After what seems like an eternity of waiting, the door opens the door and enters holding a file overflowing with test results and x-rays. He sits down and with a grave look on his face utters the word the patient dreads to hear. The test results are conclusive — cancer!
After the initial shock subsides, the doctor explains that without treatment death is a certainty. But there is hope! A breakthrough miracle cure has been found. It is a dynamic pill that contains all the ingredients necessary to neutralize and obliterate the cancer. Furthermore, this pill has a 100% success rate. It has never failed when used. It is a guaranteed cure, and it’s free!
The doctor begins to write the prescription when the patient informs him, “I have plenty of pills at home. If it’s just a pill I need, any old pill will do.” The doctor lays down his pen and explains, “But any old pill will not do. There is no pill in all the world like this. It alone has the ability to cure.” The patient persists, “Don’t be so narrow minded. Your pill may work for others, but I am certain I can find a pill that will work for me.” And with that the patient gets up and walks out of the office.
Religious pluralism is the belief that when it comes to salvation “any old pill will do.” For one person it may be Jesus. For another person it may be one of the world religions. For yet another person it may be belief in their own human goodness. And for still another, it may be faith in some mystical higher power. Pluralism says all belief systems are valid and all roads lead to God.
In contrast to religious pluralism stands “exclusivism” which teaches there is only one true religion and way to God. The Bible rejects outright the notion of pluralism and repeatedly declares the exclusive claims of the gospel. Jesus spoke the truth when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The gospel that is exclusive in its approach to God is inclusive in its invitation to all. While no one can come to the Father except through Christ, everyone may come through Him!
Someone may ask, “Isn’t it the height of arrogance for Christians to claim that Christ is the only way?” Not at all. It’s no more arrogant for a Christian to say Christ is the only way than for a doctor to say a certain medicine is the only cure for a particular disease. It isn’t an issue of arrogance, but of truth. Only the gospel provides a true antidote to the problem of sin.
One writer noted, “If there had been any other way for mankind to be forgiven, Jesus would not have died. It is this fact alone - the necessary sacrificial death of the Son of God on the cross - that separates Christianity from all other religions.”
So don’t be fooled by all the sweet talk of pluralism. To promote religious pluralism is spiritual malpractice. When it comes to sin, there is only one cure. And when it comes to salvation, there is only one name. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
This Sunday at RLA --
I am looking forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9:30AM as we continue our series on ETERNITY. In this series we’ve learned that God put eternity in the human heart (Ecc. 3:11). We’ve also talked about Heaven and Hell and how everyone will live forever in one of those two locations. Eternal destiny depends on what a person does with Jesus in this life. This Sunday we are going to wrap up the series by looking at two basic questions concerning eternal life.
Plan now to join us this Sunday, and bring someone with you who needs to hear the message.
See you Sunday!