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February 18 I Tuesday

Leviticus 23-24

Mark 1:1-22

“I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved.”   —John 10:9

 

Some of us have probably heard in our culture today that all religions and paths lead to God. In fact, we may even hear that in our churches. Although it is said with a positive intent, the hard truth is that not all paths lead to the same God.

If we study the Quran and research the god of Islam, we come to a very different perception, understanding and view of who God is. Similarly, if we examine the gods of Hinduism, we come to another impression of who the gods are and what they require. While all religions and paths do not lead to God, God is able to meet people where they are and lead them to an understanding of who He is and what He has done for them. He does not lead them to a different gospel because there is only one gospel and one pathway to God. This was not a popular message in the early church and is most certainly not in our current day and age.

Some may criticize that “Christianity sounds very narrow and exclusive.” Yet, the remarkable thing about Jesus when we encounter Him in the Gospels is that he is the most inclusive as well as the most exclusive person in all of human history. Jesus is inclusive because we see Him going out of the way to reach people with the reality of who He is. But Jesus is also the most exclusive person, as He said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

There is a polarity in Jesus’s message that is both inclusive and exclusive at the same time, which amasses two different camps of reaction. The first camp, when they hear that Jesus is the only way and there is no other gospel, retorts, “This is too narrow-minded and exclusive. It is the most offensive message I have ever heard.” And they want nothing to do with it. The second camp, hearing the same message, responds, “You are telling me that God came down and did everything for me? That He loved me so much that He sacrificed Himself for me? And I do not have to earn my way to heaven? Where do I sign up? This is the greatest message I have ever heard because I need rescuing.”

The exact same message is presented to both groups; to one, it is the aroma of death and to the other, it is the fragrance of life. What is our response when we hear the gospel message? Everyone is welcomed but there is only one path to God.

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life; there is no other gospel through which I am saved. Give me the courage to share Your Good News, which is a fragrance of life, to those around me. Thank You, Lord.


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