a one sided theological conversation

With a theologically liberal friend on my Facebook page. You only get my side. It's a discussion about the exclusive way to God through Jesus Christ alone. Stuff gets lost forever if it's on Facebook, so I wanted to save it here. Here it is.

Jesus taught "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17. He also taught that unless people repent they will perish, Luke 13:3. More on repentance here. He also taught us to believe in him, the one God sent, Luke 6:29. Jesus makes many exclusive claims about himself, and John's gospel really focuses on these, John 5:24"I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." A little later on he says 40"Yet you refuse to come to me so that I can give you this eternal life." So my goal is to persuade as many people as I can that Jesus alone will give them eternal life if they will repent and believe in him. Read John 6, Jesus makes very important claims.

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Jesus did say others must come to him only, that's why I'm passionate about this. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6

No one can be more compassionate than Jesus, but his compassion has limits. anyone can go to heaven, but only through him. Earlier in John's gospel Jesus says, "Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures." John 10:9

Jesus's words are controversial. They were controversial then. Read the rest of John 10. The crowd who heard this sermon thought Jesus was crazy. Either Jesus is crazy, a pathological liar, or who he says he is, the Son of God and the only way to heaven.

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I want you to know I have no argument with you. I think you might have an argument with Jesus though. If you look at the verse I posted for today, Jesus says that is not a good idea.

Matthew 7:26-27 But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash."

I prefer to treat Jesus the way I want to be treated. If he says something, I trust that he means it.

I don't want to paste all of John 10 in the comments, so here is the link.

Jesus says he is the only gate. He said everyone else who inserts themselves in that role are thieves and liars.

That's harsh, but understandable. Since the only way to drive to A. Farms is by S. Road, how would you feel if someone offered alternative directions?

Jesus says in that chapter, John 10:9-17
9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures.
10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
14"I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,
15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
17 "The Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may have it back again.

Jesus is still the only way now, because no one else has laid down their life and taken it back up. he is unique because only he is God, which makes him uniquely able to restore our relationship with the Father. We all bear God's image, but distorted by sin. Only Jesus can correct it.

You are right, heaven is more than a place. It is a relationship. But there is only one method that God accepts, according to Jesus, as the correct means of restoring that relationship, through the crucifixion and resurrection of his Son.

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Why did we leave the Father? Every time I acted selfishly, without love for God or neighbor, I separated myself from the Father. Jesus makes this point in a conversation with a religious man named Nicodemus, as recorded in John 3.

1 After dark one evening, a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee,
2 came to speak with Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are proof enough that God is with you."
3 Jesus replied, "I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God."

Jesus tells him, a new life is needed to become part of his Father's kingdom.

Jesus continues,
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
18 "There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.
19 Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.
20 They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished.

in Verse 18 he again indicates our default status with God is "condemned" unless we believe in Jesus (and him alone as I tried to show earlier). Jesus confirms what our consciences tell us, we are sinners, we love to sin and we need forgiveness.

At the end of the chapter, John the Baptist, not the author of this gospel says of his cousin, Jesus,
31 "He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. I am of the earth, and my understanding is limited to the things of earth, but he has come from heaven.
32 He tells what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!
33 Those who believe him discover that God is true.
34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon him without measure or limit.
35 The Father loves his Son, and he has given him authority over everything.
36 And all who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them."

We all need salvation, and only Jesus provides it. So back to the original post, I am celebrating a guy, Raymond of Penafort, who was able to point thousands of Muslims to Jesus who can give them eternal life, from someone, Mohammed, who cannot. Nor can the Buddha. Nor can Doaism. Nor can Confuscious. All spiritual paths apart from Jesus are dead ends, and do not lead to hell, meaning they only lead to hell.

My sincere desire is for you to read John's writings and see for yourself what Jesus has to say. It's written to answer the same type of religious objections you have.

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as Jesus says, we need a rebirth to be connected to the Father, which is only possible through the self-sacrifice of Jesus.

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Our words do not have the power of God's. Verse 12 below talks about it's vitality. No one gets as worked up over the words of Shakespeare or even Mohammed. No one's words upset our souls like God's. There are 4 biographers of Jesus with the same message. V. 15 talks about how much he loves us, and his empathy for us. v. 16 tells us we need to come to God's throne to receive mercy, so we can enter God's rest of v. 11. God's words are life to me, not cruel dictations.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.
12 For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.
13 Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.
14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him.
15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.
16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

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The Bible tells us "the heavens declare the glory of the Lord." But they don't tell us how to rightly relate to our Father. But he wrote us a love letter, and gave us his Son to show the world exactly what He is like. The Bible tells us what Jesus said and did and taught so we can know what the Father is like and how to become part of his kingdom/family. That's why we need the good book.

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