"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. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. - Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
The headline is eye-grabbing and disturbing. A recent poll revealed that 70% of born-again Christians believe other religions can lead someone to heaven. Thessalonians speaks of the apostate church in the end times, a great falling away. That is what we are living through now as what is largely considered "the church" is nothing more than an imposter designed by man and the enemy to lead untold numbers of people to hell under the guise they are going to heaven. For the past few decades we have watched as the seeker-friendly schemes of church growth and the wildly unbiblical purpose driven church pastoral teachings have led to this sad moment. The mega church movement has not led to an expansion of the kingdom at all. Do you think Joel Osteen gets tens of thousands of people to attend his church every week because he preaches the gospel? The bible says the gospel is a sword. It divides people. The hard truth no one wants to grapple with today is found in the key verses. The gate that leads to destruction is very wide and growing every day. The gate that leads to life, or heaven, is by contrast very narrow. How narrow? Those that find it are few. That is why heaven rejoices when a single sinner comes to repentance. Christianity has been dumbed down to a nine-word faux prayer offered in the actual book, The Purpose Driven Life. Instead of repent for the kingdom is at hand, we have "invite Jesus into your heart" or "make a personal commitment to Jesus". We have even seen the ridiculous, "give Jesus a test drive." Our Lord and Savior is not some wallflower waiting at the Junior Prom for you to invite Him to dance. He is not looking to date you and He is most certainly not a used car. This poll however reveals for us some startling details we should take notice of. At the above linked article, we see the top three reasons why those polled do not share their faith with others. Let's examine them for what they can teach us at this moment.
When asked why they don't share their beliefs with others, born-again respondents first chose "They can get to heaven through their different religious belief." This is the product of decades of poor theology. The majority of the apostate church does not teach accurate doctrine. Osteen himself brags about not telling people what they have done wrong. International cult of personality preachers like Bill Johnson openly mock people who insist on doctrinal purity, insisting we do not worship the word. Sorry Bill but the word is Jesus, so yes we do. Instead, most churches preach a morass of motivational techniques, self-help studies, and experiential Christianity, which prefers our personal experience over doctrine. Our so-called Christian entertainment only further cements this biblical stupidity. One of the most telling moments in the "Bible" miniseries was when Jesus declared that He was indeed the way the truth and life and then they cut to commercial quickly to avoid having the finish the quote where He declares that NONE come to the Father except through Him. Mega-heretic Andy Stanley recently taught that we should no longer tell kids the bible is infallible and instead engage them on the cultural and historical proof of Jesus. The bible teaches us that we will be hated as Christ was and the reason why is the exclusivity of Christianity. But the purpose driven and seeker friendly tenets do not desire this revulsion. Instead, they want to be liked by the world. They want to find relevance with the world. They do not wish to be the shining city on a hill, preferring like Lot to pitch their tent toward Sodom without realizing they end up living in Sodom. The America church today is far more exposed to politics than doctrine from the pulpit. Is it any wonder than that they wrongly believe that other religions lead one to heaven as well?
The second reason given was that "we shouldn't impose our ideas on others." Why would they if the churches they attend do not impose their ideas upon them? It seems the use of the word "impose" reveals a poor understanding of the faith the claim to have. We are not called to impose our beliefs on anyone. Jesus did not impose His beliefs. He preached them. He taught them. He lived them. I've told this story before about two women who used to work for me in the same capacity. One was a born again, deeply committed Christian woman who used to listen to her Christian radio in the office and tell everyone ho much she loved Jesus. The other hated her. Used to pick fights with her and even tried to get her fired by claiming she was being harassed with her peer's religion. This went on for over a year and the Christian woman only responded with kindness, love and Jesus. Some time later, the unsaved woman's life went through the hell all of our lives go through at some point and the first person she turned to was this woman who only responded with the love of Christ. She wanted to hear about this Jesus now because she needed the resolve and peace of her peer. She became saved as a result. The bible says we should always be prepared to tell the world why we believe. It is sad and revealing that people who think they are saved equate evangelicalism with imposition.
The third reason chosen for why they do not share their beliefs with others is "The Bible tells us not to judge others." Along the same theme of a doctrine-less Christianity comes soundbite faith. Because the church is vapid in its teachings many rely upon Christian slogans rather than what the verses they are wrested from actually mean. So, it is easier to wield "I can do all things" to do whatever we want as opposed to understanding God was teaching about Christian contentment in those verses. It is easier to believe God has a wonderful and awesome plan for your life than to understand that those verses were written to the Babylonian exiles and not the modern church. Likewise, to avoid having to properly discern, many in the church prefer to just stand on the "judge not" misunderstanding from Matthew 7. That verse set is not actually teaching us to not judge others. It is a teaching on hypocrisy. The judge not fallacy however represents the inherent selfishness and laziness taught in the apostate church today. It is always about me - first, second and third. Even the faux worship music today reaffirms this notion that we are the special one - just look how much He loves us! Topical preaching that is narcissistic in nature makes us the hero of every biblical story. Instead of understanding David as a type of Christ we are told it is us in the Valley of Elah facing down our Goliaths. Nonsense.
What these top three reasons reveal is exactly how poorly the church today is being taught, by design. The seeker friendly, purpose driven industrial complex is a billion-dollar industry. It sells you the assurance you are going to heaven. In return they simply require your money. They require your unbiblical tithe, love offerings, pastor appreciation month gifts, purchases for their endless books, fees for their annual conferences, "Christian" movie tickets, all of the accompanying music CDs and whatever else the industrial complex brings to market for you. That's a small price to pay for the assumption of eternal life as well as the feelings of superiority granted. After all, you are not like all of the other immoral people going to hell. You are God's special chosen person before the foundations of the earth and He has great and powerful plans for your life. You just have to pay Him his cut first. In the end of course they will stand before Christ and say, "Lord Lord" wondering how it was they could have lived their lives believing they were serving Him when He never even knew them. The truly heartbreaking reality this poll actually reveals is that upwards of 70% of people deemed saved are probably not. That is also in line with the key verses. Narrow is the way and few are those who find it.