2 Kings 17:24-41 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…
If i wanted to drive to Eau Claire from Appleton, there are many ways I could go. At least three of them would take about the same amount of time. All of them would get me to the same place. If I want to make a steak, there are many different ways that I could cook it – frying pan, oven, grill (charcoal or gas). Some might be better than others, but all will do the trick. There are, as they say, many ways to skin a cat. Many people would have you believe that the same is true when it comes to God. They say that all the different religions in the world all get to the same place, they’re all really the same. And they are right that all religions in the world are the same…except for one. And that’s the only one that’s any good.
We must be entirely, bluntly honest about this, Christians. Either Christianity is the only true religion or it is just a big lie. And good news for us that it is the true one. Every page of the bible insists on this. Jesus said it clear as day, “I am the way and truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Me.” Our section from 2 Kings shows this as well. God sent those lions in mercy. He wanted the people who were coming into the land to have the opportunity to hear His Word, His covenant, His law. But they did not take it to heart. The text makes a point of saying first that “they feared the LORD” but then pointing out that they never gave up any of their other gods. They worshiped them all the same and so in the end, as the text says they really “did not fear the LORD” at all. Because the true God, the God of the law, the God of the covenant, the God of grace really shares nothing in common with all the false gods of man. And that is true for one really big reason: Jesus. Every religion in the world except for the true one is a religion of works – I do this to make god like me, or so that god will help me, I offer this or sacrifice that to gain his favor. And while the people of the old testament made sacrifices, while their religion in many ways seemed like the other religions. The whole point of those sacrifices was to show that they could not ever make up for the sins of the people. Instead, God sent His one and only Son – Jesus Christ. Through His perfect obedience, His suffering, His crucifixion, and His resurrection, there is a way to God – a way of free grace. This is a way that is available for all people – from every nation, in any condition. And this is the only way. No other path will lead to heaven because every other path is based on a terribly false assumption about man – that there is anything in me that could deserve eternal life.
The true God, the God who sent Jesus knows that we are not worthy. He loves us anyway, He loves YOU anyway. He made a way for you in Jesus Christ. This is the way of grace. This is the only way. Amen.