Is Christianity Exclusive?
Christianity is exclusive in the sense that the Word of God clearly states that unless you believe what it says in relation to salvation, you cannot go to heaven (have eternal life).
In his book The Trouble with Jesus Joseph Stowell writes, “While not exclusive in the wideness of His mercy, Jesus is exclusive in His claim that He is the only solution for our sin problem and the only way to God. And that indeed He is God, Jesus is the central issue that separates me from Hindus, Muslims, Jews, New Age adherents, and the advocates of any other form of religion. His claims are unique” (Stowell 17).
Jesus is very clear that there is no other way to achieve eternal life apart from Him when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6 NASB).”
Speaking of Jesus, Scripture proclaims, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 NASB).”
When Christians share the truth of the Gospel many times we are labeled as bigoted, narrow-minded and intolerant. The assumption seems to be that we should lump Jesus in with the “many ways to heaven” and to do otherwise is arrogant on our part. But, Jesus’ claim to be the “only way” requires us to proclaim the truth and tell the world that there is no other way to obtain eternal life apart from Jesus Christ.
Though Christianity is exclusive in the way we get to heaven, it is inclusive in it’s call to be saved.
As Anne Graham Lotz said on Moody Broadcasting’s national program Open Line, “Jesus is the only way, but He is not exclusive, He welcomes all to His offer of eternal life. No one is excluded at the cross.”
God extends His love, His call to be saved to the entire world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17 KJV).”
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9 NASB).”
Regardless of our ethnic heritage, our sex or our position in society, God extends His invitation of forgiveness and grace to all who will repent of their sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28 NASB).”
We must not hesitate to proclaim the truth “in love” (Ephesians 4:15 NASB).