Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

The Bible is written for our benefit. It doesn’t benefit God; it is for us. Man was created specifically for relationship with God. God loves every single person that has ever lived and ever will live.  We were created with a God sized hole in our hearts that only He can fill. The only way He fills it is if we invite Him in.

 Inviting God into our lives doesn’t make us perfect. It does give us access to His mind, His thoughts, His power. We still mess up; we still make mistakes. The difference between having Him in our hearts and not, is we receive His forgiveness and help to do better when we ask for it. It is not a license to keep repeating the same sins over and over again. We are supposed to learn how to live by His rules. When we live by His rules (as best we can) and spend time in prayer and reading His word, we grow closer to Him. We feel His presence; we feel a supernatural joy welling up inside as we feel God’s love surrounding us like a warm fuzzy blanket, like being wrapped in sunshine on a spring day.

 If you had a child who had been your favorite son the whole time he was growing up, having never given you a moment’s worry or heartache, and when he grew up he was tortured and beaten to death while he was trying to save someone else, would you want people to know what a kind and good person he had been or would you rather have them spit on his grave and say he was evil because he didn’t do what the mob wanted? Jesus forgave His tormentors. He forgave those who beat him, scourged him, mocked him, and spat in his face. He hung on a cross (from which he could have gotten himself down: He is and was God), in more pain than any of us can imagine, and said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t understand what they are doing.” KJV says “They know not what they do.” With nails in his hands and feet, he had to hoist himself up to breathe because the weight of him just hanging there would put too much pressure on his heart and lungs to breathe normally. He asked for water as he hung there and he was given vinegar.

 That is strong character. Do you know anyone else who can do forgive something like that? No. Not unless they have a relationship with God. Because God forgives us, He gives us the ability to forgive others, no matter how badly they have treated us or those we love.

I hear a lot of people say they won’t go to church because there are too many hypocrites. Well, you go to the grocery store with them, to the mall, the doctor’s office, etc. The devil will always give you excuses not to go to church. Don’t worry about the people in the church; worry about where you will spend eternity. Hypocrites won’t make it to heaven, but they will be in hell, which is where everyone who doesn’t accept Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and His gift of eternal life, will end up. So you can go to hell with the hypocrites and spend all eternity with them, or you can ask Jesus to save you from your sin, find peace, love, joy, and happiness, or you can be one of the hypocrites. The choice is yours.

What Is A Christian?

I’ve been reading a number of posts on other sites lately that leave me disappointed and fighting discouragement. There seems to be a large number of people who had faith in God/Jesus at one time and now feel that it is all a lie, and that there are no true Christians in the world.

I have to ask those people: What are you looking for? How do you define a Christian? Is it someone who is perfect? Sorry, not in this life. Our souls are saved from sin when we repent and ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, but our flesh is still weak. The apostle Paul said he was the chiefest of sinners and that he continually did those things contrary to what he wanted to do, and didn’t do the things he should. Every church I’ve ever been in, every Christian I’ve ever met has believed that Paul was the greatest Christian that ever lived. We are instructed to “die to ourselves daily.” If we were perfect we wouldn’t need to do that. Isaiah said that “all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

We can’t earn salvation because there isn’t a human being who ever lived, or who ever will live who could be good enough. We are all born sinners. We are not born wanting to do right. No one has to teach a child how to lie, steal or be selfish. It is inherent in their nature, and becomes more dominant as they grow. My best efforts to be good fall so short of God’s expectations. But He has graciously paid the penalty for my sin, has taken my punishment. He knows I can’t be perfect. It’s why He continually offers me His love, grace, and mercy. I need it.

That is not a license to go out and do anything I want to. Salvation is not a “get out of hell free” card. It is not fire insurance. God is not a celestial Santa Claus, or a benevolent, spoiling grandfather. He is not “the man upstairs.” He is God. He is almighty, all powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, and everywhere present. He is just and holy. He is righteous. He is jealous. We are not to worship anything or anyone other than Him. He alone is worthy.

As Christians we have a responsibility to do our best to obey Him, to ask His forgiveness when we fail, to seek His help to become more like Him because we can’t do it on our own.

So if you can’t see any real Christianity, maybe it’s because you’re looking for reasons not to believe. Maybe you’ve been let down. Maybe you’ve seen hypocrisy. But do you disown a baby because it stumbles when it is learning to walk? We are all at different stages of our Christian growth and walk. Some Christians are not being taught (discipled) how to live a Christian life. If no one teaches them they won’t know what’s expected.

If there are hypocrites in your church, praise the Lord! Where should they be? At least they (hopefully) are hearing messages that may help them change. The church is not a museum for saints; it’s a spiritual hospital for growing, struggling Christians. It’s not a carnival where you go for a weekly spiritual “happy hour.” It’s a place to grow and learn in your walk with Jesus.

The Bible is God’s holy Word. If you choose not to believe it, if you choose to believe it’s a lie your end will be hell and there is no way out of there. If you’re wrong you have everything to lose. If God is real and you put your faith, hope and trust in Him, and it turns out not to be true, what have you lost? The end is the same then.

A Christian, a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, is by definition, a follower, a learner, a student of Him and His ways. It is not perfection; it is growth. Don’t let the devil deceive you. Remember that the Bible (Ephesians chapter 6) tells us that he is our enemy, presenting himself as an angel of light, and “roams about a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Don’t listen to him. He came to destroy you and your faith. He wants you to give up and look at all of the negative, and the bad examples out there. There will always be bad examples. Just keep your eyes on Jesus. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Hang in there, struggling believer. Ask God to help you stand strong. Don’t let the devil win.