred cows." You know those issues, ideas and topics we don't really "want" to talk about... But issues, ideas and topics that are on the minds of a lot of people. This morning we tackled this question: "Is Jesus The Only Way?"

In this age of relativism and pluralism this is one of the most emotionally charged topics out there. Even media icon OPRAH WINFREY has weighed in on the subject. Some time ago on her television show, Oprah made this statement:

“... one of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way. Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.”

When she was challenged by a member in the audience who reminded her that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” Oprah responded by saying rather firmly, “There couldn’t possibly be only one way ...”

Here are the notes. You can also download an mp3 on our website @ or on iTunes.

John 14:6 (NIV), Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This is the most politically incorrect and totally controversial statements of Jesus in the Bible because it strikes at the heart of three assumptions that are common in our culture.

Three Common Assumptions:

1. ASSUMPTION #1: All religions are basically the same.

“Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity are not saying the same thing. They are distinct and mutually exclusive religious doctrines. They all can’t be true at the same time.” ~ Ravi Zacharias, quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for Faith…

REALITY: Christianity can’t be reconciled with any other religion…

2. ASSUMPTION: Christianity is only one path or philosophy among many paths and philosophies. It’s only as valid as any other path or philosophy.

But TRUTH, by its very nature is exclusive. Any time a person makes a TRUTH CLAIM, they’re saying that every other contradictory claim is false. Truth is always non-negotiable.

Question: How do we know that Jesus Christ was telling us the TRUTH when He said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’”

REALITY: Only Jesus backs up His claims with unique credentials giving Him unique credibility.

Evidence That Confirms That Claims of Jesus Christ:
• The reliability of the New Testament as a historical document.
• The miracle of fulfilled predictive prophecy.
• His remarkable character.
• His amazing miracles.
• The reality of His actual and physical resurrection.

3. ASSUMPTION #3: Christians are narrow-minded, arrogant and bigoted because they believe Jesus is the only way to get to God.

REALITY: It’s not arrogant or narrow minded to act upon the evidence and pursue the truth


Is God some kind of sadistic tyrant who gets a kick out of sending people to hell?

John 3:17, For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn or judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJ), The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

No one wants people to spend eternity in heaven one millionth as much as God does! God paid the ultimate price so that no one need ever experience the reality of hell.

There’s a warning that people will sometimes use… If they really don’t want another person to do something… If they’re dead set against it… They’ll look at the other person and say, “You’ll do that over my dead body…”

That’s what Jesus says to every member of the human race… Jesus looks at every human being and says, “You have to go to hell over my dead body…”

In other words, Jesus says, “The only way to get to hell… If you want to go there… If you want to spend eternity in hell… The only way to get there is for you to walk around the cross…”

• Why do people end up in hell?

The short answer is because God takes human freedom with the utmost of seriousness...

God doesn't send anyone to hell. We choose to send ourselves to hell.

In Romans 1 Paul writes about people who make a decision to shut God out of their lives and this is what Paul says…

Romans 1:21-22 (NLT), …they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. 22Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead.

Then there’s a phrase that Paul keeps repeating to describe God’s response to the decisions that human beings make…

Romans 1:24 (NAS), Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…

Romans 1:26 (NAS), For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions…

Romans 1:28 (NIV), …since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

Underline the phrase, “God gave them over…” It’s one of the saddest expressions in the New Testament.

It means to “hand over control or responsibility.” It means that God, in His humility, makes it possible for a human being to reject Him…

The Message picks up on this idea in its paraphrase…

Romans 1:24 (MSG), God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.”

G.K. Chesterton described it like this: “Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.”

C.S. Lewis put it like this: “The doors of Hell are locked from the inside…”

• What are you going to do with Jesus?

John 14:6 (NIV), Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

“I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish things 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.” That is the one thing we must not say. 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 he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. 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 up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” ~ C.S. Lewis

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