Narrow and Intolerant

Read: Luke 13

“Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.” (Luke 13:24, NLT)

Christianity is often accused these days of being a narrow and intolerant religion.  Guilty as charged!  You can come up with no other verdict.  After all, just look at the overwhelming verbal evidence offered by its founder, Jesus Christ.  Here are just a few of his outrageous claims from the Gospel of John:

“For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40, NLT)

“Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day.” (John 6:53-54, The Message)

“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.” (John 10:7-9, NLT)

“I am the one who raises the dead to life! Everyone who has faith in me will live, even if they die. And everyone who lives because of faith in me will never really die.” (John 11:25-26, CEV)

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:16, NLT)

We could fill page after page with Jesus’ claims about himself and the exclusive authority he possessed to grant eternal life only to those who follow him solely.  For anyone who takes the time to actually read Jesus’ own words, the truth is abundantly evident:  Jesus is unequivocally exclusive, narrow and intolerant about the way to eternal life.  Of course, he loves and died for the whole world (John 3:16). And of course he didn’t stand on a street corner condemning those who refused to believe in him. (John 3:17)  Yet the unavoidable truth about Jesus is that he was very clear that there was one, and only one way, to forgiveness of sin and life forever with the Father.

Does that sound narrow?  It most definitely is—but so is a runway, and landing exclusively on it is the only way to get the airplane you are on safely to its destination. When it is the only way, thank God for narrowness and intolerance!

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” ~C.S. Lewis

What If God Took Over?

Have you ever taken the time to pray the most important prayer—really, the one prayer that empowers all other prayers—to acknowledge that Jesus is both Lord and Savior, to confess your sins and ask him to forgive you, and invite him into your life as your one and only Master and Commander?  If not, I hope you will do that right now!


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