…except ye believe that I am He.
We live in a world of people who try to excuse themselves and/or others with the exception to the rule, rather than obey the rule. In John 8:24 Jesus makes very plain an undeniable truth, “...except you believe that I am He you shall die in your sins...” No exceptions! Regardless of how the religious world clamors to excuse an aborigine tribesman, or the fact that the major religions of the world (and the majority of the world’s population) do not believe in Jesus Christ, the virgin born, sinless, resurrected Son of God, He still reigns!
Recently a denominational friend, (preacher and missionary) agreed with me that without believing in Christ in the capacity which the Bible sets Him forth, you cannot be saved. Why? Here’s the answer: almost every religion on the face of the earth, whether believing in Christ or not, deals with the matter of sin. They may not call it sin, but they deal with it in principle by trying to elevate the spiritual being to a higher level, i.e. they must rise above something. We call it sin.
Some of these religions believe in “one god.” However, they are misinformed about who He is just as the Athenians in Acts.17:23. The One True and Living God only established one remedial system for the universal problem of sin. That sin is universal is disputed by few. The remedy however, is hotly contested. “Except you believe that I am He you shall die in your sins...” expresses God’s basic counter attack for our problem of sin. You must recognize that Christ was chosen by the Father to deliver you (and every other living soul) from this disparaging conditioned.
Jesus demonstrates the universality of sin in the great commission by saying, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.” Jesus’ statement begs a question; why would there be any need or urgency to preach the Gospel to folks whom the Lord will excuse anyway? How could the Lord damn the disbeliever who hears, (Mk, 16:16) and exonerate the unlearned? Because neither are believers by the Lord’s definition. To say that one can obtain forgiveness/remission of sins without Christ, is like saying you can have ice without freezing water. The two are inseparable, just as there is no remedial system from God without Christ.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “...for without me ye can do nothing.” Meaning, you cannot bear fruit; much less have the needed remission of sins or the much anticipated life hereafter. Jesus has ...” all power in Heaven and in earth.” Matt. 28:18. Without obedience to God through Him, mankind by-passes everything which enables him to be pulled from the mire of sin, and the knowing that the Great Physician has placed his sin-sick condition in remission. Think about it.