We all have seen the this bumper sticker lately. Superficially, the idea is to peacefully exist with others regardless of their creed, an idea put forward by the Bible (e.g. Rom. 12:17-18, 2Cor. 13:11, Heb. 12:14, 1Pet. 3:15b).
But below the surface it intimates something much more than that- the idea that all religions finds their own pathway to the God(s) of the universe, & therefore they are coequal as well…
for the letter "o," -the peace symbol
for the letter "e," -a male/female symbol or a scientific equation
for the letter "x," -the Star of David representing Judaism
for the letter "i," -a pagan/Wicca symbol
for the letter "s," -a Chinese yin-yang symbol
for the letter "t," -a cross representing Christianity
But Christ’s entire ministry speaks in direct contradiction. His is a message of one, exclusive path to God. Many before have referenced the great “trilemma” of Christ’s ministry, but none more famously than C.S. Lewis…
Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” -Mere Christianity
To exemplify this, in one half of one Gospel alone, note just some of the times Jesus Christ Himself claims that He alone has absolute power over our eternal destiny…
John 3:15-18 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 5:37-40 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
John 6:28-29 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
John 7:37-38 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"
John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 10:1-2,9 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. (2) But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep… (9) I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
John 10:28-30 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
(30) I and the Father are one."
John 11:23-26 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
John 12:44-46 And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
John 13:8 Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me."
John 13:19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
John 14:1-6 "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
4 And you know the way to where I am going."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Faced with these verses, we have a choice- either say that Jesus Christ is the greatest narcissist & megalomaniac the world has ever seen (for the measure which His autocracy has influenced world history)- or embrace His words as true & turn to follow Him with all that is within us (Matt. 22:37).
The words of Jesus Christ are a pure polemic, they leave us no other intervening option…