How do you know if your religion is right? Is religion simply something man created to understand a being higher than him? Does it make a person bad because they don’t believe as you do? Is there one God, but many ways to get to him? Do all religions lead to God? People say today, “You have no right to impose your beliefs on me.” How should we address this? How does God want us to address this?

TOUGH QUESTIONS STRAIGHT UP
By Pastor Delbert Young

Do All Religions Lead to God?

Audio

Do All Religions Lead to God?

Scriptures: Isaiah 5:14, John 14:6, Acts 17:16, Acts 17:18-20k 22-23, 32-34, Isaiah 7:14, Philippians 2:6-11, John 19:30, John 10:1, 10, Acts 4:12, John 3:16-18

We are in a series called STRAIGHT UP. Let’s talk about a TOUGH QUESTION today: DOALL RELIGIONS LEAD TO GOD? What does the Bible say STRAIGHT UP?

We live in a time when it’s cool to be broadminded, politically correct, and tolerant. We are not only told all religions and beliefs are equally true and all lead to God, but we are expected to accept this as truth. We are told truth is relative to what a person believes. The term is “pluralism” meaning the acceptance and approval of various religions and beliefs. It’s a “You’re ok, I’m ok” thinking. The assumption is God would be arrogant and narrow minded to insist on one way to get to him. If you think that way, you are a bigot and intellectually inferior. Also, today people don’t need religion. They can make their own way to God if they are good, sincere, and determined. So, my way to God is just as good as your way. I can “pick and choose.” Whatever I choose is just fine and will take me to my destination. That’s pluralism.

Pluralism is demonic and straight from hell. It’s right here in our small southern Bible-Belt communities. Ask your children how they feel about all religions leading to God. More and more, your children are being challenged with and taught this in school, especially in college. You need to prepare them well. They could go to hell.

WATCH VIDEO (edited about 3 mins)

How do you know if your religion is right? Is religion simply something man created to understand a being higher than him? Does it make a person “bad” because they don’t believe as you do? Is there one God, but many ways to get to him? People say today, “You have no right to impose your beliefs on me.” How should we address this? How does God want us to address this? How did Jesus address this? Let’s first get our heads outside of Northwest Georgia.

CHART – Worldwide: Christianity: 2 billion; Islam: 1.2 billion; No Religion: 900 million; Hinduism: 786 million; Buddhist: 362 million; Tribal religions: 225 million; Sikhism: 23 million; Judaism: 14 million

Christianity is the largest and fastest growing faith in the world, thank God. 33% of the world claim to follow Jesus Christ. For shock effect, if every Christian, and only every Christian, finds their way to God (33% of nearly the 7 billion world population = 2.3 billion), how many people living right now will instead find hell either through religious pluralism or atheism? Answer: nearly 5 billion people and that’s only those living today. Some of those 5 billion you know.

Isaiah 5:14 THEREFORE HELL HATH ENLARGED HERSELF, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. [KJV]

There are four major world religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Judaism (Jews) only reaches about 1% of population today. There are more who believe in Sikhism than Judaism. Every religion has thousands of branches. In Christianity alone, “There exist roughly 39,000 different denominational groups worldwide in 2008.” (1) I can’t list all that, but think about the familiar ones: Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, New Apostolic, Foursquare, Church of God, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Non-Denominational, Seventh-day Adventists, Episcopal, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon, and on and on. Obviously, there are significant theological differences even in primary branches of Christianity.

Other religions are the same. Every religion is divided amongst itself and teaches very different things, yet, people actually think all religions lead to God. How can that be? This shows how ignorant and deceived people are. They have not investigated and do not know what they are talking about. You don’t need to look very long into each religion to see how greatly they differ. For example, Jesus said…

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME. [NIV]

Jesus clearly said there are no other ways, no other truths, and no other eternal lives outside of him. No one comes to God “EXCEPT THROUGH ME.” To Christians, Jesus is the Messiah King son of God and part of the Godhead trinity Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Only through Jesus Christ can any person come to God. However, to Judaism, Jesus was a false Messiah and of the devil. To Islam, Jesus was a prophet, not the Son of God. Jehovah’s Witnesses present themselves as “Christian,” but do not believe in the trinity and believe Jesus is subservient to Jehovah, not equal at the right hand of God. Plus Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the atonement and cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Ask them.

Rational thinking alone, with only a little research, tells us all religions are not even close to the same as each lead in a different direction (way) to a god that doesn’t exist and if going in a wrong direction (way), how can they all possibly lead to the one true God?

The Bible tells us about the apostle Paul encountering false religions which supposedly led to god(s). In Athens, Paul found the city filled with idols of gods and men who thought they were most intelligent.

Acts 17:16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was GREATLY DISTRESSED to see that the city was full of idols. [NIV]

It bothered Paul greatly. It doesn’t bother us today as it should. People we love and care about will be led to hell, not God, by false religions, or false teachings. Paul first began to preach the good news of Jesus Christ in the synagogues. However, he didn’t stop there. He took opportunity to talk about Jesus in the streets and marketplace. Pluralism was in existence then.Athens accepted many gods. The positive about pluralism is that it does give equal time for a Christian to express themselves. Paul did exactly that. Do you? You are in the market place every day. WHY, only to make money? I don’t think so. Use your right to express your belief. Allow others the same opportunity. If you are a little prepared, it’s easy to knock them out. People usually have extremely little understanding about what they believe. Sadly, that’s true about most Christians, but not you, right? I’m going to help you shortly to be able to do this with ease and confidence. First, I want to continue looking at Paul in Athens.

Acts 17:18-20 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and theRESURRECTION. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “MAY WE KNOW WHAT THIS NEW TEACHING IS THAT YOU ARE PRESENTING? You are bringing some STRANGE IDEAS to our ears, and WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN.”

Paul talked a lot about Jesus. They called him a babbler. We should too. Eventually, you will talk to people of other religions. Interestingly, they want to hear what you know. Realize, Christianity is far different with strange ideas compared to any other religion and many from other religions have never heard it STRAIGHT UP. “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?” Paul didn’t go into combat mode. He simply went along with them to Mar’s Hill (Areopagus).

Acts 17:22-23 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way YOU ARE VERY RELIGIOUS. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. NOWWHAT YOU WORSHIP AS SOMETHING UNKNOWN I AM GOING TO PROCLAIM TO YOU.

Paul ingeniously took what they already believed – an unknown god – to preach to them the one true God and Jesus Christ. Think about this: you are in a conversation. You encourage them to tell you what they believe noting something you can take, spring from, and expand into Jesus. That’s not difficult. Jesus is far better. You have not insulted them. You expand and made better what they already believe.

Acts 17:32-34 When they heard about the RESURRECTION of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “WE WANT TO HEAR YOU AGAIN ON THIS SUBJECT.” At that, Paul left the Council. A FEW men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

The resurrection is big. No other religion teaches resurrection. Mohammad, Buddha, and all the gurus, are dead. Jesus is alive and we too will be resurrected exactly as Jesus. Even Paul didn’t convert everyone, but you can get a few men and women. Do what you can for the few.

I said earlier I would give you something you can use with ease and confidence to communicate the difference of Christianity to anyone. I found this on the web, thought it was great, and want to give it due reference. The man’s name is Sonny Capadona (a radical for Jesus guy) and web site is The page I’m referencing is You can go there to see the original. I’ve taken it and applied my little changes I think will make it even more relevant for us.

The beginning point and necessity of any religion is God rescuing man from man’s depravity.

MohammedFirst comes Mohammed (Islam/Muslim) who looks over the top of the well and says; “If you will keep the rules of Islam then you will be able to escape from the well. You must pray five times a day, eat no pork, drink no alcohol, keep the feast of Ramadan, and make the pilgrimage to Mecca”. (You see, it’s very works oriented based upon man’s ability to keep the rules of Islam written in the Koran. Of course, you can cut your wife’s head off and murder your children if they disobey you. One more thing, you must participate in Jihad – the holy war.)
JudaismJudaism is no different. They will pile on the man more rules and regulations based on the 10 commandments (and all its amendments). “Keep the Law” and you will get out. But a man has only his own strength to keep these commandments, so after a few steps up he falls back again and cries out for help. (Even the apostle Paul could not keep the law. Oh, and while you’re in the well, you will need to do animal sacrifices to get out.)
BuddhaThen comes Buddha who looks over the top of the well and says: “I can see you are in a mess; the problem is due to pain and desire. If you follow the noble eightfold path you will escape from these ultimately into Nirvana.” The man may find inner peace but he is still down the well. (Seeking inner peace is great, but it doesn’t get a person to God.)
Hinduism'sI’ll add Brahman, Hinduism’s God, coming to the top of the well. “I see you are in a mess. If you will do Karma you can work/think your way out. Only think positive thoughts, only make perfect decisions, and only do good things. The consequences will work you out of your mess. Perhaps in your reincarnation of your next life, you will make it to Nirvana (release of the soul from the seemingly endless cycle of rebirths).”

JesusJesus comes to the top of the well and looks down and says: “I can see that you are in a mess; you will never get out by means of your own resources. As I said through one of my prophets: ‘Can the leopard change his spots or the Ethiopian his skin? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.'” Jeremiah 13: 23. “I will have to let down a rope and come down into the well myself in order to rescue you. I will hold you firmly because you do not have the strength to hold on to me yourself.”

Only Christianity speaks about God becoming a human being and coming down into the well of humanity to rescue us.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, A VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE, and BEAR A SON, and shall call his name IMMANUEL. [KJV]

The Immaculate Conception is unique to Christianity. It’s a sign from God no one could miss. Immanuel means God is with us. Christianity alone says God comes to be with us, not we work to get to God.

Philippians 2:6-11 WHO, BEING IN VERY NATURE GOD, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, BEING MADE IN HUMAN LIKENESS. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore GOD EXALTED HIM TO THE HIGHEST PLACE and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [NIV]

Every other religion says, “You must DO.” Christianity is the only religion where God says, “I’ve DONE it for you.”

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. [KJV]

IT IS DONE. Jesus came to us, died for us, and holds onto us to redeem us from the mess of humanity.

Jesus said not only is he the only way, but all others attempting to take people to their religion are thieves and robbers. The specific context of John 10 is religion, not the devil, as frequently taught.

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a THIEF AND A ROBBER. [KJV]

 John 10:10 The THIEF cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. [KJV]

Jesus came to give us life, not tell us to earn life.

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.” [NIV]

Salvation is not in Mohammad, or Buddha, or Jehovah (as in Jehovah’s Witnesses), or Brahman (Hinduism), or any other name.

Perhaps here is the bottom line. We are all familiar with John 3:16, but need to read a little further.

John 3:16-18 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to SAVE THE WORLD THROUGH HIMWHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM IS NOT CONDEMNED, BUT WHOEVER DOES NOT BELIEVE STANDS CONDEMNED ALREADY because he has not believed in the name of GOD’S ONE AND ONLY SON.

All religions do not lead to God. All but Christianity lead to condemnation. Because of pluralism, hell is enlarging. There is only one way, one truth, and one road to eternal life. Only Jesus Christ came down into the depraved well of humanity to lift us out. Only Christianity promises you resurrection. Only Christianity says, “DONE,” not “DO.” Every other religion is a thief and a robber. There is no other name but Jesus Christ that will save you. All others condemn already.

Other Related Sermons:

Enemies I Have – sermon video audio notes

Adventure With Your Heart 1 – sermon video audio notes

Negative About Yourself – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

http://www.the-art-of-small-talk.com/christiandenominations.html