I used to justify that Jesus is not the only way to heaven with the emotional plea that surely a god who is love would not judge everyone based on one ‘truth’ since it’s not culturally and readily available to everyone–that would be unjust after all, and the Bible says that God is a just god.
The truth is that Truth exists outside of what we feel or choose to believe. I’ll spend a lot of time in future posts breaking down the little bit that I know about who Jesus is and how I know. For now, let’s leave it at this: we have a very limited understanding of who God is and how He speaks, so let’s try not to limit what we think He can/will do.
2 Corinthians 5 says that everyone has a groaning in their hearts to be reunited with the Father in His heavenly dwelling place. We also have the promise that those who seek the Lord with their whole hearts will find Him (Jer 29:13, Prov 8:17).
The events that happen between the passing thought that something is missing, the wondering what or who is out there, and actually finding that there is a god and that He’s a specific God, is unique for each person—perhaps even drastically unique for some individuals (like the heathen). I’d like to share a very small portion of my own experience as an example:
Sometime after my third serious suicide attempt—and, by-the-way, I did know there was a God and that Jesus was God at this point; I’d even experienced personal miracles—I had a very unusual encounter with the Lord.
You see, I had been walking in direct disobedience to what I knew was God’s will for me, and yet, was so charmed by the apparent benefits of the devil’s power (I had, somewhat knowingly, made an agreement with the devil) that I wasn’t totally convinced that Jesus was the One I wanted as Lord over my life.
Yet in a moment of intense emotional pain, I walked into my bedroom after an early-release day of high school when the whole neighborhood was quiet, and in my heart felt a groaning that something in my life was not and could not be fulfilled the way I was living it. I don’t remember if I went as far as to make an audible prayer at this moment, but my heart definitely cried inside me something like: where is the Lord!?
Then, I began to hear music—like an orchestra was marching right outside my window (not just a ‘band’ but a full orchestra!). It was the most beautiful music I’d ever heard, and music was so important to me.
I started looking out my windows for the source of this wonderful music, and it was overwhelming loud, but there was nothing to see. The street was completely empty; no cars in any driveway; nobody. And it sounded live, but I began checking to see if maybe a radio was on, only to find that, no, they were off.
So I listened.
I laid down on my bed and listened.
And as I did, a man’s voice, deep and gentle, flooded me. It was an audible voice, and I knew immediately it was the Lord’s.
He sang to me, accompanied by the music, and along with the song came pictures—it was like a panoramic video came before my eyes as small fragments of my life shown in high speed across my vision (likely my entire life, though I could only remember a handful of the images afterward). To the best of my knowledge, the voice of the Lord was singing to me the song of my life. It knew and made audible my every desire, my every anxiety, my every hurt—and I remember feeling as if my whole subconscious (which I had been longing to get to through hypnosis) was being audibly presented before me.
This lasted for several hours—I was surprised when I finally arose to see my clock. And of all the images He showed me, one stood out more than the others: a short glimpse of friends gathering and laughing at an outdoor wedding reception (I could only see the group from their waists down, ironically, but held onto the vision knowing it would occur at my wedding)—and, yes, the vision was fulfilled when I got married several years later.
There’s more to the story, and I didn’t actually return to the Lord directly after this experience, but I’ll leave the other angles and details for another time.
So, back to that poor heathen who wants to know God but is too far physically and culturally from the Bible distribution centers and missionaries…
Why is it so hard to believe that if God can speak to each of us in any way He desires, He can’t also speak to this person?
So, why is it so hard to believe that if God can speak to each of us in any way He desires, He can’t also speak to other people?
He could choose to speak through a missionary, or a suddenly appearing Bible, or creation itself… Or He could speak through an angel, a dream, a vision, or even His audible voice.
Those thoughts about ‘what if somebody else won’t find the Lord’ is preventing YOU from finding Him. Have faith! He’s going to draw those “heathens” to Himself using their environment—just as He’s drawing you to Him using yours! Remember: the Lord’s people will come from every tribe, tongue, people group, and nation—and that means EVERY (Rev 5:9). There may not be a many in every nation who find Him, but He promises that each person has equal opportunity to search for and understand the truth, even if the circumstances are vastly different!
So, let’s talk about you… You may be pondering my story thinking: ‘My life sucks; I’ve tried to kill myself too; why wouldn’t He have spoken to me audibly?’ Or perhaps you just don’t feel like you hear Him and are wondering if maybe He didn’t “choose you” (He did: 2 Peter 3:9!).
Let me encourage you in this: if you are thinking about the Lord—even to wonder if He doesn’t exist—if you are asking yourself all the difficult questions about who He is, and why He did or didn’t do something, or whatever, then you ARE being pursued by the Lord. He is trying to talk to you! You may have so much traffic, so many voices, in your spirit that you’re confused about which voice is His, but KEEP LISTENING, keep seeking answers! You don’t need the audible voice of God, you just need an attentive ear!