What Does This Mean?
Tolerance and co-existence are both great! In fact, they are necessary. If we are to live together in peace without hating each other, or physically harming each other, over differences in race, culture, sexual orientation, political views, and religious beliefs, we must have tolerance. However, we must also recognize that every belief can’t be equally valid. If two beliefs directly contradict each other, both of them cannot be true, no matter how “tolerant” we become. This means it is false to say that every religion is true, or that every religion leads to God. When people make such claims they are showing that they have not taken the time to study the world’s religions, because a brief reading of the sacred texts of only a handful of religions quickly reveals contradictions on the most fundamental levels.
Reincarnation (Hinduism and Buddhism) contradicts the belief that this life is the only life before eternity (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam).
Pantheism (Hinduism) contradicts the belief that there is only one transcendent God (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), and both of these beliefs contradict the belief that there is no God (Theravada Buddhism and Atheism).
Salvation from sin (Christianity) contradicts the belief that there is no sin to be saved from but simply pain that can be escaped through enlightenment (Buddhism).
Jesus Christ being the incarnate, Son of God (Christianity), contradicts the teaching that he is just a prophet (Islam) or that he was a false prophet (Judaism).
Jesus dying as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world and rose from the grave contradicts the belief that Jesus ascended into heaven while never dying on a cross, or facing death of any kind (Islam).
All religions that suggest that the merits of an individual can free a person from humanity’s ultimate problem of death contradict Christianity’s teaching that “we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, which is a gift, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8).
In light of these contradictions, all religions can’t be true. They could all be false, but they can’t all be true.
How can one know which religion is true, if any?
To discern if a belief is true, it needs to be testable. The scientific method can’t test most of the claims found in the world’s religions, but science is not our only means of verifying the legitimacy of truth claims. In the case of judging religious truth claims, historical-forensic evidence needs to be utilized. Christianity is the ONLY religion that has at its center, a historical event that can be evaluated in such a manner to prove or disprove its religious truth claims. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ did not rise from the grave that his faith is futile and his testimony about Jesus would be a lie. If someone could prove that Jesus did not rise from the grave, then the resurrection would be considered a false claim and the Christian faith should be rejected. On the flip side, if Jesus DID rise from the grave, it confirms that Jesus’ claim to be “the way, the truth, and the life, the only way to Father” (John 14:6) is true! If he did not rise from the grave, then Jesus was a liar and Christians ought to be pitied above all men.
Is there evidence that Jesus rose from the grave?
The good news for Christians and all of humanity is that the New Testament is the best attested ancient manuscript in terms of the number of copies it has, the dates of the copies to their original writings, as well as the accuracy of those copies. In addition to this, the original Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or written by people who wrote using eyewitness testimony. This also means the authors were writing too close to the death and resurrection of Jesus for myths to have crept into the accounts. Other witnesses, both friend and foe, would have known if the Gospel writers were telling lies and they would have revealed the Gospels to be false. However, we have no such competing accounts from contemporaries. We do on the other hand have non-Christian authors writing in the first and second centuries who affirm the claims of the Gospels, and no one in the first century was ever able to produce the bones of Jesus to disprove the empty tomb that Sunday morning. The Jewish and Roman leaders and authorities had the motive and the means to disprove the resurrection, but they could not. The best they could do was to persecute Christians as an attempt to stop the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They continued to proclaim the risen Christ all the way to their martyrdom. If the account of Jesus’ resurrection that originated with the apostles is a LIE, it would mean that they chose to die gruesome deaths instead of exposing the hoax that they created. Many might die for that they THINK is true, but who would die for what they KNOW is a lie?
Exclusive Claims and Teachings Concerning Salvation within the Bible
John 3:36 “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 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace 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. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Acts 2:37-39 “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Jesus is the Savior of all people groups. He is the Savior of the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Jew, the Satanist, the Atheist, the homosexual, the heterosexual, the republican, and the democrat – all people. Everyone has fallen short of the glory of God and deserve God’s wrath, yet… to all who have received him, to all who have called upon his name, he has given the right to be called children of God! (John 1:12) Repent and be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. (Matt. 28:19 and Acts 2:38)
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