Peter says that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” What about the sincere pagan or Buddhist? Is God going to send them to hell?
ESV - 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
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Only Christ (unlike any other human -- no matter how sincere or moral -- who has ever lived) is both truly God and truly human, which He proved by rising from the dead. Therefore, only His atoning death and unique resurrection can bridge the gap between a universally sinful humanity and a holy God. Furthermore, His coming (unlike the founders of other religions) was prophesied hundreds of years in advance (beginning as early as Genesis 3:15). On the subject of other religions, C. S Lewis (who had been an atheist prior to his conversion to Christianity) said, "When I was an atheist, I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most; when I became a Christian I was able to take a more liberal view. But, of course, being a Christian does mean thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong. As in arithmetic, there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong: but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right than others." Furthermore, as noted by Paul in Romans 1-2, God gives witness to His existence to everyone through the orderly working of the universe and nature, as well as through the inborn human conscience -- which no one (other than Christ), of whatever religion, has ever obeyed or followed (or will ever obey or follow) perfectly throughout their entire lives. (And, as noted in James 2:10, stumbling in just one point is the same in God's eyes as being guilty of violating the entire Law.). My responsibility as a Christian (in response to Christ's command in Matthew 28:19) is to do whatever I can to bring knowledge of the gospel to as many people as I can. (Jesus would not have given that command if hearing the gospel was of no consequence with regard to the eternal destiny of individuals.) If I do that, I am at peace leaving the accurate and just eternal judgment of others to God and to the same mercy that He has shown to me and to all humanity in Christ.
My Bible says, "For there is one God and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,.."1Timothy 2:5,6 Romans 8:34, "Who is He who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us." Hebrews 9:22, "And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission." The blood must be Holy and pure. There is and ever will be only One perfect pure person to fulfill that description. Without Jesus we are lost!
Jesus Christ, being the only way of salvation, may sound narrowly exclusive to some, including pagans and Buddhists. Buddhists pray, they worship. Will God send them to hell when they’re so sincere? Many people can and have been sincerely wrong about many things (Prov. 14:12). Remember, Charlie Brown when, after losing yet another ballgame, lamented, “How can we lose, we're so sincere?” Jesus and the NT clearly and repeatedly emphasize that Jesus is the only way of salvation. (1) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is the unique Savior (Acts 4:12 See also John 6:68-69; 10:9; 14:6; AActs 10:42-43). --Dictionary of Bible Themes Paul contended that “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). See Shirley’s terrific statement right here on ebible.com of this, ‘My Bible says, ‘For there is one God and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,..’"1 Timothy 2:5, 6
A very timely question in our age of emotional confusion and I humbly submit for consideration a few thoughts. Aside from the Lord saying HE is the narrow gate keeper, let us consider the reality of Scripture on this little sphere. Through out the ever shifting sands of time the statistical empirical data shows that the power contained within HIS gospel changes lives, as promised. And these life transformations occur regardless of a persons location or social economic status. (Isaiah 46:10; Titus 3:3) Further many of these transformations were and are happening in people who had opposed it's very teachings in one way or another. Now reborn some would become very vocal defenders of the faith. Scripture is quite clear on this one point, only by faith and this faith must be in the Lord Jesus. Now many man made religions and denominations teach god plus something else must be done or added for salvation. (Galatians 4:17) Bottom Line: A man made conspiracy that somehow WE all get to ride on the cosmic heavenly bus, if we just do as the wise inflated oracles instruct us. The book of Galatians is clear on these conspiracies creeping into one's life, be wise on this point and let no one deceive you! (Luke 21:8; Matthew 24:4) The Lord Jesus build His cosmic bus by His rules, He is the only driver and the only ticket taker, standing at the door of His bus...no ticket or wrong ticket...NO RIDE...DEPART FROM ME FOR I NEVER KNEW YOU. Now as to those with a form of sincere piety, but having an error in their faith, there are a few memos from MANAGEMENT. (Luke 16:15) We are in sales and HIS gospel must be taught with the bark on, least we commit the sin of Moses. Misrepresenting GOD before the people, by striking the rock instead of speaking to it as he was instructed. Now consider that the ticket in your hand maybe for another bus or driver's route with a much warmer climate? This really hurt my FEELINGS blah blah, well which would be kinder of me to know the truth and yet withhold it. So that you may sleep happy and warm for a season in a LIE. As a passerby should I not do whatever possible to wake the peacefully sleeping within a house on fire and burning? (Ezekiel 33:6) The simple reality is this, today the STATE demands hosannas for any of their foolish crackpot cabal concepts. But if you use that powerful name of JESUS within any public square there will be consequences. (Mark 13:13) SCRIPTURE: JESUS + 0 = SALVATION In the Lord's freedom.....warrior on
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