Exclusive Model of Salvation

The exclusive model holds that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, as the only Son of God, the only Savior.  Jesus is the clearest way to salvation.  Evangelicals believe that you are not saved unless you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.  Certainly, he is the “best.”  Baptism in Jesus Christ brings the fullest revelation of truth.  There may be positive values elsewhere, but can you learn anything else?  The Christian Church is the one and only true religion.  There is no salvation outside this church.  Missionaries and evangelists have preached the need to know Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

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The Bible narrative story

There is a narrative quality to the Bible.  We have to appreciate truth in the story, because stories express truth.  We tend to dismiss things as just a story.  Even with modern technology, the Internet. YouTube, and Facebook are full of stories.  Scientific facts are not poetry and thus they have different rules.  The story world helps us understand our real world.  We would not have a real world without language and story.  Non-literate societies emphasized oral story as very important.  Even today, whether it is television or movies, we love a good story.  In the 1997 movie “Titanic” the story was simple, the ship sunk.  However, the love story of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet drew us in and made us feel the whole story.  Historical novels are very popular as a means of understanding the past historical times.

The little horn takes over the sanctuary (Dan 8:11-8:12)

“The little horn

Acted arrogantly,

Even against

The Prince

Of the host.

It took

Regular burnt offering

Away from him.

It overthrew

The place

Of his sanctuary.

Because of wickedness,

The host

Was given over

to it,

Together

With the regular burnt offering.

It cast truth

To the ground,

It kept prospering

In what it did.”

Thus, this King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the little horn, conquered Palestine and violated the sanctuary of God, the Prince of the hosts around 167 BCE. He acted arrogantly against God, by taking away the regular burnt offerings from the sanctuary. This little horn was successful in taking over the host or people of the Temple as well as doing away with the regular offerings to God. He cast truth to the ground, while he continued to prosper and do whatever he wanted to do.

Jeremiah is sent to the king of Judah (Jer 22:1-22:2)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Go down to the house

Of the king of Judah!

Speak there this word!’

Say!

‘Hear the word of Yahweh!

O King of Judah!

Sitting on the throne

Of David!

You!

Your servants!

Your people

Who enter these gates!’”

Yahweh sends Jeremiah to the king of Judah. He was to speak these words of Yahweh to the king who sat on the throne of David. The king, his servants, and all the people in Jerusalem were to listen to God’s word as proclaimed by Jeremiah. Jeremiah was to speak truth to power. This is more or less a reinforcement of the preceding chapter.

A lamentation about the moral corruption of Judah (Jer 9:1-9:3)

“‘O that my head were a spring of water!

O that my eyes were a fountain of tears!

Thus I might weep day and night

For the slain of my poor people!

O that I had in the desert

A traveler’s lodging place!

Thus I might leave my people!

Thus I might go away from them!

They are all adulterers.

They are a band of traitors.

They bend their tongue

Like bows.

They have grown strong in the land

Because of falsehood,

Not because of truth.

They proceed from evil to evil.

They do not know me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh that speaks out about his lament over the corruption in Judah. Yahweh wished that he had a head with a spring of water or fountain of tears in his eyes, so that he could weep all day and night for the dead people of Judah. He wished that he had a lodging place in the desert so that he could get away from his poor people. They were all adulterers and traitors. They bent their tongues like bows with all their falsehood, instead of truth. They simply went from one evil to another evil. They did not even know Yahweh. It was a terrible scene. There is a slight discrepancy of the verse numbers since this first verse in the Jerusalem Bible is the last of the preceding chapter. However, I will follow the Revised Standard edition numbering for this chapter.

They will not listen (Jer 7:27-7:28)

“So you shall speak

All these words to them.

But they will not listen to you.

You shall call to them,

But they will not answer you.

You shall say to them.

‘This is the nation

That did not obey

The voice of Yahweh,

Their God.

They did not accept discipline.

Truth has perished.

Truth is cut off from their lips.”

Yahweh told Jeremiah what to say. However, he warned Jeremiah that the Israelites would not listen to him either. He would call to them but they would not respond to him. Yahweh told him to tell them that they were a nation that did not obey the voice of Yahweh, their God. They would not accept any kind of discipline because truth had perished and was no longer coming from their lips.

The return to Yahweh (Jer 4:1-4:2)

“‘If you return!

O Israel!’

Says Yahweh.

‘If you return to me!

If you remove your abominations

From my presence!

If you do not waver!

If you swear!

‘As Yahweh lives!’

In truth,

In justice,

In uprightness,

Then nations shall be blessed

By him.

They shall boast

By him.’”

Would Israel return to Yahweh? Yahweh sets down some conditions. They would have to remove their abomination idol statues from his presence. They would have to not waver. They had to swear that Yahweh lives. If this was done in truth, justice, and uprightness, then the nations would be blessed by him. Then they could boast in Yahweh.