Robert Morris — Jesus is the Only Way
This is the last message in a three-week series called "How Do I Know"? How do I know? And the first week was "How Do I Know There is a God"? The second week, last week, was "How Do I Know the Bible is True"? And this week is, "How Do I Know Jesus is the Only Way"? Now the word only is the difficult word for a lot of people. And I understand that. It's a difficult word for unbelievers that we would say, "what do you mean Jesus is the only way"? And it's even a difficult word for some believers because they say, "Well what if people are sincere and sincerely seeking God"?
So I'm gonna answer those questions today in this message. But I want to show you first of all two scriptures to show you that Jesus is the only way, alright? John 14:6, "Jesus said to him" Now this is Jesus speaking. "I am the way'". He didn't say a way. He didn't say one of the ways. He said, "I am the way". I'm the only way. I'm the way. "The truth and the life'". And then He clarifies it even further and says this, "No one comes to the Father except through Me". Acts 4:12, "There is no other name". And this Peter speaking now after the day after Pentecost, referring to the name of Jesus. "There is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved".
So Jesus is the only way. Now, here's what happens, is many people will throw this out and say, "Well Christianity is exclusive and that's why I don't believe in Christianity". Well you've been misinformed then about other religions because every religion is exclusive. I could actually go down the line all you've got to do is study and it's very simple. I could go down the line and name the exclusivity of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, even agnosticism is exclusive in that the person that is agnostic believes that no one can know. He's exclusive in that belief. So don't say Christianity is exclusive. As a matter of fact, it's a plan of the enemy to get people not to come to Christ because Christianity is actually the most inclusive of any religion in the world.
And I don't even like to call it a religion because religion is man's attempt to get to God. Jesus is God's attempt to get to man. But I understand it's classified as a religion, but I want to tell you this, it is the least complicated and most inclusive of any religion there is. Because in Christianity you don't have to do anything, you simply have to receive someone. It's not dependent upon what you'll do, it's dependent on if you'll receive someone who did it all for you. And all through the scripture, this is why I say it's inclusive, all through the scripture you will see these words, "Whoever". Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. So it's the most inclusive.
But what about the people who've never heard the name of Jesus? Or what about the people who lived before Jesus came? Those are valid questions. It's OK if you're a believer and you're asking those questions. They're valid questions. The Bible by the way answers those questions. In order, though, to answer difficult questions you have to filter those questions through the person who wrote the Bible. In other words, you have to understand the attributes of God to be able to answer those difficult questions.
Now the word attributes if you just break it down a little it would be like "A tribute". If you were going to give a tribute to someone you would talk about the good things that person has done and the good person that that person is. In other words, attributes are characteristics specific to a person. Or if it's used in the plural, tribe. For people, like that's what the root of the word is "tribe". A tribe means characteristics specific to a group of people. You see what I'm saying? So before I can answer, "Well how do you know Jesus is the only way"? I have to answer that by telling you some things I know about God, alright?
So here's the number one attribute about God I want to tell you. Number one, God is good. God is good, I know this. Let me read you a few scriptures. Psalm 119:68, "You are good and do good". It's a real simple verse, but you could meditate on that for about 748 years and it would still be a good verse. You are good and do good. Here's one, Psalm 86:5, "For you Lord, are good". Now watch this, "And ready to forgive and abundant in mercy to all". Notice the word all, "those who call upon You". Notice the inclusivity of the word all . All. God you're ready to forgive all who call upon You. Why? Because He's a good God.
So in order to help us understand this I have some analogies in the message. Do you remember the game we played as children, hide and seek? OK, obviously God's not playing the game. But let me just clarify something and use those two words to help us remember this. We hide, and God seeks. If you remember when Adam and Eve sinned, what did they do? They hid from God. And did Adam go looking for God or did God go looking for Adam? See God is seeking people. And because He is seeking people here's what the scripture tells us about Him. He reveals Himself to every person.
When we talk about Jesus and God seeking people, Luke 19:10 says, "For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost". So because I know God is good and I understand, so I read the scripture through that lens, I come across scriptures like I'm about to read to you and I find out that God actually reveals Himself to every person. He reveals Himself to every person. Let me read you a few scriptures, 1 Samuel 2:27, "Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, 'Thus says the Lord, 'Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in pharaoh's house?' Listen, God clearly revealed Himself to all Israel and listen, and all of Egypt. He clearly revealed Himself.
Psalm 98:2, "The Lord has made known His salvation, his righteousness. He has revealed in the sight of the nations". He's made known His salvation. He's not on an undercover mission. He's trying to get everyone saved. He's made known His salvation and He has revealed His righteousness to all the nations. Go to the New Testament here, Romans 1. He's not only revealed His goodness, He's revealed His wrath also for people to understand. Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed, from Heaven, against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Because what may be known of God is manifest". Made known, revealed. "In them. For God has shown it to them". Revealed it to them. "For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes," That's what we're talking about, His attributes. "Are clearly seen". They're clearly, they're not seen dimly they're seen clearly. "Being understood by the things that are made. Even His eternal power and God head so that they are without excuse".
God reveals himself to any person who wants to know Him. He will reveal Himself. There's testimonies all through the Muslim world right now about people, about Muslims, dreaming about Jesus Christ and coming to faith in Him. God's revealing Himself to people who are sincere who are seeking Him. I told you about Dr. Ravi Zacharias. He shares this testimony about he was in a country. He leaves the country unnamed for safety reasons. He was in this country and they said we want you to meet this man. And they brought this man to him and the man told him this story.
He said, "I was in a country that is 99% Muslim. I was in the Army and I was trained to do two things. I was trained to kill people without feeling". That was very important, without feeling. Kill people without feeling. That's what ISIS does to this day. "And I was trained to make fake passports. Those were the two things I was trained to do". And He said, "My brothers are in the army too and one of them's a general". But every night for seven years he had a dream about Jesus. Every night. So he shared this dream with his mother and his mother said, "You need to get out of the country". And he said, "Well, mom I'm not converting to Christianity, I'm just telling you I'm dreaming about Jesus". She said, "Yeah, but if your brothers find out they'll kill you".
So he fled the country. He goes to another country. In this other country he meets a Chinese businessman. It's not China, the other country. But he meets a Chinese businessman who's a Christian. And the Chinese businessman shares with him about Jesus and he accepts Christ and becomes a Christian. And when he met with Ravi he was actually in seminary training to go back to his own country as a missionary. And Ravi even said to him he said, "I don't know why I asked this, but I just said to him 'How are you gonna get back in your own country?' "He said, "I make fake passports". God revealed himself to him. So God is good. God's a good God you have to know that.
Here's the second thing. You have to know that God is just. He's a just God. Psalm 7:11, "God is a just judge". You remember we talked about the game hide and seek? Well I want to tell you about some more rules that God has set up. And it's called seek and find. Jesus said it in a sermon on the mount. "Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened". Right? OK, God has set it up that if you seek Him, He will be found by you. You have to know that. Jeremiah 29:11, God says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope". Now here's what God is saying, "I'm a good God. I have good thoughts towards you".
So you might now that verse but you might not know the next three verses. Look at the next three, verse 12-14, "Then you will call upon me and go and pray to me and I will listen to you. And you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you says the Lord". I want you to remember that is spoken by God who cannot lie. If you seek for me I will let you find me.
Let me read you a few more verses and we'll get to Acts 17 here in just a moment. Deuteronomy 4:29, "You will see the Lord your God and you will find Him. If you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul". Proverbs 8:17, "I love those who love Me and those who seek me diligently will find me". Acts 17, this comes from a sermon that Paul preached in Athens. Verses 26-27 says, "And He is made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the Earth and has determined their pre-appointed times". The means the time that you'll live on the Earth. "And the boundaries of their dwellings". That means where you will live on the Earth. "So" This is why He's done it. "So that they should seek the Lord in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us". God says if you seek me you'll find me.
Listen, let me make a very clear statement. God would not be a just God if He sent someone to Hell that'd never had a chance. But I know God's a just God. So when I find something in the Bible that I think well, I don't understand this how could Jesus be the only way what about people who've never heard? And what you do is you find out. You go back to the Bible and you find out God says if you seek me you'll find me. And I'm gonna reveal myself to everyone. God is a just God. And listen to me. It is not the volume of knowledge that you acquire, it is the intensity of your search. And if you search for Him with all your heart, you will find Him. You will find Him. That's what they Bible says. It's extremely clear. God's a good God and He's a just God.
And here's a third thing I wanna tell you, God is love. God is love. John 3:16, probably the most famous verse in the Bible, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him". Do you see the inclusivity of that? Whoever. Whoever. Don't ever say Christianity is exclusive again. It's not exclusive, it's inclusive. It includes the whole world. "...whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". C.S. Lewis makes a brilliant statement. He says, "There are two types of people in the world. The person who bows his knee to God and says, 'Your will be done', and the person who does not bow his knee to God and God says, "Alright, then your will be done"
Listen this is as fair as it gets folks. This is as fair as it can be. It can't be any more fair than this. God gave you a free will and He reveals himself to every person. And He gave you the ability to chose. Every person will end up in his eternal destiny. Exactly where he or she chooses to be. That's fair. To give you the dignity of freedom and then to violate your free will, that would be unjust and that would be unfair. But God gives you the ability to choose where you're gonna spend eternity and to choose whether you love Him or not.
Now I want to give you a linguistic illustration to close, OK? I was sharing this illustration with Debbie this last week when I thought of it and she dozed a little bit. But, so I want you to stay with me, alright? We use words three ways: univocally, equivocally, and analogically. Let me explain it to you. So every time you speak and I know you probably don't think about this but you use words univocally, a word that you're saying I mean it this way, only one way. Equivocally, I'm using the same word, but I mean it in a different way. Or analogically, I'm using this word but I'm trying to show you that it has a higher or deeper meaning than the way I'm using it, alright?
Now I know that wasn't exciting but let me explain to you why I shared that with you, OK? Let me use the word univocally. If I say to you, "I love you and Debbie loves you". OK, I'm using the same word and it's the same meaning. Love, I'm using the word love. We're talking about God is love, OK? I love you and Debbie loves you. That means we both love you. And it's the same. I'm using one word and I'm using it with one meaning. Do you follow what I'm saying? But I can use that same word equivocally. For instance, if I say to you, "I love you and I love Debbie". Now, I don't want you to get your feelings hurt, but I don't love you the way that I love Debbie". I love Debbie. I love her. And I don't love you. But I love you. Are you following me?
Some of you are thinking right now, "Well Pastor I'm glad you don't love me the way you love Debbie". Ok. But I used the same word. I used the same word, right? Different meanings. I'll just give you one more example because we also talked about God is good. OK, if you said to me, "Pastor Robert, are you a good golfer"? I would say, "Yeah I'm a good golfer. Now, I'm not a great golfer, but I'm a good golfer". I'm a good golfer. And then in a few weeks from now let's say you get on an airplane and let's say you sat beside someone and you introduce yourself and he introduces himself and he says, "I'm Phil Mickelson". And you might say, if you don't know, "So Phil, what do you do for a living"? And Phil says, "Well, I play golf". And you say, "Well, are you a good golfer"? And he says, "Oh, yeah. I'd say I'm a good golfer".
OK, you'd make a huge mistake if you said to him, "Well, then you ought to play Pastor Robert because he said he's a good golfer too". Those are two types of good, OK? They're not even close. You following what I'm saying? But it's the same word. God's goodness is so much better than ours. His justice is so much higher than ours. And His love is so much deeper than ours. But the only way I can actually talk about it is analogically. I can only give you an analogy. Because I cannot tell you how much God really loves you. I cannot express it enough with the language I'm limited to. But let me try. If I say, I want to show you the difference between my love and God's love for you, OK. If I say I love you and you refuse my love, I hurt because I've lost something. When God says He loves you and you refuse His love, He hurts but He hurts because you've lost something. It's a completely unselfish love.
We're told twice that Jesus wept. The only times we're told, two times in the New Testament we're told Jesus wept. John 11 very famous verse it's the shortest verse in the Bible. John 11:35, I remember telling a guy that'd just won the Lord. I said you need to remember a verse in the Bible. He came back a week later said I remember John 11:35, "Jesus wept". It's only got two words in it. But here's the reason Jesus wept. It was when Lazarus died, you remember? He didn't weep because He had lost something. Because He was gonna raise Lazarus from the dead. As a matter of fact, he did not weep, you can go back and read it, he didn't weep when Lazarus died. He wept when He saw the grief of Martha and Mary, He saw they had lost something. That's why He wept.
He's the other time he wept. He wept the last time He entered the city of Jerusalem. And the reason that He wept was because He knew that Jerusalem had lost something. That generation was going to reject Him as their Messiah. And He wept because they lost something. Listen to me very carefully. It's your choice but if you reject His love you will lose everything. You will lose everything. And He knows that. See don't get hung up on the fact that there is only one way. Get excited that there is a way. There is a way and get excited that God has revealed that way to you and that His name is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the only way. But you have a complete free will. You can accept God's love or not. No person, no person can truthfully say to God, "You are rejecting me". But God can truthfully say to a person, "You are rejecting me". You see God didn't want robots, so God created us as human beings. Beings, not doings, but beings. You are a spirit living in a body. But you have a soul that's going to live forever. And you have a choice. God gave you a choice. He created you with a will.
You know, we talk about God's will. God has a will. So He created us with a will, a choice. You can choose to believe in God or not to believe in God. I really believe that you want to choose to believe in God. That's the reason you watched today. Something piqued your interest today. And that something could be the Holy Spirit drawing you either to God or back to God. Maybe you knew about God as a child, but you need to come back to God. Now I want to encourage you, do it right now. In your heart say, "God, I'm coming home. I'm coming back to You. I receive Jesus as my Lord and as my Savior". And I promise you that if you will make a choice to receive Him, He then will make a choice to receive you. The Bible says, "To as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become children of God".