Recently, I shared of an opportunity to interact with a friend who sees all of the religions of the world as effective ways to reach God. This has led me to spend some time re-establishing the foundations of our faith… to always be prepared to make a defense for the hope I have in Christ Jesus. My prayer is of course that my friend’s eyes will be opened to the truth as he inquires, “What makes Jesus better than the rest?”
While realizing that I live in a time when there are those who would chastise with shouts of accusations declaring me intolerant and narrow-minded, the Bible leaves no freedom to permit any other pathway to the one true God, except through Jesus Christ.
The words of Jesus are very straight forward, “I am the way, the truth, and the life… no one comes to the Father, except through Me (John 14:6).”
Do you see the implications of giving any wiggle room to the religions of the world? If in fact Jesus is not exactly who He said He is, then He is a fraud, we are still in our sins, and we are without hope.
This is why Jude was diligent to exhort the believers he wrote to, “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Verse 3)
In the previous post of this series, I made mention of something unique about the faith of Christianity that religions can’t boast of. God foretold us of His plans to redeem His people and of His Messiah who would accomplish His work.
Think for just a moment about a little town called Bethlehem. Micah prophesied of this lowly little village and how it would bring forth Israel’s Savior and King (5:2). We have to travel back a long ways, but when we do we find God at work from the very beginning preparing Bethlehem to be the place where His Son would leave eternity and enter a finite world.
From Jacob’s words to his son, Judah (Genesis 49:10)… to Ruth and Naomi’s journey out of Moab and back to a kinsman redeemer waiting in Bethlehem (Ruth)… becoming grandparents of King David, everything seems to be going according to plan. The descendants of King David would continue to be born until one day a young man and woman by the names of Mary and Joseph would be betrothed. Both, not just one, from David’s’ lineage.
But when the fullness of time had come (Galatians 4:4), there was a problem. Mary and Joseph weren’t living in Bethlehem. They were residents of Nazareth. If Micah’s words failed, the whole thing comes crashing to the floor, leaving an unreliable God whom can’t tell us where His own Son would be born.
But our God is in charge of even the minute details of world history, so we read the familiar words…
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.” Luke 2:1-5