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Faith

Jesus and the often overlooked ‘narrow gate’

When I first looked at the title of this book, I incorrectly assumed that many or most Americans believe that Jesus is the only way to God.

But John Piper has some good reminders for us in “Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved?

Salvation through Christ doesn’t sound too controversial for people in America, especially in the South. But if you actually delve into what it means, you’ll probably find that there are many who don’t truly believe it. 

John Piper spells out in this book the following facts:

-Universalism — the view that all will eventually be saved from sin and damnation in hell — is false. The Bible is clear on this.

-No one can be saved from sin by praying and believing in another false god, no matter how sincere their faith is. 

-People will only believe in Jesus if they have heard and believe the gospel. For example, someone in the middle of a remote tribe in a developing country can’t just look at the sky, admire creation, and someone abstractly believe in Christ. They need to have heard from the Bible. 

-The Bible and the Gospel of Christ need to be preached and taught by His people. And His people will preach and tell of the Gospel.

-There will be a remnant from nations all around the globe of those who believe in Christ.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

It is amazing how easily accessible these verses are to people, and yet many will continue to live their lives without much thought of eternity. Many believe that most people will be in heaven despite the fact that Jesus explicitly says that the way to heaven is “narrow” and that “those who find it are few.” So it should come as no surprise that these verses are ignored.

The good news is that salvation through Christ, although narrow, is done by His work on the cross. There are no works needed on our part for salvation, as long as we repent of our sins, ask Him for forgiveness, trust in His work on the cross, and His saving grace.

The choice and life to follow Him can be difficult and require hardship, as Jesus often told His disciples when giving up things to follow Him. Accepting Him as Savior also means accepting Him as King over our own lives.

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