Is Jesus Universal?

Christmas is coming, and I am excited.

There’s just something special about this whole Holiday season.  I love everything about it.  I love shopping for gifts, writing out those cards, Christmas carols sung endlessly on the radio, goofy TV shows, baking cookies, decorating the tree and spending time with family.  But the best part of this holiday season is that once a year people are celebrating and worshipping Jesus, even if they don’t realize it.

Whether you’re singing carols, humming along with a tune or attending a Christmas play Jesus is most likely a big part of those activities.  Someone famous recently made the comment that Christmas is timeless and universal, no matter what God you pray to or if you pray to none at all.  And I have to agree with that statement, to a certain degree.

Jesus is universal in the fact that He offers salvation to everyone; regardless of race, gender, nationality or any other label the human race has set in place.  He loves everyone.  He died for everyone.  There is no one who is banned from approaching Him.  Jesus has open arms for everyone and anyone who calls on Him.

However, there is an exclusive side to Jesus that most people often overlook.  In Matthew 7:13 it states,

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way” (NLT)

The world, in its effort to be all-inclusive and non-judgmental, has put aside the fact that Jesus did not come to earth just to spread love and good will.   He did not come to be an ‘option’ for salvation, just one of the many ways to reach God and heaven.  No, Jesus is exclusive.  Jesus said so Himself.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)

In Acts 4:11-12 it says…

Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says, ‘The stone that you the builders despised turned out to be the most important of all.’  Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.” (GNT)

At this point you might be wondering why I brought this up.  I mean, it is Christmas after all, and there are feelings of good tidings and joy all around us.  Why does this even matter?  Who really cares who we pray to or what we believe? Why should it bother me if my family and friends pray to another god, or believe in some other way to get into Heaven?

The danger here is the simple fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven.  What we believe and follow here on earth will affect our eternal destinies.  If we neglect to tell others about Jesus’ exclusiveness, if we never challenge the world’s efforts at reducing Christ to just another option to choose from, then when we get to heaven we might just be surprised at how very few of our family and friends are actually there to greet us.

I will leave you with John 3:14-17…

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (RSV)



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