“You know, you could say to a guy, “Well I wanna go to Chicago” and you could say, “Well there’s no way to Chicago, you can go any way you want. Just start off in any direction.” Well, that isn’t true. If you’re going to go to Chicago there’s a direction. And the same thing is true in terms of God. If you’re gonna go to God, God says, “Here’s the way.” It isn’t that God is trying to be unkind or unfair or narrow-minded or picky – it’s just that He wants to tell the truth. You know, I could say, “Well, I’d like to tell anybody just do what you want, you’ll be alright.” But that isn’t the truth, so you don’t do a guy a favor to tell him that.” – John MacArthur, 1979
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
Let us pay extra close attention to the definite article “the.” Jesus did not say,
“I am A way, and A truth, and A life; there are many ways to the Father.” Rather Jesus said something exact, and He gave very articulate and precise directions. He said, in exclusion to all other ways, that He is THE way, and THE truth, and THE life; no one come to the Father but through HIM.
This is as profound and exact as the statement, “In Jesus’s name.” Too many people think that “in Jesus’s name” is some sort of superstitious incantation that they can rattle off at the end of their requests and sentences and that it somehow gives supernatural power to their words. That’s not what “in Jesus’s name” means. If you are going to be “in Jesus’s name,” then you have to be in His way, in His truth, and in His life. To be “in Jesus’s name” means to be under His authority and in His family and in His will and obedient to Him.
But people are so defiant and ignorant, and they are so deluded, that we have this epidemic on our hands where millions of people think they are Christians and it’s all based on a few words and superstitions and misdirection. The only way to God is through Jesus, and that means the exact same thing as “in Jesus’s name” or “in Jesus’s family” or “in Jesus’s way” or “in Jesus’s truth” or “in Jesus’s life.” They all mean that you are following Him and that you have faith in Him and that you are obedient to Him. You cannot get to God by being foolish and self-controlling and going some way other than Jesus.
If you are going to be in Jesus in any way, then you must have faith, you must obey Him, you must follow Him down His path that He chooses, and you must leave your self-will aside and totally submit to Him. That’s what it looks like when Christ saves a person. He doesn’t save people and leave them in some other way. The saved are in His way. He doesn’t save people and leave them in sin and lies. The saved are in the truth. He doesn’t save people and leave them in death. The saved are in life. He doesn’t save people and leave them the same. The saved are completely transformed, inside and then out.
And speaking of the outside transformation, Jesus Christ has full authority to lead you wherever He chooses! You are no longer your own! If you are Christ’s, then you have been bought with a price and you are now His. If He leads you through hardship and struggle and tribulation, then you follow Him. If you are His, and if you are “in His name” then you are going to be obedient to Him. We should not hesitate for one second, and we should allow Him to command us as easily as sheep are controlled by the shepherd.
John 10:3 says, “he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:4 says, “he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him.”
John 10:9 says, “if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved.”
John 10:14 says, “I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father.”
That’s it. There’s no question about the Lord/servant, Master/slave, Shepherd/sheep relationship and intimate correspondence between Christ and His that He has bought and given His Holy Spirit to lead them into obedience to His Word which is written out in the Holy Bible.
If you don’t have this obedience driven relationship with Christ that is clearly described in scripture as a shepherd/sheep relationship, then what are you waiting for? Asking Christ into your heart means nothing if He doesn’t enter in it. How do you know if He entered into your heart? This intimate relationship of obedience, this intimate knowing of Christ, as He said, “even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father” displays Christ-likeness and holiness and purity just as Christ’s intimate relationship with God displays God-likeness and holiness and purity. Your love for Christ and your relentless desire to serve Him should look like His love and relentless desire to serve God.
If you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, which all saved people are, then you have a full-time, forever kindred and relationship with Him that catapults you to actually live “in Jesus’s name” with everything that Jesus represents and loves becoming everything that you represent and love. Pray for THAT. Pray for Him. Pray to actually be saved and that you would actually go through Christ, which means submission to Him in obedience and love. Pray “in Jesus’s name” by actually conforming to who He is, just as He conformed to the Father, and just as sheep conform and follow their Shepherd wherever He may go with no more regard to your own way. Because that’s what the Holy Spirit inside you does to you! The Holy Spirit’s presence within a person is not an idea, it’s a life-transforming reality! If this has not been the reality of your life, and you think you are a Christian, then you are mistaken. Pray to Him and Pledge your allegiance to Christ, the only way to God.
You cannot have saving faith without truth, and you cannot have faith in the truth without conforming to it.
I’m very scared for those who believe they are “good people,” yet they have no empowerment from the Holy Spirit and they have no transformation and hey have no commitment to obedience, and they are not following Christ at all and they have no intimate relationship with Him and they are not overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to follow Christ. The reason they don’t have all of those things is because they don’t have the Spirit of God inside them.
The number of deluded people going to Hell is high! They have been lied to, and they lie to themselves, and they believe all the wrong things. If we love these people, we must do something and we must say something. And we need to make it as clear as possible and fully biblical.