I recently saw a bumper sticker on the back of a car that many of you have seen before. It’s the word coexist spelled out using the religious symbols of seven of the most prominent religions in the world. After seeing this I started to wonder what Jesus taught about this concept of coexistence given the meaning of the word and the message that He gave I don’t believe he would have agreed with the concept. You see Jesus explained to His followers that there was no other way to the father but through Him.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:5-6 (ESV)
I would take that to mean that either you chose Christ as your Lord and Savior or you will not see Father. This is for most of the other religions in the world their concept or idea of Heaven. However, as we look at more of Jesus teachings we find an interesting parable in Matthew 13:24-30 it is the parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Weeds).
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” (ESV)
If we look at this passage of scripture and look at the term coexist we see the concept of coexistence explained by Jesus. My best understanding of this passage is this; God’s chosen people, those who have chosen to trust Him and follow after Him are the wheat. While all the lost people and false religions in the world are the weeds. There is coming a day when he will come back and harvest it all separating those who loved Him from those who denied Him. So in the meantime those of us who are wheat (Saved People) will always have to deal with the weeds(lost people).However, we must try to share Jesus with the weeds around us. Paul wrote to the Romans,
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” Romans 10:17 (ESV)
We live in a world where we must coexist in love with non-believers and other religions. This is based on the fact that Jesus showed love to all the people in every situation leaving them the choice to accept Him or not. So our position when people say we need to coexist needs to be; we can as long as you understand that we must share Christ with you in obedience to Jesus’ command found in Matthew 28:18-20. I challenge you today as you walk in the light of God’s Word; while you coexist do not forsake the Gospel after all it is the only real hope for salvation.