In our current America, one of the most beloved words is “inclusive”, therefore making the word “exclusive” one of the most despised words in the English language. Now that doesn’t surprise me when non-Christians love “inclusive”, but hate “exclusive.” However, when a professed Christian identifies themselves as “inclusive” in spiritual matters, it breaks my heart. And when a professed Christian belittles and even attacks those who are “exclusive”, it fills me with sadness concerning their personal eternal destiny. Here is why.
First, God has always been an “exclusive” God. The historical global flood of Noah’s day is the perfect example. All of humanity judged as evil by God, only Noah found faithful. Eight saved, everyone else judged. Add to that, from the ten commandments, Ex 20:4-5 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” God said here that He would NOT tolerate the worship of any other God. That means that today’s Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. are all in the same boat as those in Moses’ day who worshipped any other God. Also consider that the rest of the Old Testament is full of God’s judgment and severe punishment even of His own children, Israel, when they worshiped other gods and bowed to idols. God was NEVER “inclusive” in the OT.
Second, then what about the New Testament? Was God “inclusive” when Jesus came on the scene? Not hardly! 1 Jn 2:22-23 “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 Jn 4:15 “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” In NT times not only did God require worship of Him, but also His Son, Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah; and the Father and the Son were ONE. That means that every Jew today who has not accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah and surrendered to Him as Lord is just as lost as every Muslim.
Third, Jesus was NEVER “inclusive”, always “exclusive”. Jn 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ ” Mt 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are MANY. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are FEW.” Some point to the woman caught in adultery as proof that Jesus was “inclusive”, saying that He accepted her adultery as well as her. NOT TRUE! His final words to her in Jn 11 were, “from now on sin no more.”
So are you and God on the same page on “inclusive” and “exclusive”? If you are, PRAISE THE LORD! If not, then you are in trouble and facing serious eternal danger. Time to change!
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.