The Exclusivity of Christ…John Piper on What’s at Stake

From John Piper’s “Jesus: The Only Way to God – Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved”

Piper lists seven issues:

1. Believing and Obeying the Bible is at Stake – Treating the Bible as our authority in matters of faith and practice is being lost in regard to the matter of people’s eternal destiny.  If we cut loose from the anchor of God’s Word, we will not be free.  We will be slaves of personal passions and trends.

2. Genuine Love is at Stake – We cannot say that we love our neighbor if we neglect to take to him the message that, by faith in Jesus, he will have everlasting life.  The world will tell us that we are arrogant and narrow-minded for proclaiming Jesus as the only way to salvation, but God calls it love.  Consider Paul’s words from 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 when he described those who “oppose mankind” by hindering the spread of the Gospel. He says, “…who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved-…”

3. The Salvation of People in Other Religions Is at Stake – They will not be saved by being sincere about their own faith.  God has appointed one way of salvation.  Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). There is no other name but Jesus by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).  What is at stake is the eternal salvation of perishing people.

4. The Strengthening of Missionaries is at Stake – The teaching that people may be saved without hearing the gospel can rip the heart out of a missionary.

5. Our Own Souls Are at Stake – If we embrace a limitation on the universal necessity of the gospel to be heard and believed, we will begin to lose the gospel, and with it our own souls.  The spiritual health of the church hangs on her full-blooded gospel-engagement – with its dangers and joys – in the mission of Jesus to gather his sheep from every religion and every language and every culture on the planet.  This is no small thing.  Jesus is needed by the whole world for salvation.  If we say otherwise, we strike a a blow against our own conscience and wound our soul.

6. The Enjoyment of all the Benefits of Christ Is at Stake – We miss the benefits of not only escaping hell, but the enjoyment of all the benefits of knowing Christ.  What is at stake in diminishing the universal necessity of the gospel is the everlasting pleasures of people personally praising God, loving others, enjoying God’s creation, and creating beauty. This is what people lose by not hearing and believing the gospel of Jesus.

7. The Glory of Jesus Is at Stake – God intends for the revelation of the glory of his Son to be the awakening of dead and blind hearts among all the peoples of the world.  Everywhere in the world, where the gospel has not spread, people suppress the truth about God and are blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4:4). The remedy, in God’s great wisdom, is the preaching of the cross by the people God sends (Acts 26:17-18). God opens the eyes of the blind when his spokesmen portray Jesus Christ. Where Jesus is proclaimed as Lord and savior and treasure, God raises the spiritually dead and opens the eyes of the spiritually blind.

May the Lord have mercy, and make it a means to motivate missions, magnify the necessity of the gospel, rescue the perishing and glorify Jesus as the only way to God.

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