I hear conversations when talking of spiritual things where people want to speak positively that God has many ways to heaven, many ways to acceptance, many ways to peace, or many ways to salvation. I nod along at such uplifting talk and I think how does one interject truth into this flowery but meaningless language? I don’t like to argue and I certainly do not enjoy bursting someone’s bubble but the truth is too important for all of us trying to make our way in life.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:21 ESV
We live in a moment of grace and mercy. God in his loving wisdom gave to us the Bible, the most printed book in all of history, for us to understand His nature, to understand His character, and to understand His plans for humanity. And it is here at this plan for humanity that the idea of many ways to find reconciliation with God are not found in the text. What one does find is a Jesus that spent much time dividing people and running off potential followers with hard truths. There is but one way to reconcile with God and that is to understand the war waging between the flesh, our lustful selfish desires for physical satisfaction (sin), and the spirit, God’s peace, love, and mercy that we are in desperate need to receive. God tells us that he is the King, the Father, who has an inheritance for those that find life by way of the Spirit. Jesus promises the Spirit filled life to his disciples…
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17 ESV
Jesus is telling any that will listen that a life lived like the world, dominated by the selfish wicked flesh, cannot be reconciled with God. Peace cannot be found because peace can only come from an unselfish life lived by way of the spirit. This is the way God has ordained reconciliation and life. Think on this and think on this future moment that Jesus describes for all peoples. Where will you sort out?
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:31-34 ESV