My father is one of my heroes. He was a faithful preacher of the gospel and
a consistent witness for Jesus Christ in both his walk and talk. Just as
important, he stood faithfully for the truth that Jesus Himself is the way, the
truth and the life, and that no one could come to the Father except through Him
One Sunday while serving as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Danville,
Kentucky, he preached a wonderfully clear and articulate sermon on the
exclusiveness of salvation in Jesus Christ. He said Jesus alone was fully God
and fully man, and it is through faith in His death on the cross and triumphant
resurrection that people may experience full forgiveness and complete
The next morning at the post office a well-meaning lady who had heard his
particularly powerful oration begged to differ with his key point and premise.
"Pastor Roberts," she began, "I believe that there are many ways to God and
just like we both ended up here at the post office, having taken different
routes and roads from our respective neighborhoods, so I believe everyone will
reach the same place when they die."
In his wit and wisdom, my father answered, "That's an interesting and
popular concept, but I have a major problem with it." She eagerly waited for
his explanation. "And that is," he went on, "when I die, I don't want to go to
the post office!" The point was made! Christ alone is sufficient. No other
religion can ever offer the assurance of salvation because generally they
are based on human performance, particularly conformity to religious rules and
rituals. But the Christian gospel offers salvation full and free, because the
basis of eternal life is centered on Christ and not on human effort.
Insidiously, incrementally and perhaps even unknowingly "post office religion"
(everyone can come in their own way to God) has crept into too many pulpits and
too many Christians' worldviews. As a result, the edge for evangelism has been
dulled and many believers' commitment to share Christ has been lost in the
What should the church do? The obvious facts of the faith need to be
reviewed, reassessed and their implications reapplied to the church's
evangelistic mission. Fact one is--all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God (Romans 3:23). Our personal struggles and the lives of many
of our public officials bear graphic testimony to this fact. Or, as a friend of
mine has put it--"People who don't believe in sin, original or otherwise, need
to have children of their own!"
Fact two--Jesus is the Savior of the world and the sole way to the Father
(John 14:1-6). He and He alone paid the price for sin. It should be patently
clear that, being the God-man, He is both human--able to suffer, bleed and die
for sin; and He is deity--able to pay an infinite atonement for us. This is
good news! And it is the theology of the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14).
While post office thinking might appeal to popular thought, it is not
consistent with the facts of scripture. Let's be clear that if it is heaven we
desire, then it is Jesus Christ Who is the way.
Phil Roberts is director of Interfaith Witness Evangelism, North
American Mission Board.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC