‘One’ reason why I am still just a Christian

Worldly logic goes something like this: God is one, so all roads lead to God. But there’s one small problem with that logic. Divine oneness does not mean that every human direction winds up at his door. On the contrary, man often heads anywhere but toward the Lord. Even Israel of old, chosen by God to be his special people, “prized above all others on the face of the earth” Deuteronomy 7.6, refused to submit to his discipline and return to him. “Still you did not come back to me” Amos 4.6, 8, 9, 10, 11. Israel’s path did not lead to God. It lead away from him.

If you prefer, you might say that even the road Israel chose did in fact lead to God. But only for an instant. In that same chapter, the Lord told them, “Because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, Israel!” Amos 4.12. The road Israel took that lead to God meant a meeting of judgment, a sentence of condemnation, a court of appearance that resulted in their rejection and expulsion from his presence.

And that is why I am still just a Christian. That is why I refuse the way of a million religions, the choice of church preference, the universality of salvation. Because God is one. This oneness of God means that he is unique and holy. He is faithful to what he says, Deuteronomy 7.8. He determines in his oneness a single path to redemption and reconciliation. He has made Jesus Christ that one way, John 14.6. He will not change, not in the middle of the stream, not even at the last moment.

Some people give the impression of having a special inroad or insight to what God might do on Judgment Day. Who knows, they say, God might decide just to save everybody, since he is good and loving and compassionate. Indeed, he does desire to save everyone; Paul wrote that “he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” 1 Timothy 2.4. But notice that second part in the verse. How will all people be saved? By coming to a knowledge of the truth.

Risking your soul and that of everyone around you on the remotest possibility that God might do what he has not promised to do doesn’t sound like a recommended course of action. If God is faithful and eternal, and if Jesus Christ “is the same yesterday and today and forever” Hebrews 13.8, and if the word spoken by Christ in the first century will be the judge of all mankind in the last day, John 12.47-48, either God is a bald-faced liar or he will keep his word, insist that man obey his commands, and refuse entrance into heaven of those who did not know and obey the gospel. Isn’t the latter more likely?

With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, when he comes to be glorified among his saints and admired on that day among all who have believed, 2 Thessalonians 1.8-10.

Within God there is no dispute or discussion of his will. Jesus made it clear all during his life that he spoke at the bidding of the Father and said only what he was authorized to say. “For I have not spoken from my own authority, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak” John 12.49. And the Spirit would do the same. “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come” John 16.13.

God doesn’t change his will in the middle of the plan of salvation. It doesn’t sound like such a good idea for you or me to jettison the commitment to knowing, living, and teaching the inspired Bible. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2.15.

I don’t want to take the chance of being ashamed on the last day. Do you?

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