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A WORLD RELIGION OR GODS SALVATION …that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5: 13
How many religions would you guess are in the world? The major religions are all out there and include: Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism and Christianity. Today there are some 9,900 different religions in the world and increasing every year. David Barrett, editor of The World Christian Encyclopedia says..
Most of the World Religions reject the name of THE LORD JESUS CHRIST as the Saviour of this world and His redemptive work on the cross. The question is, "Where can I find the truth? How can I know which way is right?" The answer is simple, God has revealed His truth and His way in the Bible. The Bible, not the human mind, is the final authority. The human mind is incapable of formulating a way of life that would be acceptable to everyone.
In seeking answers to Lifes most important questions, we must have some authority. The choice narrows down to two possibilities. It is either mens opinion or the word of God. Its what people suppose or its what God says. In matters of vital and enduring significance, it must be an infallible authority. There must be no room for error. Human opinion certainly doesnt qualify here. Just as peoples faces differ. So does their opinions. THE BIBLE
E Either Only the Bible, the Word of God, is infallible. It is truth. But how do we know? We know it by its fulfilled prophecies. There are over 60 prophecies concerning Christ alone that came true when He was on earth. In addition, there are hundreds of prophecies concerning Israel and the Gentile nations that have come to pass. The probability of all these happening by chance is to vast to be taken seriously. At least 40 men in different countries, at different times, in three different languages, over a period of 1600 years penned the Sacred Word. They had no way of collaborating, yet the Bible has a unified theme. It tells one consistent story. What other book can boast of such intelligent design?
The Scriptures are unique in their power to transform the lives of people from sin and shame to decency and integrity. The words of the Bible are applicable to all times; they are as current as the hourly broadcast. They have universal appeal; they speak to people of every race, tongue, tribe, and nation. They are inexhaustible, providing material for endless study, comfort and guidance.
Think of all the literature Gods Word has prompted: Bible dictionaries, commentaries, concordances, poetry, and sermons. It has inspired great movements such as the abolition of slavery, civil rights, social justice; institutions such as hospitals, schools, orphanages, homes for the poor and aged; and world agencies to alleviate poverty and hunger. It has exerted a positive influence on human society wherever it has travelled. It is pure, exposing sin and warning against it. It does not stoop to popular culture but seeks to elevate it.
The Bible is a living book. Some people actually fear it while others would die for it. The Bible claims to be inspired by God. That means that the words are Gods words. If they are not, then it is a fraud. But even its enemies do not accuse it of being a hoax. The Holy Bible has endured centuries of efforts to burn it and banish it. Yet it has survived. When governments forbid it, smugglers risk imprisonment and death to defy such edicts. No other book can compare with Gods word in the number of languages in which it speaks and the number of people who have read it.
This amazing book records the life of a perfect person. A mere man cannot write such an account. The French skeptic, Renan, said that it would take a Christ to invent a Christ. In the literature of the ages, the Bible stands unparalleled and unique. Those who have experienced its transforming power in their lives are not likely to deny that it is the Word of the living God. Or, as someone has said, he who felt the force of it is not likely to deny the source of it. There is no risk in accepting the Bible as our final authority.
Others have attempted to worship the true God through a vast variety of sacrifices, ceremonies, sacraments and services. But 'religion', however sincere, can never solve man's sin problem, for at least three reasons.
Religion can never change man's sinful nature. A person's behaviour is not the problem, only the symptom. The heart of man's problem is the problem of man's heart, and by nature man's heart is corrupt and depraved. Going to church and taking part in religious ceremonies may make you feel good but they cannot make you good. Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! (Job 14:4) REASON 1 RELIGION CAN NEVER CHANGE MANS SINFUL NATURE
REASON 2 RELIGION CAN NEVER SATISFY GOD. Religion is man's attempt to make himself right with God, but any such attempt is futile because even man's best efforts are flawed and so are unacceptable to God. The Bible could not be clearer: all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) God demands perfection; religion fails to meet the demand. Gods Standard Is Absolute Perfection
REASON 3 RELIGION CAN NEVER REMOVE SIN. Your virtues can never cancel out your vices. Good deeds can never remove bad ones, If a person gets right with God it is not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:9)
Christian beliefs about one's destination after death vary greatly: " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9 Salvation is a free gift
No religious efforts or experiences - christening, confirmation, baptism, holy communion, churchgoing, prayers, gifts, sacrifices of time and effort, Bible reading or anything else - can cancel out a single sin.
Salvation… is what God does for man Religion is what man does for God Religion depends on our behaving Salvation… depends on our believing Religion says we must act our best Salvation… says we must accept Gods best
Acts 4: 12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. At certain seasons of the year, we find many religious celebrations being conducted. We find that the natural man wants to be religious and at times will do many things thinking that he is performing an act of worship unto God.
But the Word of God teaches… that you can be religious and miss heaven You are saved by Jesus Christ or you are not saved!
How clear and concise: There should be neither confusion nor contradiction. There are many names under heaven in which we can find religion; but salvation can be found in one only, and that is the name of Jesus Christ.
The Word of God tells us in I John 5:11,12, "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.
Men are willing to give head knowledge to the claims of Christianity, but they refuse to accept in their hearts the Christ of Christianity. Men and women are willing to believe in the moral precepts of God's Word, as based on the Ten Commandments; while refusing to believe in, rest on, and receive God's Son as Saviour to their souls.
RELIGION… is the improvement of the old nature. SALVATION… is the imparting of a new nature through receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Word of God tells us in John 1: 12, "As many as received him (Christ), to them gave he power to become the sons of God.
RELIGION… clothes us with the robes of our own righteousness and God tells us in Isaiah that our righteousness is as a filthy rag. SALVATION… clothes us in the perfect righteousness of Christ, which alone can make us acceptable in the sight of God. God's Word tells us in Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. Isaiah 64: 6
RELIGION… is what man does for God SALVATION… is what God does for man. Isaiah 53:6 tells us, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him (Christ) the iniquity of us all.
RELIGION says: Something in my hand I bring. SALVATION… says: Nothing in my hand I bring. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.
RELIGION… is trusting in a work we do SALVATION… is trusting in a work that has been done. Hebrews 10:10, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
RELIGION… depends on our behaving, SALVATION… depends on our believing. Acts 16:31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
RELIGION… says we must act our best. SALVATION… says we must accept God's best. Romans 6:23, The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. "
RELIGION… depends on the sufficiency of character. SALVATION… depends on the Sacrifice of the Cross. I Cor. 1:18, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
RELIGION… tries to furnish a sacrifice SALVATION… trusts in a finished sacrifice. 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.
RELIGION… is striving for a better attainment. SALVATION… is secured I through a perfect atonement. I Peter1:18,19, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
RELIGION… tries to bring us from darkness to light. SALVATION… does bring us from death unto Life. John 5:24, "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
RELIGION… says we must be found in God's house. SALVATION… says we must "Be found in him (Christ), not having" our "own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ. " Philippians 3:9.
C. S. Lewis made this observation about Jesus: "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to" (Mere Christianity).
The death of Jesus is the performance in history of the very mind of God. There is no room for looking on Jesus as a martyr. His death was not something that happened to Him, and which might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came! The preaching of forgiveness should never be built on the fact that God is our Father and that He will forgive us because He loves us. It is untrue to Jesus Christ' s revelation of God... it makes the cross- unnecessary and the Redemption "much a ado about nothing".
God does forgive sin, but it is because of the death of Christ, God could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, and He is exalted to be the Saviour because of His death. ' We see Jesus... because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour. The greatest note of triumph ever to sound upon the ears of a startled universe was that spoken by Jesus Christ as He died on the Cross... The last word in the redemption of man: It is finished"
God is wholly satisfied with what Christ did on the cross – HE raised Him from the dead. WHY ARENT YOU ? The Empty Tomb
Again I remind you of the text; neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
My dear friends, do you have religion or salvation? If you only have religion, then you will miss heaven and spend eternity apart from God and His Son in a place of torment. If you have salvation, you now have the promise of eternal life with God and His Son forevermore.