Pluralism and Modern Christians: Exclusivism in an Inclusivist World

When we encounter people of other faiths--Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Baha'is, etc.--observing their obvious devotion to what their religious convictions and the inner peace they seem to have and the gentleness, it makes us want to make a place for them in the kingdom of God. Our Western culture promotes pluralism of all kinds--racial, ethnic, political, and religious. Anyone who argues for one Way as the exclusive way of salvation our society opposes, ridicules, and fears.
Of course, God, in His sovereignty, may choose to save anyone He wants. In the exercising of His wisdom, justice, and mercy, He certainly has the prerogative that human judges often exercise: of allowing for extenuating circumstances and the attitude of the defendant. What's more, He can factor in the confluence of a multitude of cause-effect relationships wholly unknowable to humans. We are confident that if He makes such allowances, they will be decisions that will only serve to magnify His holiness, His grace, and His righteousness.
We are not in a position, however, to second-guess or to make reliable predictions about what He will and will not do in His role as Judge of All the Earth beyond what He has revealed to us. Biblical history yields examples when He granted pardons (2 Sam. 12:13; Ps. 32:1-5; Jonah 3:10) or overlooked shortcomings and failures (2 Chron. 30:17-20; 2 Kings 5:15-19), but it also reports that at other times, He demanded exacting obedience and punished failures to comply to the smallest detail (Lev. 10:1-7; 2 Sam. 6:6-7).
It is not for us to attempt to predict, much less to demand, what He will do or choose in specific cases. Our task is only to proclaim what He has revealed in His Word. Jesus Himself said, "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). His apostle, Peter, restated the same principle: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Paul adds: "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:31).
For us to grant even hypothetical pardon to anyone who has not responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ seems tantamount to calling Jesus (and Peter and Paul) a liar. If He is truly my Lord--if He is truly yours--we cannot call Him a liar or contradict His express statements. We must, instead, obey His call to "Disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20). If that makes us Christians exclusionists, so be it. If that means our stance is a stumbling block to the world, that's all right. The cross has been a stumbling block and foolishness to an unbelieving world throughout the entire history of Christianity. Yet, to those who are being saved, "it is God's power and God's wisdom. For the foolisness of God is wiser than man's wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength" (1 Cor. 1:24-25).