I finally got around to reading “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young and even found his blog (everybody has one these days). I can’t figure out why many professing christian’s disagree with the theology of this book. Maybe because it borders on being a Universalist?
Jesus, in the book, referred to people of other religions seeking to follow God. When Mack (the lead character) asked if that meant that all roads lead to Rome (heaven), Jesus said not at all. When you think about it you can find God in any religion so you are held accountable if you choose to reject Him by being self-reliant and making yourself a god; i.e. establishing your own righteousness rather than seeking after the Righteousness and the Kingdom of God.
Even though you can find God through any religion, all the world’s wisdom trace back to Ancient Judaism which promises the coming of the Messiah whom the Jews are still waiting for and Christians are waiting to come again. You can find God in any religion so all roads to lead to God but salvation comes through faith in the Messiah.
As the Lord Jesus/Yeshua declared to the Samaritan woman in John 4, salvation is of the Jews but a day is coming when true worshippers/followers will worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth for He seeks such to worship & follow Him.
It doesn’t matter what religion you practice. Paul says in Romans 10:9,10 that all you have to do to be saved is believe in your heart and confess your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ (or Yeshua Mashiach). Matthew 7:21 is perhaps the scariest verse in the Bible because Jesus (the real one) declares “not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do the will of the Father.” His half-brother says the same in James 2:24-26 when he says that we are justified by our works and not by faith alone in contradiction to Paul. Paul and James were actually agreeing because James was basically defining what faith is. Faith is an active trust in a living God.
We are saved by God’s Grace & Mercy. Grace in the Strong’s Concordance is defined as “a divine influence on the heart that is reflected in the life.” Now that’s a definition you’ve never heard in the church. They have it half-right. It is unmerited and unearned because you don’t have to merit the love of you parents if they love you unconditionally. Also no human can love you unconditionally like your Heavenly Father.
God has mercy on whom He has mercy. You can’t respond to the call of salvation unless you hear His call which you won’t if you get too deep in your own sinful and selfish way of living. God doesn’t show favorites. Jesus said “many are called but few are chosen.” The chosen are those that stand on the Word of God. The ones who possess and not merely possess salvation.