She was angry when she stopped at our Bible table at the beach. She looked about 20 and was yelling as she approached: “This is wrong! You should not be permitted to be here! It’s wrong when one group thinks they know the only way to God! There are many ways to God!”
I spoke calmly, “I agree, it’s a hard concept to understand. But may I ask what it is that you believe?”
She shouted, “I don’t know what I believe! But I don’t believe there is only one way!”
I said, “I’d love to talk with you about this. Can you take a minute?” She nodded and joined me on a nearby bench.
I listened to her rant for awhile. Then I said, “Can I tell you what I’m thinking? I’m wondering what it must be like for God. I mean, what if you were God and you created this world and everyone in it. Then you see the people you created stealing, lying, killing and ignoring you. Sin becomes rampant and as God, you’re sad and disappointed because you know their sins will prevent them from someday entering heaven. So you devise a plan to save them.
“Your Son, Jesus Christ, is willing to come to earth to be their Savior. He would be required to live a sinless life so that He could be tortured and killed to pay for the sin of the world. He is willing to pay the price, and He does.
“But afterward the people say to God, ‘We don’t have to follow your Son! We don’t even believe in your Son! There are many ways to heaven! We’ll choose our own way!’
“If you were the one true God, how would you feel if the people treated your plan to save them in this way?”
She responded, “That’s just a fairy tale. I still don’t believe there is only one way.”
I said, “If you study the major religions of the world, you will find that Buddha never expected people to worship him. He was still searching for truth at the end of his life. Mohammad never set himself up to be God. He wanted the people to worship one God instead of many gods. The Hindu religion believes in many different gods.
“God revealed Himself to the Jewish people and promised them a Messiah who would come through the Jewish tribe of Judah. Yet most of the Jews did not want a spiritual savior. They wanted someone to deliver them from Roman rule. Only a few of the Jews received Jesus and His teachings. They became the first missionaries and began spreading the good news of what Jesus had done for them and for all mankind.
“You see, true Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship with a living Savior. So what is a religion? A religion is a belief system where followers must do certain good works or rituals in order to be accepted by God. In all the religions of the world, you have people attempting to gain God’s approval by fulfilling their different religious requirements. But in Christianity we have God reaching down to man and saying, ‘You cannot do it. Jesus did it for you.’ We only need to receive the free gift that Jesus Christ has provided.”
She listened and asked questions. She was not ready to acknowledge there was only one way, but we parted on friendly terms. She was no longer angry.
- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-1
- Messianic Prophecies: http://www.gotquestions.org/death-resurrection-Messiah.html
- SONG: JOHN 3:16-18 – by Kathleen
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
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