"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. '" John 6:40
It struck me that it’s clear that it is God’s will, or His “desire”, that everyone——all people of all nations—-will be in heaven, i.e. receive eternal life. But it’s also clear that Heaven is not for everyone. Some will not look to the Son and believe, either because they choose not to look, or because they have not heard the good news. The latter, of course, is why we have missionaries and why we support missions. But note that there is no provision for those that simply don’t hear or are never told where to look.
Contrary to a more liberal theology, Jesus taught that people had to look to Him, and Him alone, for salvation. There’s simply no other means of receiving eternal life or hoping for a resurrection. It might sound severe, unfair or not kind, but it nonetheless does faithfully represent the gospel of Jesus Christ—He said this stuff Himself.
We’re careful in our nation to respect other folks religion and beliefs, but I wonder, sometimes, if some of use the idea of “respect” as an excuse for not sharing the good news to the lost. Throughout the Bible we’re told that we must “believe in Him”—-whatever that means. So it comes to reason that if I really believed that those that did not “look to the Son and believe in him to receives eternal life..” , are going to miss out, would I not be a bit more concerned for their eternal well-being?
And that of course is why we do what we do as “evangelical Christians”; we define that “whatever that means” as teaching that Jesus is the only, incarnate, perfect and holy Son of God. That He came here, at God’s directive, to teach us how to live and love, yes, but primarily to die for us so that we could be with Him and His Father in Heaven. We believe that the one that “looks to Him” is able to admit and repent of their in and commit their life, anew, to becoming the new creature that God always intended. And we believe that only through this rebirth experience can a person have communion with God now and forever. And yes, we are mocked, and more cruelly judged than folks of other religions and we get a lot of attention from those that disagree with our conviction. But it is because the Christian faith is absolutely exclusive in its call to belief and repentance that we are so disliked. We believe that there is no other way whereby a man can be saved except through Jesus Christ.
Only a fool sets out to be disliked, but if we have no enemies in this world, I suppose it’s because we’re not much of a threat to the enemy’s attempt to keep others from “looking to the Son and believing…”