New Zealand is the land of agnostics. Telling people about Christ’s saving act on the cross is usually met with polite silence around here. The kind of silence that says, ‘I’m happy for you that you have found something to believe in but understand that that religious stuff is not for me. So, if we are to be friends, please keep it to yourself.’ Some claim to be atheists, but even they will argue themselves around to a mindset that asks: ‘you don’t know, I don’t know, so why make it an issue?’ Making a stand for Christ can leave you lonely beyond your church friends. Thus, many Christians choose to be nice about it and keep their ‘opinions’ to themselves. And, yes, choosing to be nice is always a goal, but these aren’t ‘opinions’ we are dealing with. Jesus sees Faith in Himself and Dedication to his Kingdom as non-negotiables. He insists: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23).
This is a statement that will never appear on an Interfaith website. The Jesus, so neatly set among other prophets or gods, is a Jesus that the real one refuses to be identified with. The idea that we will all arrive at the top of the same mountain, except for the differing paths and guides, is a myth. The only way home is to find “the way, and the truth, and the life,” and as you already know, these are exclusive to, and embodied in, Jesus Christ. Of any desire we might have to get to heaven, he goes on to say, “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). “No one,” he said! The Narrow Road is still Narrow, and the only way to travel upon it is to Walk in the Spirit. The Spirit has given us His GPS coordinates in the Bible—it may pay to make sure you have them and are heading in the right direction and on the right road. Our traveling companions will also give us a clue as to which direction we are heading. What they are saying is to be taken very seriously. If they are more interested in spiritualised versions of the world’s things, you may want to get some advice on that.
Jesus’ trip to earth was a rescue mission. Without it we would never be able to return home to be with the God who made us. Paul was not shy to admit that he was keen to be ‘beamed up’ at any given second: “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake” (Philippians 1:23-24). If Paul had a bumper sticker, it would probably read: “Destination Christ…Follow me!” Home for Paul, and for us, is to be with our Saviour, Prophet, High Priest, King, and Brother—Jesus.