A roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the necessary steps or milestones to reach it. It is a high-level document that helps articulate strategic thinking—the why—behind the goal and the plan for getting there. Among various roadmaps, the visionary roadmap visually represents the changes happening within us and our society. It indicates trends in these areas and describes how we will reach the final target and remain relevant despite challenges.
One such incredible roadmap is given to us by our Creator, and only the Gospel of John has a record of it. Our Creator’s roadmap describes how we will reach His Kingdom by leading our life in relevance despite the various temptations that come our way. Unfortunately, most of us fail to implement His roadmap by not making His plan our centre point.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6 (NIV)
God not only sent His Son to prepare the way for all to reach Him but even made His Son that “Way”. He persuades us to follow His roadmap by telling us that His Son is the truth and the life. The paramount importance of a roadmap means that any mistakes or poor understanding can rapidly halt forward momentum. God does not misapprehend while formulating the roadmap for us, but our narrow thinking has stalled the plans for us to reach the ultimate goal.
In the roadmap of God, the plan is to abide by the truth, and the goal is to obtain eternal life. Here, the source of truth is Jesus but people swapped this truth for religions and believed it as the source to receive eternity. For this reason, people are reluctant to tell others that one can obtain eternal life only through Jesus because they have religion on their minds as the source to reach God. As this thought seems so illogical to even a layperson, the noble plan of God lost its momentum. This compelled people to follow a particular religion and people in turn are encouraged to preserve their faith in their prevailing religion.
Every religion has a territory, and people have carved out (notional or actual) idols to defend it. No religion tolerates another religion invading its territory. In this pursuit, people forget the Creator of the universe and degrade Him to various images to support their ideologies.
The Judgement Day
Any roadmap with a faraway date of completion might grow weaker during its course. Some people sketch out the day of judgment as a day they would meet God but during their lifetime they miss out on communing with Him. They think that for them, the roadmap would complete only on a faraway date, and this long-time roadmap weakens their faith in God.
Every day is our Judgment day, as the word of God corrects us and reveals to us that we have been set free from our sins by His enormous grace. If we remain in sin, ignoring His grace, Jesus said that on the final judgment day, His word, which we have rejected throughout our lifetime would condemn us.
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them on the last day.John 12:48 (NIV)
We are residents of heaven and not pilgrims as Jesus resides in our hearts. This revelation will bring us closer to the end date of His roadmap, and the roadmap will never grow weak but will be a meaningful guide to present us before God in His Kingdom.
As the word of God will judge us on the day of judgment, we should conduct a mock inspection to assess ourselves. We should correct ourselves before we blame others. The devil always accuses us of guilt, and if we do not examine ourselves in the light of His word, our hearts will condemn us. But, if we do so, then though our heart does not condemn us, we will have confidence that God is greater than our hearts and He knows our situation (1 John 3:20). In the below verse, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to do so, once he gained confidence through self-examination.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you —unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV)
A self-examination clears our conscience, and we should strive hard to fulfil the will of God on this earth. We should practice the lifestyle of His Kingdom by setting us apart from this earthly life. The astronauts train themselves rigorously by keeping themselves in spacecraft simulators to get accustomed to their voyage. When they are in space, they do not feel any difference or face any difficulties because they have trained their body for their short stay in outer space. Likewise, if we practice living in His Kingdom while on this earth, we will not find any difference when our calling comes.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:10-11 (NIV)
Why There is Only One Way?
Jesus came to this world to show us the “Way” filled with the truth to reach His Father. Jesus tells us that He is the sole Saviour of souls. This statement of Jesus stalls the faith of many and they wonder how a person who does not know Jesus can come to the Father. Satan uses this logical question to distort the minds of the believers. For distorted people, the only way of reaching the Father becomes dubious and biased towards one religion.
It appears so because people have exchanged Jesus, the way, the truth and the life, for religion, and people think a specific religion or denomination is a way to redemption. People are passionate about their own religious faith, and no one can fathom that salvation is through someone else’s religion. It becomes a stumbling block for people to follow the roadmap of God as they are dependent on their religion to lead them.
God did not send His Son to establish a specific religion but to show all humans the way to eternity. When people do not know how to overcome evil, they become more wicked to subside their evil. As a result, evil gained a prominent place in people’s hearts, and good disappeared. To make the people righteous, Jesus took the sin (evil) from people of all tribes and religions on Him and overcame it with His love. Out of compassion and love, He asked His Father to forgive all erring people and reconciled them with His Father. On the Cross, the love of God consumed all evil and generated forgiveness to pardon the sin of all people.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans 12:21 (NIV)
Before the crucifixion of Jesus, every religion created many rituals to obtain mukti (Salvation) through the fulfilment of religious norms and to clear their conscience, but none dealt with forgiveness. For this reason, the forgiveness of sin is only through Jesus and not through any religion.
The Way is For All People
The scripture says that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13),” but does not specify any religion but the “Way”. One will never find this “Way” with the concept of religion. We should believe in our hearts what God has done for us, and this option is available to all without differences of religion or denomination. Jesus shed His blood on the cross to save all people, and God does not want anyone to perish.
As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Romans 10:11-13 (NIV)
Religious people are baffled by this thought and wonder how a person will come to know the decrees of God without religion and its law. While religiosity restricted people from freely approaching God, the generosity of God provided them with His law directly. The law of the land is not known to all people because it is on paper. But the law of God is available to all people as it is in their hearts.
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.Romans 2:14-15 (NIV)
With the law written in our hearts and with the Holy Spirit given to us as proof of our salvation, let us abide by the roadmap of God and make it known to all people beyond the boundaries of religion.