“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1 John2:23 NKJV)
There’s an exclusivity to Christianity that grates on people in our modern times. John makes it clear that the way to the Father is through the Son – Jesus. As he dealt with some of the heresy spreading around the church at that time, at least in the church he was writing to, he had to clarify that issue. Some would posit a Christless Christianity by denying His presence on earth or denying the truth of the resurrection. I saw it put this way a little earlier: “When Jesus died, it proved He was human. When Jesus was resurrected, it proved He was the Son of God.” People try to complicate things, but what we believe ultimately comes down to the resurrection: If Jesus rose from the dead, He was who He said He was and deserves our complete commitment because it’s impossible to imagine God working in any other way. If He didn’t rise from the dead, then there’s no reason to follow Him.
“But what about other religions?” you may ask. If Jesus really did rise from the dead, why would any other religion be an option? If He didn’t, then I guess any religious belief would be ok. Because He rose from the dead, though, Christianity has an exclusive place in the arena of belief. The only way to know God the Father is to acknowledge Jesus as God the Son. That doesn’t impinge on anyone else’s right to believe anything, but heaven and an eternal relationship with God is reserved for those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. That’s what John said. If the resurrection is true, that makes logical sense. Exclusivity isn’t a popular idea in today’s accommodating world. As exclusive as Christians are about our belief on this issue, we are one of the most inclusive belief sets. We welcome and encourage all people to come to know Jesus. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. God offers grace and forgiveness to any who turn to Him. Whoever you are and whatever you’ve done, God loves you and wants you in His eternal family.
Lord, I can’t imagine there being any other way. You came to earth and suffered a terrible painful death to pay the penalty for sin, and then rose again to prove that You have power over life and death. I can’t thank You enough. I pray that anyone reading this who doesn’t follow You now, would commit their lives to You today!