I am increasingly concerned that pop culture is now determining the theology of the Church. Sex outside of marriage is not only accepted but expected. There is little difference between the follower of Christ and those who do not follow Him. Speech, dress, goals and so much more have meshed into a glob of unidentifiable morals and standards. In fact, we have now moved to the view that a person that holds standards of morality and behavior are automatically being judgmental, simply by living out their faith.
While all of these are certainly true and cause for concern, my greatest concern lies in the idea that every religion of the world serves the same God. Let me put it another way with perhaps more common phraseology. All roads lead to heaven. Those who truly believe in Jesus Christ cannot believe this lie. Nothing can be further from the truth. So, if this is the case, how do we defend the One True God? How do we explain our faith to a person that practices a religion other than Christianity? Simply put, we go back to the basics.
Jesus is not just a figment of someone’s imagination, but a historical figure. The apostles knew the Jewish tradition of witnesses, as did Jesus. Therefore, Christ appeared to 500 plus individuals following His resurrection…we will come back to this in a moment. The Bible is proven to be a historically accurate book. Lands and cities that are recorded did in fact exist and at the place they were said to be.
What exists beyond scriptural proof? I readily admit this is difficult for someone who does not view scripture as the absolute Word of God. Multiple secular historians and religious historians of antiquity record that Christ was indeed a real person. Josephus, a Jewish man by birth that rose to be the chief Roman Historian of his time records the life of Christ in Antiquity 18.3.1ff. Eusebius, the first Church Historian, reports the spread of Christianity through the ancient Roman world.
Further, most major religions of the world acknowledge Christ to be a “good man” or even a prophet. This too is proof of His existence in our world. It is also proof of His Godly reputation. Yet this view denies the truth Jesus said of Himself.
The following was borrowed from https://biblereasons.com/jesus-is-god/
1. John 10:30 The Father and I are one.
2. John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
3. John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
4. John 10:33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
5. John 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
6. John 8:57-58 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!”
7. John 8:22-24 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
8. John 13:18-19 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’ “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.
9. Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
10. Revelation 2:8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
11. Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
We see that there are many times Jesus claims deity or equality with God. This then begs the question; can Jesus be a “good man” or a “prophet” as some religions suggest if He calls Himself God? In the famous statement of apologist C. S. Lewis, “He is either liar, lunatic, or Lord.” He simply cannot be a good man or a prophet if He is lying. He would be a deceiver. So the only possible explanation is that He is indeed Lord.
Now, let’s take a moment to look at the differences in the nature of the Christian God as opposed to other world religions. As I often do, I will bullet point these for clarity.
- Every other religion of the world is works based. Christianity is based on grace, mercy, and the sacrificial death of Christ. We do not have to pray a certain number of prayers or follow a certain number of pillars. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves from our sins. Thus, we need Jesus…God…to save us. His sacrificial death accomplished this.
- Our God is gracious and merciful. He is not a mean vindictive God waiting to strike us if we step out of line. He is holy. Yes! He is just. Yes! He is also perfect love. He is a God that does not simply desire being served, but desires a personal relationship with us. As I sit at my desk writing this blog, I think of the wonderful and loving relationship I have with Christ and the peace that comes from it.
- Christianity is the only faith that assures salvation. I know I am saved by the sacrifice of Christ. There is not now, nor has there really ever been a question in my mind. Quoting the words from the Song of Solomon, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (6:3a). I belong to Him and He belongs to me. In many world religions, the concept of a relationship with God is outside of their purview. This is the beauty of faith n Christ. Rather than fear, rules, and mandatory prayers, we receive a relationship with the King of the Universe.
- My God answers my prayers. I often hear the frustration in the voices of those who follow another religion. It is rooted in years of unanswered prayers and the fear of stepping out of line. I hear God through the Bible. I hear God in worship. I hear God in prayer. He answers my cries to Him. He provides for my needs. He fills my life with peace in the midst of turmoil. He showers me with blessing and He walks with me when I am broken. There is an ever abiding presence that walks with every Christ follower.
I realize that apologetics in a blog is a daunting task. Yet, I feel that this is what God would have my write to you today. I pray that if you are serving a God other than Christ, your eyes will be opened to the peace and love that is available, to the assurance of salvation and the realization that Christ did this all for you at the cross and the empty tomb. I welcome your questions as you are searching for faith…even if you do not follow mine.