Inclusively exclusive

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:23-27
Verse 25 and 26 are the central verses of John 11. The main point isn’t the resurrection of Lazarus, life-changing though that was for him (literally…). In these two verses Jesus reveals the way to eternal life. It is only through faith in Him as the Christ, the Son of God that we resurrection and life. He is the only way, the only truth, the only life. Buddah cannot give you resurrection. Good deeds cannot give you life. Mohammed will not raise you up. There is only One who can and His name is Jesus. Salvation comes exclusively through believing in Jesus. That can be an uncomfortable truth to share, because it means there are many who are wrong. Many millions who are following false prophets with no hope. It is offensive in today’s society to tell people that Jesus is the only way, because it means by implication that their way is wrong. It means Hinduism is wrong. It means the Jehovah’s Witnesses who stand in the rain outside train stations across the world every day are deluded. It means, and this is where I could get into trouble now, it means that Islam is wrong. ISIS are wrong. Only through faith in Jesus can we have salvation, but the Bible reminds us that “all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Jesus is the inclusively exclusive Saviour. There is only salvation in His name, but through His name all can be saved. People from every nation, tribe and tongue. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white, intellectual and not so smart, sick and healthy, male and female, the hurting, the crippled, the broken, the confident, the misfits and vagabonds. Regardless of what language you speak or how much money you have all are welcome. All can come to Jesus. No-one will be turned away. All other religions have strict rules about who can come – rules about the language you must speak or the race you must be or the surgery you must have had or the pilgrimage you must make. But the exclusive saviour Jesus is inclusive to us all. All are welcome to His Kingdom. So if you haven’t yet, put your faith in Him for salvation today. And if people try to tell you that they can’t believe in Jesus because it is too exclusive to say He is the only way for salvation remind them just how amazingly inclusive He actually is!

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