The exclusive claims of Christ are just as controversial today as they were 2,000 years ago, says one national youth leader.
Jesus as "the way and the truth and the life," or the only way to salvation, is hard to swallow in a postmodern culture where "more and more people seem to think that Jesus is one of many ways to God and that salvation is achieved through living a good life rather than received through faith alone in Christ alone," said Greg Stier, founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, which has equipped millions of youths to share the Gospel.
It's a belief held by many Christians today who do not have a firm grasp of what they believe, many Christian leaders say. Most people view the Gospel as a message that proclaims "all roads lead to God as long as you're sincere," Stier noted in an e-mail interview with The Christian Post.
"Most of them know that Jesus died on the cross but also believe that God will accept you if you are sincere and seek to do good deeds," he said.
It's one of Stier's short list of reasons why the world isn't reached for Christ yet. He says the Gospel that is being preached tends to be anything but.
"The word Gospel means 'good news.' It's the good news that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone and not by good works," Stier stressed. "But many who preach the 'Gospel' today are adding all sorts of pre-conditions."
Some of those pre-conditions include keeping the law or some of the Ten Commandments, getting baptized, or some kind of "to do" list.
"Many seem hell bent on twisting the pathway to heaven to include some kind of turning, committing or you-fill-in-the-blank human effort," Stier noted.
The prominent youth speaker recently finished filming in Maui the second edition of a reality series called "GOSPEL Journey." It's a series that explores how relevant the Gospel still is today and if people are receptive to it and it further equips youths to answer questions posed by non-Christians they encounter.
Participants of the latest "GOSPEL Journey" included a Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Buddhist and a girl who believed that God was a big black woman cooking cookies in the heavenly kitchen of unconditional love.
And to many of them, the exclusivity of salvation in Christ was unreasonable.
"The toughest off camera question asked to me was by Jonathan (our bodybuilding, modeling Jewish participant)," Stier said after filming the reality series. "It went something like, 'So Greg you mean to tell me that all six million Jews who died in the Holocaust woke up in the flames of hell because they rejected Jesus as their Messiah?'"
Ultimately, Stier hoped the Gospel message would be crystal clear to them by the end of the weeklong journey whether they accepted it or not.
"My hope is that they all understand that, accept it or reject it, Jesus claimed to be the exclusive way to God," he said.
Despite living in a culture that embraces tolerance, Stier calls Christians to keep the Gospel message crystal clear. Otherwise, lives will not be changed.
"Any gospel that puts the focus on what we must do rather than on what Christ has done has lost the offense of the cross and, therefore, is powerless to truly transform lives," he stressed. "If we really want to see the world reached with the Gospel then we must preach the real, unadulterated gospel."
Other reasons Stier listed for why the world is not yet reached for Christ include the church spending a disproportionate amount of money on buildings, staffing and internal programs; the church not focusing on reaching the most spiritually receptive demographics such as those under the age of 18 and the poor; and Christians not taking the responsibility to share the Gospel and leaving evangelism up to the pastor or to Billy Graham.