One of the things that many in the world find distasteful about biblical Christianity is its exclusivity. Some champions of openness and tolerance in the world would love to have all of society turn against Christianity for its fundamental claim that only Christians have saving grace. Apparently tolerance and openness only includes being open to and tolerant of beliefs that appeal to the self-appointed champions of such openness. And any who would argue against the modern view are guilty of a major societal no-no.
So, let’s ask, is Christianity as exclusive as some would say? Do Christians actually teach that only those who come to Jesus are saved by God? We’ll look to one simple passage of Scripture for the answer.
Acts 4:11-12 – 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The two uses of the word “no” in this passage are tremendously significant. There is salvation in no one else. There is no other name by which we must be saved. This exclusivity is a social no-no in the left-leaning United States of today, but it is the clear teaching of holy Scripture from the very beginning.
God’s word indicates to us, by the use of the word saved, that we need salvation. We need grace in order to be rescued from a danger we face., And that rescue comes only in the name of Jesus. That rescue cannot be found in any other name than that of Jesus. The Son of God who was crucified and who rose from the dead is our only hope.
So, yes, in our culture, it is a big no-no to say that people need salvation. It is a big no-no to say that salvation is only found in biblical Christianity in the name of Jesus. And it makes me sad to think that society has deemed it so. But there is an even bigger no-no in the word of God. There is no salvation other than in Jesus. There is no other name in which we must be saved. We have no hope if we reject the grace of God in Christ to turn to any other system of beliefs.
Is this intolerant? Is it intolerant of a local university to say that there is no way to graduate other than to fulfill the course requirements? Is it intolerant of the movie theater to say that there is no way they will let you watch the movie other than by having a ticket? Is it intolerant of Taco Bell to say that there is no other way for me to have a burrito than by paying for it? Is it intolerant for our van not to continue to run without gasoline?
We live in a real world that constantly shows us that there are requirements that must be met, conditions that must be fulfilled, if certain outcomes are to occur. God’s word says that there is only one way for human beings to be right with God. God set that requirement. And regardless of its social popularity today, God has every right to tell us what that requirement is.