“God reveals Himself through all religions.”
* If God reveals Himself through all religions:
- He would not have condemned the pagan religions in the Old Testament.
- He would not have condemned the religion of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Talmudic Judaism) in the New Testament.
- He would not have claimed exclusivity: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6
The sovereign, living God of the universe reveals Himself through nature, the created world, through His Word, and through His Holy Spirit today as it works in the hearts of Christians. He reveals that He is a God of love, of holiness, of justice, and of mercy. He invites us to a close walk with Him on earth and for eternity, but we must accept His invitation, and not be drawn away to other pursuits and other gods.
* Christ distinguished between believers and non-believers:
- “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ Matthew 13:30
- “He who is not with Me is against Me…” Matthew 12:30a
- “Only those who enter the narrow gate shall be saved: And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’” Luke 13:22-28
* All religions have different requirements, and their adherents do not end up in the same place:
- Christians believe we must accept Christ as Lord and Savior, then we go to heaven.
- Muslims believe they go to Paradise, with each man having 73 virgins; the only guaranteed way to reach heaven is by dying in Jihad.
- Mormon men believe if they are good Mormons (good works), they get their own planet, where they and their wife/wives procreate endlessly, creating spirit-babies that are then born on earth.
- Buddhists believe they enter Nirvana, or nothingness, by becoming empty of self.
- Hindus believe that if they are good, after a few reincarnations, they will escape reincarnation and become one with the Atman (the all), like a drop of water that falls in to the ocean.
- Secular humanists (declared to be a religion by the U.S. Supreme Court) believe when you die, it is all over – you cease to exist, like a bug that gets squashed (no requirements, but no hope).
- Because several of these directly contradict each other, these do not appear to be different manifestations of the same God, but descriptions of different gods.
* What is the evidence for Christianity above other religions?
In the book “The Math of Christ”, author Stephen M. Bauer calculates the likelihood that 40 Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Christ would have happened by chance. The odds that they happened by chance were one chance in 1 x 10 to the 136th power. To gain some perspective on that number, if you covered the whole earth – land and sea, with silver dollars, one of which was red, and asked a blind guy name George to go out and pick out the red one, the chances of George being successful are one chance in 1 x 10 to the 17th power.
* What difference does it make?
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9