Salvation cannot be bought except through the blood of Jesus. It doesn't get any clearer than that.
For some 2,000 years, people have used, abused, and shaped Jesus and Christianity to fit their personal and subjective construct.
Even in my own lifetime, I have heard Christ called "The Revolutionary Jesus," "The Marxist Jesus," "The Nazi Jesus," and "The Capitalist Jesus"-to mention just a few.
I daresay that had this abuse of teaching been done to one of the founders of the other great world religions, the abusers might have been hacked to death in an attempt to avenge mischaracterization of the religion's fundamentals. Yet those of us who consider ourselves to be orthodox Christians do not respond this way-both because we believe in Jesus' injunction to his followers to turn the other cheek (seeMatthew 5:39
) and because of our foundational belief in the sovereignty of God. Hence the statement attributed to Charles Spurgeon: "Defending the Bible is like defending a lion." The Bible speaks for and defends itself.
Nonetheless, from time to time, we are called upon to set the record straight, drawing upon 2,000 years of Christianity that is centered upon the God who is the Alpha and the Omega, the one "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8, NIV). Today it is imperative that we as Christians point out the way in which society is altering the unalterable. We must defend the notion that God has not changed.
Take the results of a survey conducted in early August 2005 byNewsweek and Beliefnet
. More than 1,000 Americans were asked what they believe and how they practice their faith.
Perhaps what is most interesting-and disturbing-about the results is that 68 percent of evangelical Protestants and 83 percent of non-evangelical Protestants said that yes, according to their own religious beliefs, "a good person" who isn't of their religious faith can "go to heaven or attain salvation."