Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

Open your Bible to Ephesians 4. And we have been in Ephesians 4 for a month, I think, but we finally have arrived at verses 4, 5, and 6. And this is a very, very important moment to stop and consider a far-reaching reality that is clearly indicated here. Let me read Ephesians 4:4, 5, and 6. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Here is the singularity of Christianity. Seven times, you have the word “one” repeated. This is a declaration of the exclusivity of the true faith, the true religion.

There is only one body: the church; one Spirit: the Holy Spirit; one hope: that of heaven for those in Christ. There’s only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. That should make it abundantly clear that there are no others, no others. But it seems to have somehow escaped this generation of so-called Christians and even so-called evangelicals, because in a recent survey an inexcusable display of ignorance was manifest.

Sixty-six percent of American Christians say many religions lead to eternal life—that’s two out of three. Fifty-two percent of evangelicals say many religions can lead to eternal life. Forty-eight percent of evangelicals said that God accepts the worship of all religious people. Now, let me correct that. One hundred percent of true Christians say no other religion can save. One hundred percent of true evangelicals say no other religion can save. One hundred percent of evangelicals say God rejects all worship other than that which is consistent with His divine revelation in Christ.

How do we get to a place where people declare they are Christians and evangelicals, and basically don’t even understand the most foundational reality of what is true religion? How does this happen? On the face, you might say they lack instruction, and you would probably be right. But even deeper than that, I think they lack courage, because the reason people cave in to say that other religions can give eternal life is so that they don’t wind up offending other people—because that’s hard to deal with.

But on the face of it, it’s impossible that Christianity is true and other religions are true. This is the basic law of reason called the law of noncontradiction. Just from a rational standpoint, the law of noncontradiction is, “A cannot be non-A at the same time in the same way.” Let me spread that out over Christian theology: If Yahweh is the one and only living and true God, there is no other god. If the Bible is the one true revealed revelation of God, there is no other revelation. If the Son of God is Jesus, who is alone Lord and alone King, there is no other lord. If Jesus Christ is the only Savior from sin and eternal judgment, there is no other savior. If sinners can be saved only by the gospel of Jesus Christ, then they can’t be saved by any other means. If people can only escape hell by trusting in the person and work of Christ, they cannot escape hell by any other avenue. If sinners will be in hell forever if they reject Christ, there is no other way for them to escape. If the sole work that saves sinners is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then no other work can save sinners. If the gospel is the only saving truth and all other claims are lies, if there is only one true religion, then all others are false. If there is only one true God, who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ—the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit—then there is no other God. So you get the idea.

All of those things that I postulated for you are Bible claims. I was just giving you what the Bible says: one God, one divine revelation, one Lord, one Savior, one gospel, one means of escaping hell. That’s what the Bible claims, and it is essentially that that is its greatest offense. And because it is such an offense, people cave in, and rather than be faithful to that gospel, they come up with ridiculous things like, “You can get to heaven by any religion.” A lie from the devil. Deuteronomy 4:35 says, “The Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” That’s the exclusivity of the true God. Deuteronomy 4:39, “The Lord, He is God in heaven [alone] and on the earth below; there is no other.” First Kings 8, verse 60, “The Lord is God; there is no one else.”

Back in Deuteronomy chapter 6, some very important instruction was given to the people of Israel as they stood on the brink of entering the land that God had promised to them. This is what God says to them in Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” That is to say, there is nothing left, for you to love any other god. He demands singular and complete worship.

Down in verse 13 of Deuteronomy 6, we read, “You shall fear only the Lord your God; you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.” So if you entertain the idea that there is any other god, you come under God’s fury, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.

In the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy and verse 19, “It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” That’s a spiritual death and eternal death sentence pronounced on anyone who worships any other God.

In the eleventh chapter of Deuteronomy, verse 16, “Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. Or the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.” God basically pronounces judgment and a death sentence on anyone in Israel who worshiped any other god, because there is no other god.

The New Testament doesn’t at all back off on that. First Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator . . . between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Galatians 1:8 and 9, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, [were to proclaim] to you a gospel contrary to [the gospel] we have [proclaimed] to you, let him be accursed”—damned. “As we have said before, so I say again now, that if any man is [proclaiming] to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be accursed!” And 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” And in the next verse, John says, based on that, you’d better keep yourself from idols.

The most serious thing that you could possibly do in this world was to believe that there is any way to eternal life apart from Christ, apart from the gospel; that is condemned from the Pentateuch in Scripture all the way to its end. Christianity is the only way. We’re talking about unity here in this section, and I just remind you that our unity is not based on inclusivity; it’s based on exclusivity. It is the unity, in verse of 1, of a sovereign call, a divine call. It is the unity of spiritual virtue in verses 2 and 3, the characteristics of those who are called and gifted by the Holy Spirit. And it is founded on this creed: one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.

As we’ve already learned in this book, the one body is the true church; the one Spirit is the Holy Spirit; the one hope is eternal glory; the one Lord is Jesus Christ; the one faith is the revelation of truth in the Word of God; the one baptism is that which declares the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; and the one God is the true and living God, the only true God. In John 17:3, Scripture says, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

“One God”—look at that in verse 6—“one God and Father of all who is over all, through all and in all.” What that is saying is there is no room anywhere for any other god. He is “the Father of all,” which is to say He is the source; He is the Creator. He is “over all,” which is to say He is transcendent and sovereign. He is “through all,” which is to say He is imminent and present, working in His creation. “And in [you] all,” which is to say He has taken up residence in believers. Only one God—created everything, rules everything, permeates everything, and dwells in the hearts of His people. This is the exclusive truth necessary for salvation. Apart from this truth there is no hope, no hope.

Look at Romans 1 for just a moment, Romans 1:18, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” You suppress the truth of the one true God, and you come under His wrath. Verse 21 says, “Even though they knew God”—that is, God had revealed Himself in His creation—“they didn’t honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” Let me tell you what that’s saying. When people reject the one true God who has manifested Himself in His creation and in the law written in the human heart, when they reject God, when they do not honor Him or give thanks or worship Him, they become empty in their speculations. The light goes out inside; they think they’re wise, and they become fools, and they invent false religion.

Religion is not man at his highest; religion is man at his lowest. Religion is an invention by man to replace the true God and the true faith. He is inexcusable because the manifestation of God is in the world and even in him. But when people reject the true God, they don’t find Him another way; they come up with religion; they make idols out of birds and beasts, creeping things. They end up proud, empty, evil, condemned to wrath. Religion is not man at his highest; false religion is man in the sewer of human religion.

First Corinthians is another text of Scripture that is very important in this discussion, verse 18, also, 1 Corinthians 1, “The word of the cross is foolishness”—there’s that word “foolishness” again. In Romans 1 they rejected God and entered into the folly of religion. Here they reject the word of the cross, which is the gospel; they reject that. And what did they get? Human wisdom, verse 20, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

When you abandon the word of the cross, and you abandon the gospel, and you come up with human wisdom, all you get is more foolishness. Romans 1 says they rejected God, they became fools, and they invented religion. First Corinthians 1 says they rejected the gospel, they became fools, and they went in the direction of human wisdom, which is foolishness. But that’s what the perishing people do.

Look, while you’re in 1 Corinthians 1, over at chapter 2, verse 11. Well, we’ll look at verse 10: True revelation from God comes “through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” If you don’t receive revelation of the truth from God by the agency of the Holy Spirit—which of course is the Scripture, since the Spirit is the author of Scripture—if you don’t receive that, you have no hope of knowing God, being forgiven, escaping hell.

Verse 11, an illustration: “Who . . . knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world”—a spirit of foolishness in human wisdom—“but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” Where do we find that? On the pages of Scripture.

All human wisdom does is lead to ignorance. So again I say, at its point of most sophisticated religion, man is at his most debased point of rebellion against God. The only way you can ever know anything about God is to know what the Spirit says about God. The Spirit alone knows the thoughts of God; He has revealed them on the pages of Holy Scripture. Apart from that, everything is folly—nothing delivers you from the wrath of God, and you are part of the perishing.

One day, in Acts 17 it’s recorded that Paul went up to Mars Hill. All kinds of deities were represented there by statues, and Paul looked over all of it. Supposed to be the highest level of human reason in the world—Athens, philosophy. They had all these deities, and they were not satisfied, obviously, because they created one more altar: “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” If you had satisfaction, you wouldn’t need an anonymous god. Paul then filled in the blank and taught them about the true God who created everything. You can have all the religions in the world, but if you don’t have the true religion, you will never know God, and you will never escape judgment.

Natural reason, spiritual feelings, complex religions are expressions of human wisdom, expressions of rebellion against the true God and the true religion. They are foolish, idolatrous, and deadly in an eternal sense. But is it just human? Go a little further into 1 Corinthians chapter 10. Is man just so debased in his rebellion against God that he concocts these religions which damn his soul, or is there some other element in that effort? Down to verse 19, “What do I mean then?”—1 Corinthians 10:19—“That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles”—or “the nations”—“sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God.” That’s the truth of what’s going on. False religion is not just human, it is devilish; it is demonic; it is hellish; it is from Satan, whose messengers are disguised as angels of light because Satan himself is an angel of light who disguises himself in false religion.

So this religion is not just a human concoction, it is the trafficking of demons, the trafficking of demons. And Satan is the father of lies. Paul borrows that, of course, from Deuteronomy 32:17, where he talks about religion being sacrifices offered to demons. I don’t think people know that, but that’s the truth. Psalm 106:37 says, “They even sacrificed sons and daughters to demons.” When they sacrificed their children to the god Molech, they thought they were pacifying a real deity who, if they gave up their children, would bring favor into their lives. And the Bible says they were sacrificing their children to demons. False religion cannot save anyone; it is an operation of hell.

Now I want to go back to Romans 10, which I read earlier, because this is a key portion of Scripture, Romans 10. If there was any group of people who we might say could reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and still make it to heaven, we might think it would be the Jews; and I hear this from evangelical leaders. We might say, “Well look, at least they have the right God in mind: the God of the Old Testament. At least they have the right laws in mind: the Ten Commandments and all other expressions of it. At least they’re looking to the one true God. Isn’t that enough? Wouldn’t that be enough to get them in?” Well, we could find out in Romans 10. They should have the best shot at it.

But notice how it begins in verse 1: “Brethren,” writes Paul, “my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them”—for Israel; he’s been talking about them—“is for their salvation.” “I want their salvation,” which is to say they don’t have it. In fact, back in chapter 9, verse 1, “I’m telling the truth in Christ, I’m not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Yes, they’re Israelites. They were adopted as God’s sons in the Old Covenant. They saw the glory of God. They had the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple services, the promises, the fathers, and the promise even of Messiah; they had it all. “But I’m telling you, I have great sorrow and unceasing grief over them, even with all of that.” Why? Because they are not saved. And that takes you back to chapter 10, verse 1, “My prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” They had no salvation.

Earlier in the book of Romans, Paul said, “By the law no flesh will be justified.” No people were more given the opportunity to know the truth, to know God savingly, than the Jews—especially when Jesus came. And Jesus said, “I’m telling you the truth, and the truth that I’m telling you can set you free because currently you’re under the bondage of your father, the devil.” Jesus said Judaism is an operation of Satan. And when He said that, they were insulted and outraged, and it led to them having the Romans kill their own Messiah.

In Judaism there have always been Pharisees and fastidious rabbis. They saw themselves as the very agents of the true God. Many of them were venerated as teachers of the Old Testament. They carried a certain amount of esoteric authority because of the way they handled the Old Testament. They were the resident truth-tellers about God. But Paul said they needed to be saved. What does that mean? That their sins were not forgiven; they were under divine judgment, on their way to eternal hell. “My heart’s desire, my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”

What was wrong? They came so far; what was missing? Well, verse 2, “I testify about them they have a zeal for God”—right God, right attitude—“but not in accordance with”—what?—“with knowledge,” epignōsis. A zeal for God misinformed, a zeal for God misdirected. And they sat under an eternal death sentence. That is exactly how all false religions are to be understood, all of them—Judaism and all the rest. They do not have salvation because there’s only one way to be saved.

Let’s look a little more closely at their condition and the condition of people in all false religions. Here’s their first problem: They didn’t understand the righteousness of God. Verse 3, “For not knowing about God’s righteousness”—we’ll stop there. Here is the first damning reality: They did not know how holy God is, how righteous He is. They did not understand that though in human life there might be degrees of righteousness and degrees of holiness—there might be a kind of a scale—with God it is only absolute holiness and absolute righteousness. They failed to understand that God was just exactly what we sung this morning: “Holy, holy, holy.” Absolutely holy, so holy He was intolerant of every sin and punishes every sin in the full. They wanted to think what most sinners want to think: that God is love, and God is mercy, and God is compassion, and God is kind, and that’s sort of His dominant side. But no. God is holy. They didn’t know about God’s righteousness. He is too righteous to ever tolerate any sin that is unforgiven and not atoned for.

What needed to happen to them was, essentially, they needed to take a look at the law and define the law the way God defined the law: as a standard of perfect righteousness. The law—from, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,” down through the Ten Commandments, down through all the Old Testament, indications of God’s moral character in His holy nature and His law—clearly laid out what God loved and what God hated. And the Jews, even to this day, lower the law; they lower the righteousness of God. They make God less holy than He is, less righteous than He is. And they have to do that because if they’re going to ascend to Him by law-keeping, they’ve got to lower the standard. All evangelism, then, begins with the absolute righteousness and holiness of God as laid out in His law, His perfect virtue, His hatred of every sin and every sinner, and the curse upon every sin and every sinner.

You can’t lower God’s holiness; that was the first error. The second was, to accommodate this, they elevated their own righteousness. Verse 3, “Not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” What does that mean? They should have subjected themselves to the righteousness of God like the publican: fell on the ground, pounded their chest, “God be merciful to me, the sinner, and save me.” They should have come under the crushing weight of the law and cried for mercy.

But instead they lightened up the law by lowering the righteous standard of God—an attack on His holiness—and then they elevated themselves from their true condition as wretched sinners to a point where they thought they were righteous enough to come to God on their own. If you’re going to believe in a works system, you’ve got to lower the righteousness of God and raise your own. So instead of submitting to the righteousness of God and crying for mercy under the full weight of that which violates His righteousness, they thought less of Him and more of themselves; and that’s what led them to a works system. Psalm 95:10, God says, “For forty years I loathed that generation”—“I hated them.” He said, “They are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways.” People need to be brought under the full weight of the law, which damns them.

So they were ignorant of the righteousness of God; they were ignorant of their own unrighteousness. Thirdly, they were ignorant of the provision of Christ—in verse 4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” They didn’t understand that the Messiah had come to remove the threat of the law, to remove the curse of the law. He actually was made a curse for us. They didn’t see Christ as the one who came to be the end of the law. Christ is the end of the law in terms of the law’s threat. He is the end of the law in terms of the law’s reign. He’s the end of the law in terms of the law’s fulfillment. He’s the end of the law in terms of satisfying the law’s penalty. He breaks the power of the law by taking on Himself the full punishment, so that the sins of all who ever believe are paid for by Christ and the cross. And the Father can remove the curse of the law because Christ took the curse.

How does that happen? It happens, end of verse 4, “to everyone who believes.” Not by works. Christ is the end of trying to earn righteousness by works, by law. Paul tried that, he says in Philippians 3, his whole life. And then he came to understand the righteousness of God, which is by faith, which is given to the penitent, believing sinner as a gift.

So here is Israel. You would think that if there’s any religion that is going to be accepted into God’s kingdom, it would be them. But no, they’re not saved. Why? Because they have the wrong understanding of God’s righteousness, the wrong understanding of their own unrighteousness, and the wrong understanding of the work of Christ. And then they had another error: wrong understanding of the place of faith, verse 4. Righteousness is a gift from God to those who believe.

He says in verse 5, “Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.” Oh, you want to live by law? OK, you have to earn your way to heaven by keeping the law perfectly. If you ever break one law one time, it’s over. So you want to practice the righteousness that is based on law, then you have to live perfectly by that righteousness—which no one can do.

On the other hand, the righteousness based on faith, in verse 6, speaks as follows. It doesn’t say, “Oh, I’ll have to ascend into heaven to bring Christ down,” or “I’ll have to descend into the abyss to bring Christ up from the dead. I’ll have to go on some pilgrimage; I’ll have to somehow get elevated spiritually; I’ll have to get into some gnostic category or some esoteric trance to go up or down or somewhere, to access this righteousness that I need.” No. That’s not what the righteousness of faith says.

What it says is in verse 8: “The word [concerning the righteousness of faith] is near you, in your mouth, in your heart”—how?—“(that is, the word of faith which we are preaching).” You don’t have to have some spiritual journey; you don’t have to have some supernatural pilgrimage. You just have to hear the gospel of faith which we are preaching. And here it is, verses 9 and 10: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” How incredible is that?

OK, you can’t be saved by law. Do we have to make some pilgrimage into heaven on some spiritual plane, or do we have to go down into some depth of spiritual darkness, somehow find Christ and bring Him up or pull Him down? No. No. You just need to “confess . . . Jesus as Lord”—that’s how to be saved—“and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.” Why? Why does it say, “Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead”? Because if you believe that God raised Him from the dead, then you understand that God who raised Him, by raising Him validated every single thing about Him: His eternal existence, His incarnation, virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death—all validated. And every word He ever said, and every miracle He ever performed, every thought He ever had, every act He ever did, the Father validated. To believe that God raised Jesus from the dead is to believe that Jesus Christ is all that Scripture says He is; and that’s the Father’s validation. Do that, and you’ll be saved. It’s amazing. Do that, and you’ll be saved. Believe, confess, verse 10, “Resulting in salvation.” This is the message of the gospel; and this is the only way, the only way.

The Jews were ignorant of the righteousness of God, ignorant of their own unrighteousness, ignorant of the provision of Christ, ignorant of the place of faith, and ignorant of the extent of salvation. Verse 11, “The Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed’”—or “will not be ashamed.” That’s so important. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will never be disappointed. “Whosoever believes”—this is very important because the Jews had a lot of problems with the idea that Gentiles could be saved. It was hard to swallow, for them, that God would accept the Gentiles; witness Jonah.

“But whoever believes . . . will [never] be disappointed”—never put to shame, never rejected. “For,” verse 12, “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” I mean, that was outrageous for the Jews. It’s only one way to get to heaven, one way to be saved, and it’s through Christ. You have to call on Him, believe in Him.

Now that leads us to a very important moment, as we conclude. What are the implications of this? If sixty-six percent of American Christians think you can get to heaven through any religion, I would conclude that they have no interest in evangelizing anybody. Why would they do that? If evangelicals, over half of them, believe that God accepts any religion and hears any religious person’s prayers, then you’ve just taken the toughest thing out of your life. You don’t have to confront anybody. And that’s convenient, isn’t it, because confronting people about their sin and divine judgment is the hardest task we have—but it is the only reason the church is in the world.

And so here comes the mandate, verse 14: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?” You can’t be saved unless you believe. “How will they believe in whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without”—what?—“a preacher?” Somebody has to tell them. Verse 15, “How will they preach unless they are sent?” That’s why we’re here.

I think the ignorance of the evangelical Christian world is partly willful ignorance because they lack courage, they lack conviction, they lack love and zeal like Paul said, who could almost wish himself accursed for the salvation of others. There’s a kind of comfortable Christianity that doesn’t want to have to confront people with the law of God, pronounce condemnation on them and their false religion. But that’s not loving; that’s the most unloving thing a Christian could ever do: make some non-believer think they were okay.

And oh, by the way, if you do tell them and they believe, verse 15 says you will fulfill this: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” I don’t know anybody who became a believer who resented the person that led them to Christ. Those are the most beautiful feet that ever get into our life. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”

Now admittedly, not everybody’s going to accept it, but that’s verse 16, “They didn’t all heed the good news.” They didn’t do it when Jesus came. That’s what it says in Isaiah 53, “[Lord,] who has believed our report?” Not everybody will believe, but verse 17, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” There’s only one way to be saved, and that’s faith in Christ risen. There’s only one way to access that faith, and that is that it would be heard and believed. And so we live to preach the word concerning Christ.

I’ll close with a passage in 2 Thessalonians 1, verse 7. Middle of the verse says, “The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution”—judgment—“to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction.” How do you avoid eternal destruction? You have to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ; there is no other way. Let’s pray.

Our Father, we praise You for the clarity of Your Word. Scripture has this astonishing clarity because it must—it must if people are to be saved. Help us to understand that we can’t leave anybody in the false comfort of worshiping demons in some other religion, but we have to bring the gospel. And we know that not everybody will hear. But for those who do, it’ll be a bond that can only be expressed in the language of Isaiah: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news.”

May we understand that we’re here to fulfill the Great Commission, to go unto all the world, make disciples, teaching them to observe everything that our Lord commands, and that You go with us, and You never forsake us. Empower us, and make us all fruitful for Your glory. Amen.

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