My good friend and I were discussing Christianity and how it could easily be considered life’s greatest paradox. Think about it – the claims of Christianity are at the same time the most inclusive on any religion or belief system. Check out the following statements by Christ:
- John 1:12 – Yet to ALL who received him…he gave the right to become children of God
- John 3:17 – God did not send his Son into the WORLD to condemn the world, but to save the WORLD through Him
- John 5:24 – WHOEVER hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life
- John 6:40 – For my Father’s will is that EVERYONE who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life
- Acts 1:8 – You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth
- Romans 10:13 – For EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved
The inclusivity of the Gospel shows that any man, woman, or child to come to faith to Christ and spend eternity with him. There are no set rules, or regulations, or birthrights, or anything else that precludes any one from accepting the Gospel message; however, there is another side to the Gospel which we mustn’t forget, and that is the exclusivity of the Gospel…
In the same way that anyone can choose to follow Christ and spend eternity with him, any one who does not choose to follow Christ must face the consequence that comes from denying the claims of Christ – and this is where the we come face to face with the exclusivity of the Gospel:
- Matthew 7:13-14 – For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it
- John 3:3 – I tell you the truth, NO ONE can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again
- John 3:18 – Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son
- John 14:6 – I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME
- Acts 4:12 – Salvation is found in NO ONE else, for there is NO OTHER name under heaven given to men by which we MUST be saved
- 1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is ONE God and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
After thinking about this paradox, my brain began to wonder about other paradoxes, like “What happens when an irresistible force collides with an immovable object?” Or “This Page Left Intentionally Blank” – really, then why is there writing on it…
Others of note:
Invalid Proof – isn’t proof by its nature valid?
Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t
This statement is false
if it is known to be false then it is known that it must be true, and if it is known to be true then it is known that it must be false
Anyone born on February 29th
Did I miss any? Can you think of any others?
And what do you think of the inclusivity and exclusivity of the Gospel?