On tools and truth

Using a hammer to try to get a screw out of a wall isn’t going to go well.  Neither is using a saw to try to ratchet up a car, or a pair of pliers to cut wood, or a car jack to hold wires.  Even a useful tool is completely useless and likely very dangerous in the wrong situation.

We know from everyday experience that wrong tools don’t help anybody out.  Every day, we choose the right tools for the right job–or pay the consequences.

So why is it that, when it comes to our eternal destiny, many of us hold the view that all ways repair our condition before God equally?  How could it be that all varieties of morality, all types of lifestyles, and all sorts of decisions could somehow all lead to the same right relationship before God?  That would be like checking the air in a tire with a can opener . . or using a pizza cutter to file your nails.  Think about this carefully.  Life experiences will tell you that not all tools can be used to make all repairs.  In fact, isn’t it true that, the more important a job is, the more specific you are about the tool?

A silly–but valid–example comes to mind.  I like to use an eyelash curler as a beautifying measure.  😉  One trip I was on, I forgot to pack my eyelash curler.  Would you be surprised to find out that, as much as I like to use my eyelash curler, I did not substitute it with a pair of scissors or a curling iron on the trip?  😀  Not surprising?  Why not?  Because it is my eyes!  I’m careful about my eyes.  I value my eyes.  I’m not experimenting on substitute eye lash curlers–only the right tool will do when what is at stake is my eyes!

Guys, you may not have gotten my eyelash curler example as much, but I bet you wouldn’t be caught washing your brand new car with an SOS sponge!

Whoever you are, wherever you are, you’re probably like me in that you value the right tools very much–and get frustrated when you don’t have them.

But here is a remarkably strange fact about us all.  Although we are very selective in the tools we use for everyday matters, wec an be totally tolerate of all kinds of views about where we’ll wind up for eternity.  That is, if you’re like me, you have probably spent more years of your life worrying about the right earthly tools to help you in daily living than you’ve been worried about the right heavenly tool to repair your relationship with God.

If the Bible’s claims are true, then we are all broken and in disrepair.  None of us are in a state to have fellowship with God.  All of us are cut off from His Presence forever.

There is no one righteous, not even one.

There is no one who understands;

there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away;

all alike have become useless.

There is no one who does what is good,

not even one.

Their throat is an open grave;

they deceive with their tongues.

Vipers’ venom is under their lips.

Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

Their feet are swift to shed blood;

ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,

and the path of peace they have not known.

There is no fear of God before their eyes.

 (Romans 4:10b-18, NASB)

For thousands of years, people have sensed this disrepair and tried to find the right tool to fix it.  We have tried all kinds of religions that rely on our abilities and ego and understanding.  But none of them have worked.

But still, a predominant worldview is that any tool will work to get to eternal life.  That our relationship with God can be repaired as easily by Jehovah’s Witness doctrine as by Islam’s, by Buddhism as much as by Christianity, by the New Age movement as by agnosticism’s.  That it doesn’t really matter what you try to do to repair your relationship with God or gods or Mother Nature or whoever, as long as you try something.

Regardless of what religious view you take, you should recognize that this simply cannot be so.  If you cannot repair a dripping pipe with a pair of nail clippers, why would you expect to be able to repair your soul with any religion of your choice?  If there really is a God, isn’t it certain that your relationship with Him can’t be repaired in whatever manner you choose, but rather in the manner He decides?

The Christian God makes a serious claim: the only way to be made right with Him is through Jesus Christ.  Faith in Jesus Christ is the way to Heaven, because only Jesus can repair a right relationship with God.

Before dismissing the claim, I would urge you to check out the explanation for it in God’s Word.  After all, this is not about a deflated tire or a leaky sink.  This is about your eternal destiny.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (Jesus, quoted in John 14:6, NASB)

“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.” (Jesus, quoted in John 10:7b, NLT)

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” (Jesus, quoted in John 10:9a, NIV)

“No one else can save us. Indeed, we can be saved only by the power of the one named Jesus and not by any other person.” (Peter, Acts 4:12, GW)

“For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity–the man Christ Jesus.” (Paul, 1 Timothy 2:5, NLT)

With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant. (Hebrews 9:12-15, NLT)

I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. (Jesus, quoted in Revelation 1:18, NLT)

Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15, NIV)

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