As a Christian, I take the teaching of Christ very seriously and authoritative in my life. I wish Jesus said all people, at least all good people will get to heaven, but the New Testament emphatically teaches that the only path to heaven is through accepting Jesus as one's Savior. This is not a new teaching, but the consistent teaching from the start of the church.
Church history has its travesties of people who said they went in the name of Jesus, but were nothing less than brutal in their grabbing for wealth and power. Though Christianity is not exclusive in these types of barbarisms, it is the truth. However, our history is also filled with many more people that have sacrificed tremendously, even given their lives in love to reach as many as possible with the gospel of Christ.
There was a man in my church who was a prisoner in a Nazi POW camp. He shared with me several of the horrific conditions he suffered of starvation, abuse, and more. He also told me of a chaplain that parachuted into the area to be with the men in the POW camp. Knowing that he would also suffer starvation, abuse, and more he still chose to reach out to the men because they needed to know Jesus. That story took my breath away and I thought to myself, "Are too many of us like skydivers in the church that are in it only for the fun and or are we like a paratrooper ready to suffer and die in the battle for the truth of the gospel?"
One of the most difficult truths in the Bible is when Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" Jesus said this about those who thought they were going to heaven. This is not a game we are playing, but a truth that must be said for it matters for people's eternity.
Rev. John Otto
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom