Why Only One Way?
“Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will’” (v. 39).- Matthew 26:36–39
Modern pluralistic people like to argue that there is something wrong with the God of the Bible because He does not save everyone. “Why is God so narrow-minded?” they demand to know. “Why has He only set up one way? This Christian God seems to delight in punishing people. He only wants to save a few people.”
When we survey the history of the Bible and see the patience of God, we have to wonder at people who think God has not done enough for us. When we read the New Testament and comprehend even a small part of what the Son of God went through to provide the only way of salvation, we can hardly fault God for not going far enough to redeem humanity.
God humbled Himself to be born in a low estate. He allowed Himself to be mocked and reviled by the “politically correct” establishment in Israel for three years. He went further and allowed them to beat Him, torture Him, and crucify Him. Jesus was God, and He willingly went through all this. The Father is God, and He stood by and let it be done to His beloved Son. God the Spirit stood by and let this be done to His eternal friend. And God has not done enough?
The reason unbelievers have so many problems with the God who is revealed in Scripture is that mankind is terribly wicked, and we don’t understand what a holy God is like. Until we begin to understand how holy God is, we will never begin to understand how gracious He has been in putting up with us. Because we have such a high opinion of ourselves, however, we continue to sin against Him in our presumption that He owes us more grace than He has given us.
If we understood what the Gospel is saying, we would understand that this problem is not an intellectual one but a moral one. It raises a question about God’s integrity that simply reveals our own lack of integrity.
The question we should be asking if we are really concerned about God’s ways, is not “Why is there only one way to God?” but “Why is there any way at all? How is it that God would be so merciful as to grant us repentance after we have repeatedly rebelled against His authority and His majesty?” That is the real question.
Obviously, the holy awesomeness of God is not realized today. Are these things realities in the church, or has it become a self-indulgent, cozy, warm, happy nursery? Does your worship enhance your fear of God, or does it make Him seem cuddly? What kind of witness is the church projecting through her life and worship?
Passages for Further Study