It has been interesting to talk to some folks who have just started attending our church. They have very little church background and, as they admit, very limited understanding of the Bible.
We have been going through the book of Genesis in our Wednesday evening Bible study time at church. The young lady asked me some questions about Christianity and salvation. She said this was the first time she had really started reading the Bible. Her questions were the ones we hear from those who are curious about how God works in this world. Is Jesus the only way? What about other religions and beliefs, if their followers are good and sincere? What happens to those in faraway forests of the world who have never heard the gospel and therefore have not believed?
I love sitting down and talking with those who are seeking to know God and to know the truth as shown in Scripture.
This is my conclusion about those who have questions about the Bible and God. Those who are hungry for spiritual joy and peace are the ones who have the least problems with the answers to hard questions about God's grace and love. The ones who have the most difficulty with God's plan of redemption are the ones who try to see it from an intellectual perspective or who have had experiences in the past which seem to hinder their ability to embrace the whole of Scripture. Many still have a hard time with the hypocrites who claim to be Christians.
Yes, Jesus is the only way. No, those who follow other religions cannot inherit eternal life, because goodness and sincerity do not give anyone a pass to heaven. For those who have never heard, the Bible is clear that God will speak to their hearts in a way they can understand. We find verses that tell us that if God's people do not speak truth, the rocks will even cry out the great message. Yes, there are many who claim to follow God's way but live a life that contradicts the commands and morals of the Bible. That does not negate God's plan, but rather shows the goodness of God to still love those who are imperfect. God is not limited by our abilities and inabilities, our obedience and disobedience. God's desire is that all men and women and boys and girls will be saved, being the ones who will enjoy eternal life in heaven with him. That's the greatest love imaginable.
This new couple is talking about total surrender to Jesus and following through in baptism. They are excited about what God can do in their lives. What a joy!