By Bill Itzel and Ryan Itzel
We live in a time where there are so many world religions that, for most people, the number would be too many to count. You may wonder which one is true, if any! How could anyone know? But there is one that stands out in stark contrast to all of the rest, one that demonstrates itself to be true and different than all other religions. Below you will see why Christianity is true and has legs to stand on when all other religions fall short.
Why Not the Rest?
Every religion attempts to make sense of the world, but they all fall short of the truth and fail when it comes to having any real saving power.
- Mormonism: The mormon gods are created beings as is their "Jesus." Christ's death provides no atonement for personal sin, just the opportunity for you to achieve your own personal salvation. Their "inerrant" presidents continually contradict each other, and their writings contradict scripture. Their salvation is completely of works. The goal of eternal life is for the glory and sexual pleasure of man.
- Catholicism: While the Roman system gets much right, their view of Christ's atonement is lacking as it must add works to faith for salvation. Justification is through the work of baptism which is unscriptural. While they hold to the inspiration of scripture, hold tradition and the word of man on equal par with the Bible though they often contradict scripture. The Catholic never truly has assurance of their salvation because it relies on their works (including the false idea of a purifying purgatory).
- Islam: The god of Islam is not personal, nor is he just as there is no savior and no atonement provided for sin. They have a false view of Jesus who is created and is not God. Salvation in Islam is by man's works and repentance, and sins are dealt with through mercy without justice. Their writings contradict themselves as well as the Torah that they claim was inspired. They say Allah has kept the Quran free from error, but was powerless to keep the gospels inerrant. The joy for eternal life is for the glory and sexual pleasure of man.
- Jehovah's Witnesses: They deny the biblical Trinity which removes the basis of a relational God. They believe Jesus was not God and only paid for original sin, so man has to work his way to salvation. Their bible is not consistent with the original manuscripts. They remove verses that contradict their own writings. They do not believe in Hell so there is no ultimate justice.
- Mind Science Groups/New Age: Mind science groups have a false view of an impersonal god. There is no atonement made for sin because sin, evil, sickness and even death do not exist. They deny that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior, and that man has the authority to forgive himself and achieve enlightenment through the purification of the mind through works.
- Hinduism/Buddhism: World religions that have old roots, but no valid explanation of existence. Their gods are impersonal and their justice is temporal through Karma. There is no Savior, no Messiah, and no atonement for sin. Man must work his way up the caste system (reincarnation) that has no basis in truth or reality. The world and evil are just an illusion, and being one with Brahman is their ultimate goal.
- Word of Faith: Disguising itself as Christianity, this growing religion teaches that Jesus is the way to health, wealth, and prosperity. While this seems so close to the true gospel, and is often accepted by otherwise orthodox churches, it is a different gospel (Galatians 1:8). They have a small view God as they believe they are little gods and the one true God is there for their benefit and pleasure. While these churches often have good doctrinal statements, their interpretations and applications are far from the original intent of the Bible. While they believe in the inspiration of scripture, they deny the sufficiency of it as they constantly are looking for new revelation.
- Secular Humanism/Atheism: Of all of the false beliefs, Atheism might very well require the most faith. Atheism and secular humanism are beliefs that seek to replace God with man. In Atheism, man is his own "savior", and "salvation" is defined as human happiness. It's a belief that all things either came into existence from nothing through random chance, or that everything always existed (two impossible ideas). It demonstrates itself lacking by giving no valid answer for the existence of logic, truth, morality, uniformity of nature, etc. For the Atheist, there is no life beyond the grave so there is no eternal meaning in the universe, just temporal enjoyment and pleasure.
- A personal God who is both just and loving (Jeremiah 9:24, Romans 3:25-26, John 3:16). Unlike the impersonal gods of deism, Islam, Hinduism, new age, the biblical God of Christianity, while transcendent, is intimately involved in His creation and is both just and the justifier to those who have faith in Christ Jesus.
- A right view that man is born dead in trespasses and sins, and in rebellion to his Creator (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 3:9-23; Isaiah 53:6). While other religions believe man to be good, the Bible accurately diagnoses the condition of man as sinful and totally depraved. All people by nature are sinners and subsequently rebel against God each and every day.
- A living Savior who provides sufficient atonement and forgiveness for sin (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 20). Unlike all other religious leaders, Jesus Christ is both God and man so He can make a satisfactory atonement for the sins of man. He bore the just wrath of God for the sins of everyone who believes.
- A foretold Messiah who fulfilled over 100 prophecies of His coming (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22). The Christ who came and brings salvation to all was foretold throughout the Old Testament. Jesus perfectly fulfilled over a hundred prophecies of His coming. These prophecies authenticate the gospel accounts like nothing seen in any other religion.
- An accomplished salvation that is not earned by works (Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:16, Titus 3:5). If there is one distinction that separates Christianity from all other world religions it is that in Christianity, the work is done. Jesus finished the work of redemption. We add nothing to His work. Every other religion falls short of offering hope because one never knows if they have done enough. The Bible is clear that salvation is not by works but by repentance and faith in Christ.
- A completed scripture that is divinely preserved and is internally consistent and externally verifiable (Jude 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Revelation 22:18-19). At the close of the canon of scripture with the book of Revelation, God had provided for His people a sufficient word. Mormonism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, and most other false religions have their own sacred writings that contradict themselves and certainly contradict the inspired 66 books of the Bible. Even Roman Catholicism and the Word of Faith movement rely on new invalid "revelations" and flawed interpretations from the heart of men.
- A creation account that accurately explains the world we see (Genesis 1-11, Colossians 1:16, John 1:1-3). The Bible explains where all things came from, why procreation happens after its own kind, why there is order in our universe, where ethnic groups and languages came from, and why our world is full of sin. The Biblical account of creation is the only one that makes sense of the world we see and in which we live.
- A thorough explanation for evil, logic, reason, and morality (Romans 5:12, Colossians 2:3, 1 Corinthians 1:20). According to the religion of secular humanism, the material world is all that there is. Yet, every day people use the immaterial to live their lives. The Bible demonstrates that logic, reason, and morality come from God. Evil is in contrast to the character of God, came about through man's sin, and will one day be utterly destroyed by Him.
- An assured eternity focused on the glory of God (Revelation 4-5, Philippians 2:10-11). For those who trust in Jesus Christ alone and repent of their sins, they will have an eternal hope and life with Him! Eternity in the Bible is not worldly as seen in other religions, but focused on the worship of God who alone is worthy to be praised!