You read that correctly. According to this recent study by the Pew Forum (and reported by FOX News), Americans believe (by and large) faith in Jesus Christ is NOT the only way to get to heaven.
Seriously?! So, all this pablum and psychobabble that has been shared for generations, caused more wars than oil ever could, created the largest sweeping movement of any ideology known to mankind and has, uh you know, been fairly popular throughout the world… is just an “Aw, Shucks” moment?!
MEMO to the “cereal folk” Pew Forum interviewed (that’s ‘fruits, nuts & flakes’ for those of you consulting your thesaurus): If Jesus Christ died for another way to get to heaven, what do you think that would be? Walking old ladies across Times Square? Baking cookies for the elderly? Visiting children’s hospitals? Maybe helping a Boy Scout dig a trench for his coveted Eagle badge project?
Although all of those are admirable and real sweet tasks, they are sheer foppery outside of the atoning work of Jesus, acceptance that it was done with YOU in mind and that – to use a nice saying I read once – “NO MAN comes to the Father accept BY ME” (John 14:6). And despite how cool you think you may be, that’s applies to you too.
Look here, all of you polled looking to take a detour on the Highway to heaven, pull over, throw your private GPS system out the window and consult the only map there is on this fateful trip.
- “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Just because you talk to that old lady walking across the street about God does not ensure you will get to meet God if some car runs that red light and smacks you both. Remember that time you were scared and you had the, “God, it’s me and I need help” prayer? Yeah, not even those mean a thing outside of belief in God’s SON any why you are praying in the first place.
- “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Yes, you say you believe in God. But does your belief include God’s son too? Jesus Christ and God Almighty is a dynamic duo that can’t be separated. Batman & Robin. Abbott & Costello. Ebony & Ivory. Lincoln & Kennedy. Laverne & Shirley. Pick your pair, it really doesn’t matter. They all pale in comparison to God and his only begotten son. So, next time you say you ‘believe in God,’ think about Jesus as well. Believe me, he’s listening.
- “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” (John 3:16). I know. You have seen this plastered on a tattered poster board at sporting events. So what! It actually means something. Basically, as you trek down the road to righteousness, EVERYBODY should make a pitstop to consider accepting Jesus Christ in their life… and, here’s the kicker… LIVE LIKE IT! No, he’s not looking for perfection, not even close. He just wants an effort to live according the guidelines found in the Bible. They work. And no, you don’t have become Amish to ascribe to Christianity. But you may have to get rid of those Daisy Dukes. Geesh!
If you don’t like it, be a Hindu and come back to earth as a backpack, a fish or even that drudge I just stepped on in this coffee shop.
Into a great suntan and hot weather? Satanism may rock your world.
Perhaps you fancy a more cosmic, Matrix sense reality of eternity? Then grab your beads and light that olfactory-sense-numbing incense because Buddhism rebirth is more your style.
It doesn’t matter, but take Christianity and what Jesus did on the cross at face value. THAT is the only way to heaven, and it’s as easy as ABC.
- A – Acceptance of who you really are. You got issues, big gnarly issues. Skeletons so tacky, if I opened your closet, I would surely get poked in seconds by a bone of some sort. In short, you are a sinner and need help.
- B – Believe Jesus actually did everything for YOU. He came to earth, grew up and became a man that would lead the world with an undying revolution of relationship with God and reality in heaven.
- C – Confess Jesus Christ as the LORD of your life. That’s right, it’s HIS WAY OR NO WAY. If Jesus ain’t down with it, you don’t do it. How do you know? Read the Bible. Ask questions. Do research. And oh yeah, PRAY! That’s where a relationship begins with Christ.
You know, those perfunctory letters remind me of another saying, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Just do it. Ask him to help you out. Not just when someone you know is sick, you can’t pay rent and you’re hugging the bowl because of the last party you visited (and yes, God knows that won’t be your LAST TIME drinking.) Just do it.
You know, maybe the poll served a purpose after all. The path to heaven IS INDEED as straight as I think. I pray you do as well.
Now… back to the news.