Do all Religions Lead to God?
By Linda Cloud - Sat Feb 09, 9:00 am
Having been brought up in the Hindu faith, I was under the impression that all religions had one goal in mind: “to bring people closer to God by teaching them to love their neighbor.” In other words, no matter what your background, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, if you could love fellow man and live with some reverence for your “God,” you were alright.
In light of this upbringing, I was very much surprised and angered with some born-again Christians who approached me with the Bani (or the words)
of Jesus Christ in the Bible which speak to the contrary. Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, said to Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the Way?” Jesus answered, “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father [God] except through me.” (Gospel of John 14:5-6) Another saying about Jesus by the disciple Peter is , “Salvation is found in on one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Book of Acts 4:12)
After some time of debating with Christians, I turned my attention to history to see what it had to say about the different religions and their leaders. My primary motive was to prove that Christians were narrow-minded and wrong but the more I was convinced that He was unique among all religious teachers and leaders. His teaching was impeccable; His life was absolutely self-less; His disciples chose death over denying Him; and if He truly rose again from the dead, then He had the power that no other religious leader had displayed.
Furthermore, I watched closely the lives of these born-again Christians and noticed that their moral standards were higher than those of my other friends. When they prayed they were not just reciting prayers, they were actually”talking” to God and called Him Father! They laid their lives bare to my scrutiny and there was nothing secretive about their faith. They could be trusted! But it was very hard for me to swallow my pride and admit that there was nothing in history to back up my mythological religion. My religion could not give me the assurance of salvation, forgiveness of all my sins and everlasting life in Heaven no matter how good I was or how many good Karma I did.
After three years of struggling with the claims of Christ and the desire to know this God of the universe, God helped me understand His simple plan of salvation.
God’s Plan of Salvation as explained in the Holy Bible
I am sinner. To sin means to fall short of God’s standard by breaking the holy laws of God either by our thoughts, our actions or what we say (1John 3:4). “As it is written: there is no one righteous not even one… . All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10-12, 23; see also Romans 1:26-32) God is holy. Man is sinful.
I deserve death in Hell. To break even one of God’s laws means we deserve death, which is separation from God in Hell. “For the wages[payment] of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). Thus, “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Also,”…man is destined to die once and after that to face judgement” (not reincarnation) (Hebrews 9:27; see also Romans 1:23, Revelation 20:14œ15).
I cannot pay for the punishment of my sins by any amount of good works (or karma). In 700 B.C., the Hebrew prophet Isaiah said,”All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts [good karma] are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Salvation from sin and its punishment is a gift from God, not a reward for anything we do. As the apostle Paul said, “.. the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus out Lord” (Romans 6:23b). Eternal life is not in our good works, within ourselves, in gurus, or in any gods or goddesses. “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, see also Titus 3:5). Grace means God wants to give us salvation which we don’t deserve and cannot earn by good works or karma.
God loves me as I am and has provided a free gift of Salvation for me.
God, being just, pronounced judgement upon the whole world for our sins, which is eternal death in Hell. But two thousand years ago, He came down from Heaven through a holy virgin birthm in the person of Jesus Christ. As God in the form of man, jesus came to take the judgement-which He pronounced on you and me-upon Himself to fulfill His love towards us. Because God loves us all, He does not want us to be separated from Him forvever in Hell.
Only Jesus Christ, as the Holy One, could and did die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. In dying on the cross, He paid for all our sins. (read Colossians 2:14). The apostle Paul writes, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). And the disciple John states, “God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17). Contrary to the Bible, Krishna says, “For the protection of the good and the destruction of the evildoer, to make a firm footing for the right, I came into being age after age” (Bhagavad Gita 4:8). Rather than destroying evildoer or sinners, God desires to save us through Christ’s death on our behalf. Not only did Jesus take the punishment for our sins, but God also raised Him up from the dead. As the apostle Paul says,”Christ died for our sins… He was buried.. He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and .. appeared to Peter, then to the Twelve [disciples]. After that He appeared to more than five hundred… at the same time… last of all he appeared to me” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
My response to this Good News!
One day I heard an evangelist preach from the Bible verse where Jesus says: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). It was that simple! I just had to invite Jesus Christ into my life! I personally, though faith, accepted Jesus Christ as my only God and Saviour. I believed that He died on the cross for my sins, was buried and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day to complete the work for my salvation. Now I know for sure that all my sins have been forgiven and my guilt is gone. In my heart I have perfect peace and the definite assurance of everlasting life. Now I am born of God; I am a believer in Jesus Christ and know for sure that when I die, I will be with Him in Heaven!
What will you decide?
Do you have peace with God and know His peace in your life today? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? If not, will you receive God’s free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ right now by accepting Him though faith as your only God and Saviour? Will you believe that He died for your sins in your place, was buried and rose again bodily from the dead? Or will you continue to be “religious” and think that Jesus is one of the many ways to God, rather than being the one true God and Saviour as the Holy Bible says? In 700 B.C., God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, Saying, “I, even I, amd the Lord, and apart from Me there is no Saviour” (Isaiah 43:11). And about 2000 years ago, the apostle Paul wrote, “But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10) And as the apostle John says, “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true-even in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. [So] Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:20œ21)
There are many names on earth among mankind, but there is only one true name (Sat Nam) by which we must be saved. Jesus Christ is that name! (Acts 4:12; Romans 10;3; Philippians 2:9-10). While we may greet one another with “Sat Shri Akal” (The truth is eternal), Jesus says, ” I am the Truth.” In order to be eternal, Truth must be God Himself, the only Eternal One, who has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus. Jesus is that Truth and eternal God. There are only four options when you seek to understand who Jesus is. He is either a liar or a lunatic for claiming to be a God; or He is merely a good prophet or guru. or He is God and the only Saviour. The decision to accept who He is remains upto you!
As John says, “…to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Nobody can make you become a Christian or can change your religion. You are the only one who can make this decision to become a child of God and live forever with Him in Heaven. As Paul writes,”The gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b)
Friends, all religions cannot lead to God, because they contradict one another in their Scriptures in their doctrines of God, man, sin and Salvation. However, we will all stand before God at judgement day! “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; but whoever rejects the son will not see life. for God’s wrath remains on Him” (John 3:36). The choice is yours.
Will you accept God’s free gift in Jesus Christ Today?
If so, then repent (that is, change your mind, turn to God from self and sinful actions) and confess to God by agreeing with Him in the silence of your mind and heart, praying this prayer: “Lord, I agree that I am a sinner. I accept that no amount of good works (Karma) can pay the penalty for my sins. I deserve to be punished for my sins by being eternally separated from You in Hell. I believe with all my heart that you still love me and that Jesus died on the cross for my sins was buried and rose again bodily from death for my salvation. Today I accept Jesus Christ alone to be my Lord, God and Saviour. I now depend on Him alone for the forgiveness of all my sins and for everlasting life and no longer rely on myself, my karma, gurus, gods and goddesses.”
“…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross” Colossians 2:13, 14
Now, in order to grow in your relationship with Christ as God’s child, the Holy Bible suggests the following guidelines:
1. Listen to God by reading His word (the Bible), perhaps starting with the Gospel of John. His Scripture will help you (2 Timothy 3:16œ17)
2. Talk to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7).
3. Live a life consistent with God’s principles (1 Peter 1:13-16).
4. Attend a Bible-believing Church for worship, fellowship, growth and service ( Hebrews 10:24-25)
5. Identify with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection through baptism (Romans 6:1œ5).
6. Share the good news of God’ gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ with others (Mathew 28:18-20).
Life as a Child of God
Friend, if you have truly made this decision today to believe in Jesus as your personal God and only Saviour (and not as one of the gods or gurus), then you have just been born into gods or gurus), then your have just been born into God’s family through His Holy Spirit. Happy Birthday! your sins are now forgiven; you have peace with God and have inherited His eternal life! When death comes, you are going to be with God in Heaven! (See John 5:24-25, John 10-27-30; Romans 8:1, 35 and 1 John 5:10-13, 20).
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