In Response to all the Religions
Why do Christians claim Jesus is God? Why do we ignore other teachers and teachings from other religions. Why do we say He is the only way and we cannot accept that there are other ways to God? These are the questions most often asked about us.
When we look at other religions they are not just asking us to add on their teacher but to ignore Jesus, and give their leader equal or a greater prominence. Jesus is then superceded by another, something no Christian would never do. Many leaders of these other religions often are opposed to what Jesus said or they change His statements to make them suitable in their own religious framework. Jesus asked the people to follow him alone, not only for that time and then look for another afterwards. Islam, Bahai, Mormonism [and others] all claim their prophet was to come with a new revelation in line with all the prophets. But why should accept these men’s claims unless they have proof. If Jesus is God follow him, if Mohammed, Baha’u’llah, Buddha or Krishna is God then follow him. Just about anyone can claim to be God and many have. Even in our modern times, there have been many but it is a whole other thing to prove it. Only one came from heaven died and raised from the dead, and ascended back to where He came from. This becomes the eliminating factor that makes it the Grand Canyon jump that no one can survive.
Some claim there are similarities to the moral ethical commands of Judaism/Christianity and other religions, such as in the teachings in Buddhism. This can be agreed upon to a certain extent. However there is a historical and Biblical reason for this. Religion can instill moral values and improve ones life temporarily but in the end it cannot affect our eternal state that continues after this life. The reason is that it does not have the solution to mans disease, it does not have the cure.
Romans chapter1 teaches that we all had a common ancestry and had the knowledge of God in common until mankind left the truth and started to worship the creation (paganism) instead of the creator of creation. From the time of Genesis God gave one man and woman together to be husband and wife and make a family. There was harmony in the family. Man knew it was wrong to murder, steal and lie from the beginning.
Rom 1:19-25: “Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
Romans 1:28-32: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Notice these are things that religions address, moral and ethical issues.
Also, we all have a conscience to instruct us in the basic guidance of what is right and wrong, he is like the umpire in certain respects. It is built into us as instinct to know what to do and not to do certain things. For example no matter what continent someone is on they know its wrong to murder another person. This would only change if a whole society or culture mandated a opposite philosophy as law which would go against ones conscience. The Bible also teaches that God has put eternity in our hearts. Man knows what he sees in this lifetime is not all there is. This is why almost unanimously all religions have a teaching on an afterlife, its built in knowledge there is an unseen afterlife. So we can trace many of the moral codes in the various religions to a common source from mans beginnings. But then Christianity rises above all the rest of the worlds religions in that it explains these thing in truth by the one who is the source of all things.
Even within the framework of Judaism and Christianity men like Moses and the prophets or Paul and Peter might have been replaced by other equally good men, but it is not so with Christ. On this theme Charles Gore writes: “To recognize this truth is to be struck by the contrast which in this respect Christianity presents to other-'religions. For example, the place which Mohammed holds in Islam is not the place which Jesus Christ holds in Christianity, but that which Moses holds in Judaism. The Arabian prophet made for himself no claim other than that which Jewish prophets made, other than that which all prophets, true or false, or partly true an partly false, have always made,--to speak the word of the Lord. The substance of Mohammedanism, considered as a religion, lies simply in the message which the Koran contains. It is, as no other religion is, founded upon a book. The person of the Prophet has its significance only so far as he is, supposed to have certificated the reality of the revelations which the book records.
Gautama, again, the founder of Buddhism, one, I suppose, of the noblest and greatest of mankind, is only the discoverer or rediscoverer of a method or way, the way of salvation, by which is meant the way to win final emancipation from the weary chain of existence, and to attain Nirvana, or Parinirvana, the final blessed extinction. Having found this way, after many years of weary searching, he can teach it to others, -but he is, all the time, only a preeminent example of the success of his own method, one of a series of Buddha's or enlightened ones, who shed on other men the light of their superior knowledge....”
The men who inaugurated these religious systems did not remain as the fountain source of all that they proposed, they were all cut short by the enemy of mankind, death. Nor do they remain as living executors of the order in the universe but have relinquished any control they had to another.
So many say I believe in Jesus, what they mean is they believe He existed and is a great teacher and a good man, but not that He is who Christians (and the Bible) claim He said He is. How do we know that that He claimed He was God? The Bible says this. It is this same Bible that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament about His teachings and Himself in prophecy.
If this is not true, then Jesus is neither a good man nor a true teacher. What other teacher do you know that said to make Jesus our Lord and follow Him ONLY. Or claimed they created the universe and then had organic miracles to prove it. If we look at the three or four main religions it was NOT Mohammed, Baha’u’llah, Krishna nor Buddha that claimed this,-- they couldn't. The Christian Gospel is not one truth among many “truths” that people nowadays can choose from, like going to a smorgasbord and choosing what one will or will not eat. It is either all true or not true at all. Because it claims to be all true and it is God who is watching over His word to preserve it.
Are you an honest skeptic willing to look at the evidence? We welcome those who are pursuing truth. There is an immense difference between a dishonest and honest skeptic. A dishonest skeptic will not believe even if they have the evidence, they will not call it evidence even if it is. It is then when the religious person needs to check his own heart to see if they care for truth.
If you can't recognize your sin then you can't have Jesus as a savior and you will as He said “unless you believe I Am you will de in your sins.” Jesus is the God of Moses that came only once in human flesh. This is the message of Christianity and it is what separates the wheat from the chaff of other religious teachers. If Jesus is who he said He is, (which is by proof, no one else has any contrary.) Then if you don't listen to Him it becomes the ultimate danger to ones soul. Religions are not all the same, like the example that all human are of the same species. No, not all religions lead to God. because there is only one from God. The only thing we do all hold these things in common is our sinful nature. But the solution is not the same in all religions that is offered to all. If it is only sin that needs to be given up for one to be pleasing to God or to go to heaven, than all we would need to do is give up our bad habits, but it goes much deeper than this.
All religion's have in common man pleasing God by his own hands and deeds, they are trying to reach upward to God. Christianity teaches man is unable to reach God, it took God himself to reach downward from heaven. He personally became a man to accomplish the solution for our dilemma which has always been sin.
Spiritual sayings are not enough it has to be the eternal truth that never changes from the God who came last of all in the person of JESUS CHRIST the ONLY TRUE GOD and savior. Christianity is summed up in the person of Christ. If you take Buddha out of Buddhism, Mohammed out of Islam…,Krishna out of Hinduism…, Baha'u'lla out of Bahaism…you still have their teachings intact, they are all doing quite well without their originator and teacher not being alive today. If you take Christ out of Christianity, if He didn’t rise you have nothing. All the religions “ point to' the graves of their leaders, no matter how brave or how ingenious they are. They all lie there waiting for their day to stand before the God they wanted to know; only Christianity points to an empty tomb and the promise to empty the graves by the one who rose first to live eternally.
None of these men were confirmed by the power of God, they are still dead, Jesus was resurrected and will judge the living and the dead.
John 3:19-21: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” How does one know whether they practice the truth or a lie? By coming to the light (truth) found in Christ and the Bible.
To believe in God only makes us no longer an atheist. We are then a theist, but no one could have there sins forgiven by just believing in God. One must believe in the God who became man and died for your sins to be washed away. It is an act of unprecedented love that is not seen in any other religion. No other came from heaven and died for your sins while you rejected and hated Him. What Jesus did would be like you taking your worst enemy, someone who did evil to you personally, out to the best dinner he ever had and treat him as family and give the very best you have.
1 Peter 3:15: "Sanctify the lord in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense. To everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you." Not many people have hope and some have a false hope. All need hope but it needs to be true or its not real hope. As Christians were are asked to explain and defend the truth of Christ and God. So if we do this, don’t be offended, we only want you to come into a relationship with the same God that we now know. It is for no other reason than out of love and care for you as individuals. Because God cares so do we, Jesus Christ is still alive and changes hearts and lives today as He did when He first came nearly 2,000 years ago.
Maybe your tire from all the religious activities, the rituals you do; all the do's and don'ts you have to obey to please God. Jesus offered - “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)