Where is the True Religion? This is the subject I want to explore today.
I often get asked, “What about all the different religions on earth, are they from the true God? Surely they can give us a way to help each other. And if there is one that is really the true one, where is the true religion?
I’ll tell you this, as I sit here thinking about how I’m going to talk about one of the most explosive subjects on earth, I know that God’s point of view is unlike anything we have been taught. But, as Jesus once put it, ‘It must to be this way.’ Mathew 26:54.
4,300 different religions on earth. No wonder we’re so screwed up. Can you imagine if the NFL had 4,300 teams – or any other sport you chose? The rivalry that takes place with just the 32 they have is enough to get some fans in heated arguments that too often ends in violence. Not to mention how some of the players act. I’m not picking on football, I’m just trying to show how rivalry puts people against people.
But football rivalry cannot even begin to compare to religious rivalry.
Have you ever sat down and tried to talk to someone that has a different religious view than yours? Or perhaps you chose not to believe in God at all and have tried to express your belief to someone that does. Of course you have, that’s why people don’t talk about religion. It’s just not worth the argument with all their conflicting views. But, if you were Satan, that’s exactly what you would want. What better way to cover over the one true God and His view than to do it with 4,300 different viewpoints. My source for this information above and below is found in an article written by the register: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/06/the_odd_body_religion/
They also state that: Nearly 75 per cent of the world’s population practices one of the five most influential religions of the world: Buddhism-376 million, Christianity-2.1 billion, Hinduism-900 hundred million, Islam-1.3 billion, and Judaism-14 million.
Christianity and Islam are the two religions most widely spread across the world. These two religions together cover the religious affiliation of more than half of the world’s population. If all non-religious people formed a single religion, it would be the world’s third largest.
To find this true religion is going to be a search for what the bible tells us to look for. I’m going to use the top five religions that claim to know Jesus and their different views of him as the process of elimination. Because he tells us in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:6 .
People all over the world have heard of Jesus Christ. However, there are people of all religions or no religion that follow the way of Jesus Christ by their actions. God said His people would be from all nations and, in 1 Peter 1:16&17, the bible tells us this: “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’ 17 and remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as ‘temporary residents.’” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+1%3A16-17&version=NLT
Can we find the truth about the correct way to serve God from that scripture?
You may be saying to yourself, ‘There is no way I can be holy.’ Let’s find out what the Hebrew meaning for the word holy is. According to eteacherbicblical.com it is this “The word ‘Kadosh’ (holy) something that is ‘other’ (set a part) – the exact opposite of something that is common.”
That means to be holy is a choice. I wonder what that choice might be. What choice would be ‘the exact opposite of something that is common in our world today?’
God has no favorites. Why? Because God will judge us not by what religion or nation we belong to, but by what we do.
Live in reverent fear. Reverent means, feeling or showing deep and solemn respect. For what? For God and His way of rule.
During your time here as “temporary residents.” What does that mean? Jesus tells those that follow him, “My followers do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.” John 17:16. What was it that Jesus did that made him holy or set him apart?
People that follow Jesus would be like aliens or foreigners in the world they live in just like Abraham, Hebrews 11:9, “It was by faith that he lived like a foreigner in the country God promised to give him. He lived in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who had received that same promise from God.”
Like Abraham, we now live in a land that does not belong to us, the earth. God did make us a promise found in Psalms 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+37%3A11&version=KJV
We have already read in the bible that this world belongs to Satan. “The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+12:31&version=NLT .
Using that scripture as a guide line, let’s begin our search for the true religion. The top five religions mentioned by The Register are: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
We’ll begin with Buddhism. It has a membership of 376 million people. They do believe in Jesus but the Dalai Lama says, “The focus of the picture is on Jesus’ teachings about mental attitude and Jesus’ own mental attitude. For the Dalai Lama, Jesus is the model of a “spiritually mature, good, and warm hearted person.” To emulate him, we should practice meditation.” http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/1999/marapr/9b2046.html
Do they believe that Jesus came to earth to give back to us what Adam had lost, thus making him our savior? Jashow.org says:
There is a sense in which Buddhism explicitly rejects Jesus Christ. What Christian belief in a personal Savior from sin represents to Buddhism is a serious form of personal ignorance. Personal Savior? No “person” exists. So what is there to save? And no genuine Savior can exist either, for we must ultimately save ourselves. https://www.jashow.org/articles/world-religions/buddhism/buddhism-and-jesus-christ/ .
That being said, let’s go to Acts 4:12 where it says this about Jesus, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+4:12
One down in our search for the True Religion … four to go.
Next we’ll go to Hinduism. I found this at bustedhalo.com:
Hinduism is an umbrella term for the indigenous religious traditions of South Asia, a vast subcontinent which is home to a wide diversity of belief and practice. However, certain principles are common among Hindus. Among these is the belief that there are many gods and goddesses, all of which are manifestations of one abstract Supreme Being.
Some Hindus regard Jesus as an incarnation of the god Vishnu. According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu is periodically incarnated in the world – in forms as varied as a fish, a dwarf, and a human being – in order to preserve or sustain life and restore order on earth. http://bustedhalo.com/questionbox/do-hindus-believe-in-jesus
According to that information, Hindus don’t recognize Jesus as God’s only-begotten son. That would eliminate them as the true religion with the bible stating that Jesus is the savior of mankind and was sent to balance the scales as it were of giving a perfect human life for a perfect human life.
Islam is next on the list. When we go to Wikipedia, it says in part that: Jesus is the most mentioned person in the Quran by reference; 25 times by the name Isa, third-person 48 times, first-person 35 times, and the rest as titles and attributes. But it goes on to say: In Islam, Jesus is believed to have been the precursor to Muhammad, attributing the name Ahmad to someone who would follow him. Islam traditionally teaches the rejection of Jesus’ divinity, that Jesus was not God incarnate, nor the Son of God, and—according to some interpretations of the Quran—the crucifixion, death and resurrection is denied and not believed to have occurred, as rather he was saved. Despite the earliest Muslim traditions and exegesis quoting somewhat conflicting reports regarding a death and its length, the mainstream Muslim belief is that Jesus did not physically die, but was instead raised alive to heaven. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam
Based on what the bible states about Jesus being the only-begotten son of God, one would have to dismiss Islam as being the true religion. God did not send anyone else from heaven other than Jesus to fulfill the law of the Israelites. Mathew 12: 17&18, “This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2012:17-21
John, who baptized Jesus, says in John 1:29, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1:29&version=NIV .
A lamb was always sacrificed in the temple as a sin offering. If Jesus never died and was raised up alive as the Islam religion teaches, then Jesus’s death was of no value. Hebrews 2:9 states, “But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, so that through God’s grace he should die for everyone. We see him now crowned with glory and honor because of the death he suffered.”
That brings us next to Judaism. Jesus was born into the nation of Israel thereby making him a Jew by birth. One might think then that surely the Jewish people would have the true religion. What does Wikipedia have to tell us? Among followers of Judaism, Jesus is viewed as having been the most influential, and consequently the most damaging, of all false messiahs. Judaism has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism%27s_view_of_Jesus
So again, even his own people rejected Jesus as the only-begotten son of God. But Jesus was well aware that the nation of Israel would reject him, because in Matthew 21:42&43 he told the chief priest and the older men of the temple this:
Have you never read in the scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes” Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
Remember, in the time of Jesus, the Sadducees and the Pharisees were the two groups that held the religious power to govern the people of Israel, thereby making themselves the governing body of God’s kingdom here on earth. They clung onto the written laws handed down to Moses by God. Jesus was telling them that the way to govern was by two unselfish laws woven into the fabric of the strict written laws. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A37-40
But they would not accept this as the law, even though Jesus told them that all the written laws were biased on these two commandments. What he was really telling them between the lines was, that with the willing sacrifice of his life and his resurrection after death, would make the written laws worthless. Why do I say that? Because laws must be strictly adhered to, no choice. What Jesus did was to give back to us, the right that was given to Adam, to choose God’s rule or Satan’s rule. God does not want slaves. The old law makes slaves, the new law was by choice. Jesus was now the head corner stone on which God was to build His new heavenly temple, New Jerusalem.
Further, Jesus went on to tell these two groups something else. John 8:44, “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
I think that pretty much rules out Judaism as the true religion that God would be dealing with in our time, according to what Jesus said.
Join me next time. for:
“Is Christianity the true religion?”