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There is one way to eternal life: through Jesus Christ

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Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:41 am, Tue Aug 27, 2013.

In the Lodi News-Sentinel's article about the retirement of Pastor Alan Kimber from First United Methodist it said the following: "Kimber is disappointed, however, that Lodi has what he calls a 'theological divide,' where some pastors and churches aren't tolerant of differing religious views, even in the Christian community. One example is some conservative pastors' focus on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to achieve salvation. 'I've chosen not to take on those ideological battles,' Kimber said."

Well, I'm one of those "conservative pastors" who still believes the Bible and who still believes that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

An ideological battle? No, it's theological truth. Jesus said in John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." His words are very clear and not a matter of interpretation. So that leaves us with two options: Either He is the only way or He isn't. There is no middle ground. If He isn't then He is mankind's biggest fraud and the instigator of the cruelest hoax the world has ever seen. If He is, however, then we must all bow before Him and acknowledge Him as the true Savior and Lord.

I am an unashamed Bible-believing Christian, and am not afraid to say that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. I can say this because I have proven it to be true. If it weren't true I wouldn't be a Christian.

Is saying Jesus is the only way being narrow-minded, arrogant, hateful or intolerant? No, it's not. I know that many don't agree with me, and that's their right. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. The truth is the truth regardless of whether people choose to believe it or not.

In Romans 1:16 the Apostle Paul said: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes ..." Will you stand up unashamedly for Jesus, even if you are ridiculed or hated?

Pastor Frank Nolton

New Hope Community Church

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Welcome to the discussion.

10 comments:

  • trista aquino posted at 4:19 am on Wed, Jun 27, 2012.

    trista aquino Posts: 119

    I believe Jesus was here to show us the way.....Through him- through his example-of how we are supposed to live, w/ love in our hearts, forgiveness, sacrifice. That is when you are living in accordance to Gods will because God is Love....
    We all know what love is and feels like, yes? Well where does that come from? It comes from Gods side of the spectrum, the spiritual side, the abundance of having everything and giving everything To give-not to get something in return later...Light, benevolence, goodness, selflessness= God. (making darkness, self serving, materialistic greed= Anti)

     
  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 3:50 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    Kevin, the medical analogy does not work. It is a difficult thing to compare the observable with matters of faith... with faith being a epistemology not shared by all in the same manner as the 5 known senses. I can experience a physical illness, see the detriments of it, read facts, conduct experiments, test, try, and discover the benefits of taking a Doctor's recommended cure. Additionally, it may not be the Doctor's fault if I do not make the choice to take the cure, but it is if faulty reasoning is given. False advertising, for example, is prone to legal retaliation, as is a lack of full disclosure.

    Spiritual experiences and perceptions are not fully analogous. I see no reason to believe that belief in your God leads to an eternal existence after the physical body has died. There are many who don't either, and many who propose other methods equally debatable.

    As for my background Kevin, I was born and raised Christian pentacostal. Tongue-speaking, miraculous healings. Love my church, still love my pastor. I worked as a youth pastor, loved it, did some mission trips. I have a B.A. in Bible and Theology from a private Christian college. I am now an Atheist. You've may have noticed my name pop up in the National Day of Prayer article here, or the Hug an Atheist Day news article.... But that is a brief disclosure. People are quite complicated. :)

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:49 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Kevin stated...That said it is OUR choice to separate ourselves from God.

    Kevin, I have never thought in terms of separation or attachment to god. One has to be absolutely convinced that god is there to separate from or attach to in order to make that choice.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:09 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2080

    Sarah, I am not sure who told you God wants to punish us for not believing. Biblically speaking it has been made mind-numbingly easy for ANYONE to accept God's authority. That said it is OUR choice to separate ourselves from God. I have gone into this in the past. Those who post here can probably recite my arguments by heart but it boils down to this:

    We, as creation, were given the supreme gift of choice. We can choose to accept God, choose to follow God's laws as best we can understand them, and we choose to REJECT God. To use a medical analogy, if you are suffering from debilitating headaches and medicine is offered to alleviate the suffering but you reject it, is it the doctors fault you suffer or your own? The same is true for the afterlife, we can CHOOSE to accept what has been offered or reject it, it is not God's fault if we reject that gift.

    You have referred to Jesus as simply a "person". What is your faith background, if you don't mind me asking. Just looking for context as to your statements. Some grew up in a faith and experienced doubt, crisis in faiths, feel betrayed because a prayer was not answered or were betrayed by those that should have been ambassadors of Christ but instead behaved despicably.

     
  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 9:05 pm on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    Yet what does it mean to say I am the way? How can a person be a way? How can one be life? Truth? What does it mean to come through a person?

    The statement is obviously a metaphor, poetic, and can not be taken literally. Even your explanation that it entails bowing down and calling him Lord and Saviour, Pastor, is an interpretation that you have come to by piecing it together with other passages. Can't you see that the actual words themselves do not hold that meaning until you read it into them?

    There are plenty of ways to interpret just that passage... and surely, as a Pastor, you know how many interpretations abound from ever passage there is in the Bible. It's fine that you are sure yours are facts. If it makes you happy, run with it. Me, I can not take solace in such surety. In my own conscience, I prefer to plead ignorance before I stubbornly stick to something that is incorrect, a lie.

    As such, it is unfortunate you believe your God to be so unforgiving and narrow. To insist that a human believe that a human who came down to earth 2000 years ago was equal to God is an absurd thing to believe in, and yet according to you this is the only way to escape eternal torture and horror? What a horrid ruler you have believed a loving God to put on people. Yet according to your Bible, the same measure a man rules against another, so shall it be to them. If I were you, I'd plead ignorance before I held such a tight and narrow requirement up to others, lest you die and discover you were wrong, and God judge you are roughly as you have others.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:06 pm on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Ann Winters stated...I admire and respect anyone who has the courage to stand up in defense of the gospel truth of Jesus Christ.

    I too admire and respect anyone who can look someone in the eye and express what they know truth to be. In this case, it is religious in nature. I also admire and respect anyone who is willing to admit that what they perceive truth to be may change if new evidence is brought to light that was not previously known. I think only god can possibly know all and what truth is. I as a human can not.

     
  • Nora Rowland posted at 9:48 pm on Sun, Jun 17, 2012.

    Nora Posts: 8

    Thank you for being bold with the truth Pastor.

     
  • Ann Winters posted at 9:41 pm on Sun, Jun 17, 2012.

    Ann Posts: 27

    As a follower of Jesus Christ I have His Spirit of truth in me, and that truth sets me free. (John 8:32) I am a person of few words on these religious comment boards because I am secure in my eternal salvation and I have nothing to prove. In the end when all is said and done, the eternal truth of God’s word (John 14:6) will be proven correct. I wrote in response to Pastor Nolton's post, because I admire and respect anyone who has the courage to stand up in defense of the gospel truth of Jesus Christ.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:15 am on Sun, Jun 17, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Truth today is absolute....until tomorrow when a new variable changes what we perceived truth to be yesterday.

    For example, if Jesus 1000 years from now comes back to earth in the form of man again, and tells us he only revealed a small fraction of reality to humans back 2000 years ago as man was not able to comprehend truth as it is... he then rewrites the bible to reveal more truth...he then would make people aware that what they perceived truth to be was not the whole story...

     
  • Ann Winters posted at 10:09 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    Ann Posts: 27

    Amen! Well said Pastor Nolton.

     

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