With so many religions, how is a person supposed to know what to think?
I promised we would look for answers to the hard questions and since we talked about the Bible last week … it seemed like addressing the 1st Commandment might be a good place to go next.
The first on God’s list of commandments in Exodus 20 is:
“You must not have any other gods except me.” Exodus 20:3 (NCV)
God told His people not to worship other gods because people WERE worshipping other gods.
I believe God wired people to need more from life than what’s right in front of them. He wired us to seek Him.
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (AMP)
In the seeking, people create their own ideas about god and truth.
But that’s nothing new.
Solomon also wrote:
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. Ecclesiastes 1:9–10
Today – there are still 5 major religions with thousands of denominations and sects.
It gets confusing?
And I believe like God’s children in Israel, people just want to get along. They want to be popular. So, it’s easier to conclude that there are many paths to the same god.
Let’s ask the hard question…
Are There Many Paths to God?
I found the following article at EveryStudent.com.
5 Major Religions in “Connecting with the Divine.”
The major world religions and their beliefs about God. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and New Age Spirituality…
The author, Marilyn Adamson, does an excellent job of explaining each of the major religions.
In looking at these major belief systems and their views of God, we find tremendous diversity:
- Hindus acknowledge multitudes of gods and goddesses.
- Buddhists say there is no deity.
- New Age Spirituality followers believe they are God.
- Muslims believe in a powerful but unknowable God.
- Christians believe a loving God who created us to know Him.
Of these, only one affirms that there is a loving God who can be known now in this life.
I recommend you head over and read the rest of the article…
5 Things that Set Christianity Apart from All Other Religions
♥ God loves you.
God is love and His love shows in everything He does.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. 1 John 4:16
♥ God seeks you.
God wants a personal relationship with each uniquely created person.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! Psalm 139:13,17
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10
I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. Ezekiel 34:16a
♥ Works can’t save you.
No matter how hard a someone tries … their good is not good enough.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. James 2:10
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. Romans 3:20
♥ Saved you through Jesus – the only way to God!
Jesus is the only way to God!
God’s love, grace, and mercy are so overwhelming He sent Jesus to live the perfect life you and I are unable to live, suffer death as punishment for our sins, and rise again so that through faith in Him we can live with God forever.
We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. Romans 6:9–10
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. John 11:25–26
♥ Simply believe (trust and follow) Jesus.
Faith in Jesus – that trusts His Word and follows His teachings builds a relationship with God that is not possible any other way.
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8–9
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
♥ God is with you.
And because of His great love, God doesn’t leave us to trust and follow on our own. His Spirit is present with everyone who believes … to guide, help, and bless them day by day.
Jesus said, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” John 14:23
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:17
The difference between Christianity and every other religion…
It’s not about you and it’s not about doing it right.
Christianity is about Jesus … God in the flesh who loves you so much He would rather die for you than live without you.
It’s about the freedom to love because you are already forgiven and loved. It’s about getting to follow God’s will because He is alive and active in your life and knows what is best for you. It is about faith, hope, and love!
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12b–13
Christianity is not one of many paths to God – it is the path!
I know many of you reading this already trust and follow Jesus … the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Maybe you know someone who believes there are many paths to God and that all religions are basically the same. I would love for you to share this with them.
One more thing…
I know God’s command to “have no other gods” goes beyond taking a look at other religions. So, I’m hoping you’ll come back next time when we’ll take a broader look at His 1st Commandment.
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