The popular notion today is that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection—the essence of Christianity—may be efficacious (i.e., applicable and beneficial) for us as Christians, but we cannot limit God’s love and grace. The argument goes something like this: Although we as Christians believe we know the truth, God may be working in another way with another person, religion, or group of people. Therefore, to claim that spiritual life is only obtained through personal faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ—the teaching of God’s Word, the Bible—is to limit God’s love and grace toward others who sincerely embrace other religions or “paths” toward God.
The truth of the matter is this—we, as finite human beings, cannot know for sure and speak for everybody—we cannot. But God can. And He has. He has revealed Himself to mankind in the person of Jesus Christ and in His Word, the Bible. And His Word is not specific to any race, religion, gender, or class. It speaks the truth to you and to me as it does to everyone else in every country in every age of history.
As finite and fallible Christians, we must not have an arrogant attitude when discussing matters of truth and faith with others; rather, we need to look to God Himself and see what He says about truth and spiritual life and point others in the same direction. Does God’s love seem to be bigger than His own Word? Is His grace greater than His Word and His integrity? If God says there is none other name given among men…, does He not mean it? If God says Jesus is the way, the truth and the life…, does He not mean it? If God says one is declared righteous by faith, does He not mean it? Why would we think that this is true for some and not for others?
I am certainly not one to claim to have all the answers or to propose to others that I know everything pertaining to spiritual matters. Yet as a Christian, I do think we can claim to know the truth apart from ourselves. Someone else has told us the truth. We are “nobody.” Yet God is certainly “somebody.” Therefore:
A Plea to Christians…
Remember that God’s Word describes you as simply an “ambassador” of Jesus Christ and a steward who has been “put in trust with the gospel.” An ambassador is one who declares a message on behalf of someone else. A steward is one who faithfully manages something that is not his own. You cannot save anyone. Yet, you can share the truth declared by God Himself. Be humbly confident in the truth. Live what you believe on a daily basis. Yet do not be proud and arrogant toward others. Grace is a gift that nobody deserves—including you!
A Plea to those who are not Christians…
Simply consider what the Bible has to say to you. In an age of tolerance, you owe it to yourself to at least hear and consider these facts concerning what God says:
- You are born a sinner and therefore are separated from a righteous, just God who is holy, that is, separate from sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23).
- The very God who created all things desires a relationship with you. He loves you. He wants what is best for you (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10).
- He made it possible for you to have a relationship with Him—He paid the penalty for your sin so you would not have to do so (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- A relationship with Him comes by receiving His free gift of eternal life through believing that He died for you—in your place—and rose again victorious over death (Acts 16:30-31; Ephesians 2:8-9). Place your eternal well-being in His hands as you trust Him alone for your eternal salvation. He died for you!
You may or may not choose to believe what God has said about yourself, about Himself and about the certainty of eternal life and a personal relationship with Him, but the fact that you took the time to consider these things is important. Thank you for being open-minded enough to listen and consider.
— Matt Costella