Daily Thoughts – Why Jesus
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 ()
In all truths we are challenged to demonstrate in one of these ways that indeed a claim is indeed verifiable. So, by these standards, how do you approach the topic of Jesus Christ, as the only way to heaven? We have no physical evidence, to present in a manner that would ever be acceptable to a nay-sayer. If someone has asked for proof in order for them to believe in Jesus Christ, I propose that they are not really intent on finding the truth, but trying to legitimize their own opinion of the unauthentic claim of Jesus’ deity.
So, when we stand before an Atheist, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jew, a Buddhist or any other non-believer, how do we debate in a manner that will have some influence on their perspective?
First, you must decide that you are willing to debate on the topic. You must commit to allow God, the Father to use you, and to work through you. We must realize we are incapable of saving anyone, we can only lead them to the Savior. Preparation requires study, just as in any effort you put forth. If you want to excel at work, you study and prepare for the skills you will need. If you want to excel at sport, you put in the hard work to improve your skills, your talents and your abilities to play the game at a higher level. If you want to excel at marriage, you must put in the work to expand your ability to love another selflessly. Evangelizing for the Lord requires work on your part to understand His love, His grace, His salvation plan and His desire to bring all mankind to His eternity. In short, be able to tell the story of Jesus.
Second, you must put emotions aside, and not allow yourself to be angered by their response and arguments. Jesus taught us to spread His word in love. Love one another as God first loved you. This includes loving those who are opposed to your love of Jesus Christ. Reaching out to the non-believer is an act that must be centered in your love for others, not in your desire to win the argument. If your neighbor doesn’t believe, your love for their eternal destination must lead your actions.
Finally, you must understand that their opinions and perspectives are just as important to them as your love of Christ is to you. We can’t argue against their beliefs without insulting them. Keeping in mind that they have arrived at this point in their life through careful consideration of alternatives, and wisdom gained over their personal experiences just as you have. A more effective method is to share your story, how did you become a Christian and what has God done for you. Your experiences are yours alone and have built the foundation of your faith. This testimony is something that another cannot argue against, just as you can’t argue against theirs. Know your storyline first, know how to tell it, know how God has had His finger in it The experiential relevance of your life events have framed your emotions and this becomes the basis for your discussion with others. You cannot evangelize on someone else’s story, your faith must be evidenced through your own experiences.
Why is Jesus the only way to heaven then?
There are those who accept the truth that there must be something more than this life. They believe that there is a greater power in the Universe, but do not necessarily want to believe in God as a supreme authority. This means they recognize that there is a hierarchical framework to our existence. These individuals generally can wrap their head around the logical argument of God, but may not understand the reason for a Savior. For these individuals I’ve found it valuable to first help them understand the love God has for us, and His desire for us to join with Him for eternity. It’s important to state the holiness and perfection of God, the Father. We are sinful, from the time of Adam, man has become sinful in our self-centered driven life, rather than God centered life. All have sinned and therefore need to have our sins redeemed and forgiven. We must repent from our sinful life and turn from the ways of the world.
Many religions believe that works can overcome these sins, but there is no amount of good works we can accomplish redemption in His eyes. Think about it. How many good works does it take to overcome one sinful act – swearing? How many good works does it take to overcome adultery, or murder, or stealing? We all sin, multiple times every day. It is impossible to believe that we can do enough works to overcome the volume of sinful actions in our lives.
So, God, by His loving grace, provided another way. A sacrifice, the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins and bring us into a state of righteousness to exist in God’s presence. Through the death of His beloved Son, God demonstrated His love for you. This sacrifice created the only way to atone for our evil works, our sinful actions, and character. The life of Christ represents a perfect life (2 Corinthians 5:21) without sin. Therefore, by sacrificing this life, God has provided a path a path to redemption, and through belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are grafted into His perfection. God could have abandoned mankind and separated us for all of eternity, but chose to love us instead.
By providing a path to redemption, God has reached out to all mankind to join with Him for all of eternity. The refusal to accept this gift of grace is a refusal to accept eternity with God. God doesn’t damn anyone to Hell, man chooses it for himself. This is in and of itself an unforgivable sin. You see, if we don’t want God, He will not force you to spend eternity with Him. He loves you that much. The scriptures over and over again tell us that Jesus Christ is the bridge, the path, the grace that God has provided for salvation, and by no other manner will mankind be saved from eternal damnation.
Why Jesus? Because God wants you to be with Him in a perfect eternity and because of your sinful nature, there is no way for you to get there on your own.
© Sondove Enterprises, 2019
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