1 Timothy 2:5-7 – For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – In a 2016 Gallup survey of Americans, when asked whether or not they believe in God, 89% answered yes, 10% answered no, and 1% had no opinion. In a separate Gallup survey that same year, when given a third option to yes or no (unsure), 79% answered yes, 10% were unsure and 11% answered no.
In a 2008 Pew Research survey, 52% of all American Christians believe that some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life, while only 49% of evangelical Christians believe theirs is the one true faith.
Of course surveys only reveal what people believe to be true, they do not determine what is in fact true. The same is true with respect to various religions – they define people’s beliefs, which may or may not be truth. I can only speak for myself and why I believe that Christianity is the truth.
One God – For Christians and Jews (perhaps Muslims?), this is the God of the Old Testament. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV 1984). Logic tells us that there can only be one “supreme” (superior to all others) being.
One Mediator between God and men – The Christian faith, and as far as I know none other, believes that the “one” (exclusive) mediator is Jesus Christ. Why must Christians (despite what the polls might say) believe this. Because Jesus said it Himself. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.‘” (John 14:6, NIV 1984). He was either telling the truth, lying or deranged. If He was not telling the truth, He cannot be a path to God. But His resurrection testifies that He was telling the truth.
One true faith – Is the Christian faith the one true (exclusive) religion? If you believe the Gospels, then yes it is. “[Jesus] 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.‘” (Matthew 26:39, NIV 1984). If Jesus was indeed the “only begotten Son of God,” then you would have to believe that if there was another way (another path – one or many), God would not have allowed His only Son to be crucified. But Jesus was crucified. There was, and is, no other way or path.
My Advice – Only we can choose what to believe. But what we choose to believe cannot change the truth. The stakes are high, so we must consider carefully what the truth is. One cannot blame Christians for asserting that Jesus is the only path to God. because Jesus claimed it Himself. And God ratified it by allowing His death and raising Him from the dead. In this sense, yes, Christianity is exclusive – it is the only path to God. But in another sense, Christianity is all-inclusive. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12, NIV 1984). It is a path that is open to all. The choice is ours. Only we can make sure we “earn” our wings by believing and receiving.