"I am the good shepherd...I am the door; if any man enters in through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" - John 10:11, 9, 14:6
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, Peace to you. But Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. So he said to them: Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not ever believe.” – John 20: 19, 24, 25Although Jesus was not present when Thomas expressed these feelings, he knew!
“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace to you. Then He said to Thomas, Bring your finger here, and look at My hands; and bring your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!” (verses 26 to 28)Now see what Jesus says:-
“Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those not seeing and yet believing.” – John 20:29For those of us who are from India, it is of interest that Thomas was the first person to get the message of Jesus Christ to India. The image shows Thomas' tomb in Mylapore, South India.
“And truly Jesus did many other signs before His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” - John 20:30-31If you think you don’t have the necessary faith, cry out to God. Mark records the case of a man with a demon possessed son who begged Jesus to help:
“And often the demon has thrown my son both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You are able to do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him: If you are able to believe, all things are possible to him who believes. And immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief! When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, Deaf and mute spirit, I command you, Come out of him and enter him no more. And the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as if dead, so that many said, He has died. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose." - Mark 9:22-27The invitation has been open for 2000 years, and is still open today, but will not be available forever. Dear reader, if you have not put your trust in Jesus as your personal savior and Lord, only a heartbeat separates you from hell. While you are alive, the opportunity is open.
Are Jesus' statements about himself true?
All these signs begin suddenly after you are born again. There is also a gradual growth over time.
Even if God did not give everyone the opportunity to believe in Jesus, it would not be unfair on His part. The Bible stresses over and over again that salvation is a gift from God, not a right. You are getting to read about Jesus not because it’s your right but because God is being merciful and gracious to you.
But what about people who did not have the Bible or grew up in a community in which no one else was a Biblical Christian? Who would tell them about Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible or The Main Message (the gospel)?
A few Biblical examples:-
According to the Bible, all humans today are descended from Noah, who had three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth. From information given in the Bible (Genesis 10:1-32) and extra-Biblical history and geography, it is evident that these three sons of Noah are the ancestors of the Africans, Asians, and Europeans respectively. So then:
All humans are brought together to God through Jesus Christ!
To summarize: If a person is seeking the truth sincerely, God will reveal Himself to that person.
The last book of the Bible, Revelation, consists of visions that God gave to John about the future:
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one was able to number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb [Jesus Christ], clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands…” – Revelation 7: 9
Dear reader, will you be there? Don’t bother about all the heathen and the pagans in distant lands. God will judge them fairly! God will not hold you responsible for their souls! But He will hold you responsible for how you respond to the good news about Jesus Christ that you are getting an opportunity to read now!! There’s no point worrying about others when you yourself refuse to receive Jesus Christ.
The Biblical author Paul addresses this question in his epistle to the Christians in Rome:-
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Let it not be! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." - Romans 6:1-4
God is not interested in those who would merely give a mental assent to the facts concerning Jesus' person, death and resurrection. You need to come to him not only in faith, but in repentance, that is a turning away from your former life. God accepts you only if you agree to make Jesus the Lord of your life, which means that you now live your life according to his pleasure, not yours. If you have truly understood the immensity of what the Lord Jesus has done for you, you will be grateful and do what pleases him. The Bible teaches that a true Christian is one who has become a child of God, via a new birth (1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:2). A true child reflects the nature of His Father and Master (1 John 2:6), and thus does not continue in sin (1 John 3:6). We are to identify people by their actions (Matthew 7:16), not their empty claims!
No, God is not some cheap old vulnerable idiot. What made you suspect He is?
"Do not be led astray, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." - Galatians 6:7
Yes, rather, I'm just reporting what the Bible says: Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Those who do not lay hold of him will face God's condemnation and wrath for all their sins (John 3:18, 1 John 5:12, Revelation 20:15). Thus, the vast majority of humans are headed to hell. [The 19th century German artist Herr Schacher, along with Mrs Charlotte Reihlen tried to illustrate this with a painting, shown here.] You may feel like disagreeing because you think:-
Truth is substantiated by logic and evidence, not the feel good factor or majority opinion.
In contrast to false gods who promise favors in return for appeasement, the Bible presents Jehovah, the one, true, creator God as one who loves humans and wants to be their heavenly Father. He wants humans to enter into a relationship with Him that will last forever. We get to know Him while we live here on earth, and then spend eternity in heaven with Him and others who have turned to Him (John 17:3, Psalm 23:6, Revelation 21:3-4). If humans are to have loving fellowship with God in a perfect heaven, the following issues have to be addressed:-Problem 1 - Eligibility: As sinful humans, we fall infinitely short of God's infinitely high standards and are thus not worthy to enter heaven. How can God let us in?
Most religions ignore Problem 2. Here is the solution that God offers in the Bible: When a person repents from their sins and believes in Jesus Christ, God implants in them a new nature via a new birth (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 1:11-12, Galatians 2:20)
Thus, a disciple of Jesus Christ has two natures:-
The sinful nature is crucified, powerless to dominate the true Christian. But it is the responsibility of the Christian to starve his old, fleshly nature and feed the new spiritual nature. This is why you may find disciples of Christ keeping away from alcohol, most TV programming, night clubs, etc. If the new nature was absent, this would be nothing other than the usual "I'm religious so I don't get to have fun" syndrome. But the new nature makes a world of difference. It causes the Christian to delight in poring over the pages of the Bible, discovering Christ through them. The true Christian feeds and drinks on Christ (John 6:53-56). He loves to spend time in prayer and worship, not as a duty but as a passion.
Eventually, true Christians die (like anyone else). But as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:52-54, 1 John 3:2 and Revelation 19:8, we Christians will be resurrected. Our bodies will be transformed and will reunite with our soul and spirit. We will be taken to God's presence. Our corruptible body will become incorruptible. We now have a sinful nature but then we won't, since we shall be like him! A time is coming when we will have no trace of sin, only our new Christ-like nature. Then we will be truly fit for heaven. Thus:-
There is no room for any human to boast - it is all of God. It is God who takes a vile sinner, redeems him, transforms him and strips him of all trace of sin and conforms him to the image of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Thus, we will be made perfect, and will enter heaven without defiling it – nor is God's justice compromised, since the Lord Jesus bore all our sins.
Only the Bible provides the answer to our needs: eligibility to access God, and a new nature to enjoy Him.