“Down the road three miles, take a left at the gas station. After you see the third big rock, take a right. The driveway with the red mailbox is my house.” These sounds like very straightforward directions in a place like my hometown, where roadsigns were few and far in between. What would happen if I turned around in my seat and said, “You know what? I think I’ll take a left after the first big rock; I’ll get where I want to go”? If you were a passenger with me, you’d probably decide to take the wheel, because my way would almost certainly not get us where we’re going.
One of the most dangerous fallacies in logic that I have observed is an idea propagated by many, and it’s that “all roads lead to heaven,” or that “Allah, Jehovah, God all mean the same thing,” or that “I’m a good person; if there is a God, I’ll be fine.” In a world that continually becomes more specific and defined, it’s astounding that so many are willing to believe these erroneous, over-simplified assumptions.
Perhaps I’m a cynic. Those assumptions seem less of a form of salvation and more of a way to make allowances for complacency. That is, these assumptions grant a gratifying lie: “There’s no need to humble yourself and repent. You’re fine. It’ll all work out anyway. Don’t think about the guilt if it doesn’t make you feel good. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
People may ask, “Why would a God punish so many people just because they don’t follow exactly what He said? They obeyed the broad strokes. Shouldn’t that be good enough?” I can’t help but wonder the opposite: “If there is a God, and He wanted a relationship with humans, why wouldn’t He provide a detailed how-to manual for us to follow so we could find Him?”
That thinking is more on course with the God of the Bible then any relativistic reasoning that I’ve ever heard. Whenever God gave instructions to the Israelites, they were always specific, and if the Israelites ignored the commands and went their own way, God listed the consequences. When Jesus was teaching, He told the people, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Assuming otherwise is the same as ignoring all directions to a house and wondering how you ended up in Nebraska.
We know the directions to get to the Lord’s address. It’s important that we not only follow them, but that also we share them with those who are convinced they know another route, because any other way eventually leads to a dead-end.