If Jesus is not the only way to God, then His death was a horrible mistake, says pastor Robert Jeffress.
The truth of John 14:6 is the foundation of the megachurch pastor's latest book, Not All Roads Lead to Heaven.
Jeffress told Charisma News that American society today confuses absolute truth with relative truth. Many assume a right relationship with God is merely relative truth based on a personal belief system, but if all roads lead to Heaven, Jesus suffered brutally for nothing.
"I believe with the increasing emphasis on pluralism in our country especially, those who teach the exclusivity of Christ are labeled as hate-mongerers and intolerant, and to tell Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists is seen as height of intolerance," Jeffress. "But this message that there is one way to God, is not a message of hate, it's a message of hope. When Jesus said 'follow me' as the only way to Heaven, it wasn't to keep people out of Heaven but to invite them in."
Recently, former Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins proclaimed Muslims and Christians served the same God, a claim that resulted in the professor and institution parting ways.
But Jeffress isn't the only one calling out the lie of tolerance.
"Hard times come with hard questions, and our cultural context exerts enormous pressure on Christians to affirm common ground at the expense of theological differences. But the cost of getting this question wrong is the loss of the Gospel," writes Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler.
He continued: "We must also understand that the most basic issue is the one Jesus answered with absolute clarity. One cannot deny the Son and truly worship the Father. There is no question that the Muslim is our neighbor, but there is no way to remain faithful to Scripture and the gospel and then claim that Christians and Muslims worship the same God."
If Christianity progresses toward relative truth, pluralism and universalism, many of our commandments go out the window—including the Great Commission.
If Jesus is not the only way, Jeffress says, what's the point of evangelizing, of sharing our faith with others, of funding missionaries to spread the good news?
And for pastors who are afraid to speak Christianity's truth, Jeffress issues a stern warning: "If you are going to waffle on this most foundational issue, get out of the ministry, leave your church. Don't lead from your pulpit with words who will lead people to Hell and not to heaven. There's no reason to be a pastor or preacher if you aren't going to say Jesus is the only way."
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