Yes, yesterday was Sunday. The day my extended family all gather at my Dad’s house. There were a lot of us there, and at one point I just stopped and listened quietly to the conversations. A couple of people were talking about job applications, some were talking about hunting and school, some were giving lots of lovin’ to my one year old great niece and she was giving it back, one was watching tv all by himself, and some were outside puttering around.
As I sat there in the midst of the family I love, my Dad came rolling up to me on his chair. He can’t walk anymore and is home bound. I smiled at him and then asked him a question that I’ve been meaning to ask him for a while now. “Dad, do you need someone to read the Bible to you? If you do, I would be glad to come out and read it for you?”
It’s been on my heart for a while now to ask him because he is always saying that he has a hard time understanding the things he reads. I grew up hearing him read the newspaper aloud to himself, just so he could hear himself and then understand what it was he was reading.
So, progressed a spiritual conversation within which my father heart-breakingly tried to tell me that everyone, no matter what their religion is, or (his favorite word) “beliefs” are, are all heading in the same direction, and he made his hands come together in an upward motion. (Keep in mind he has a hard time understanding things unless they are read to him.)
I looked at him sadly and said, “Dad, that is untrue.” I then proceeded to remind him that Jesus himself said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” My Dad started to protest, and I cut him off and said, “No, Dad! Jesus is The Gate…The ONLY Gate!” (Not because I say so but because Jesus Himself said so. And He is the only One worthy of that claim. If there were other gates He would have said so, but He emphatically claimed otherwise.)
As I reflected on our conversation later that evening I became very angry on behalf of Jesus. I said to my husband, “That would be so unfair for Jesus if all religions made it to heaven.” The more I thought about it the more indignant I became. “If God allowed all roads to lead to Heaven then why the promise to Adam and Eve of a Savior? Why the Prophets down through the ages? Why the cross? Why the humiliation? Why the scourging and whipping and beating? Why the crown of thorns and the naked shameful crucifixion? Why Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection? Why the Holy Bible? ”
Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law. ~~Psalm 119:53
I am beginning to burn with anger again even as I think about it.
It would be so unfair.
See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. ~~2 Cor 7:11
All roads do not lead to Heaven. I would stake my life on it. Oh, I don’t need to, Jesus already has.
Father God, take my puny attempts at a witness and breath life into them through the power of your Holy Spirit. Turn my Dad and family and friends that do not believe from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the power of God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in you. In Jesus name alone I pray, Amen.