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SCRIPTURE - Jo 14:6 JULY, 1998
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
SUBJECT - ALL RELIGIONS, LEAD TO GOD???
Some time back, a friend, and brother of mine, was telling me, how he and another person were talking about religion, and how this person had stated that all religions, lead to God. He said, his response was, 'no that is not true.' At that point, I told him, that the person he was talking to, was right. All religions, do, lead to God.
This type of thinking, is not new. It is just about as old as mankind is. And, then, like now, it is true.
However, in the midst of this truth, there is a slight problem, and that is, what Jesus Christ had to say, in the above scripture. That is what I want to address this month.
There seems to be some conflict between what Jesus said, and what I said, but not really. Jesus, you see, is the only way that man can get to God. He is the, door, if you will, by which one must enter, to get to God. (Jo 10:7- 9) Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. So, as you see, Jesus is the door, the only door, that leads to the blessings of God, and salvation.
'But, what about all of those other religions, that claim to lead to God?? Preacher, you aren't making any sense.' Well, try this on for size. I told you that all religions lead to God, and that is true, However, the problem is, that, unless you actually are able to live, die, and see what the end result of these religions is, then come back to life again and again, you don't have but one chance to get it right.
Pick any other religion you want, Islam, Buddha, Hare Krishna, Unification Church, Jehovah Witnesses, Taoism, you name it. All of them are, for the most part, good religions. However, they all have one thing in common, and that is their total, or partial rejection of Jesus Christ, and His deity. Without going in to too much detail, many of them accept the fact that a man named Jesus, did live about 2000 years ago. Some of them say He was a good man. Others say He was a good teacher. Still others say He was a prophet. Some say He was a combination of both. Another religion, denies that He was a man, and says He was an angel. So you see, many of them acknowledge Jesus, but they all reject the one thing that Jesus is, and if you notice, I am deliberately using present tense. And that one thing is, what sets Christians apart from all the other religious folk. Not only was Jesus a good man, prophet and teacher, He, is God. (Jo 1:1 - 3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (Jo 1:14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Look at the underlined portions of the above scriptures.
First, we see that in the beginning was the Word. Then we see, that the Word was God. So from that we can come to the conclusion that the Word was and is God. Then, the next thing we see, is that the Word(God) became flesh (man), and dwelt among us. Therefore, God, came and dwelt among us, as a man. That man, is named Jesus, the Christ. Christianity, which has been misnamed a religion (it is actually a relationship with God), has, as its basic belief, what a man named Peter said. (Mt 16:13-18) When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Once again, notice the underlined parts.
First, Jesus asks a question of His disciples. And they, like so many religions, began to say He was just a great person. Then He asked them, who do you, say that I am, and Peter comes forth with what is the bedrock of the Church, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. That is what puts Christianity, in a class, all by itself. In fact, Jesus went on to say, and upon this rock I will build my church; the rock, is referring to the statement given by Peter, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is not referring to the fact that Peter, is the one that Jesus is going to build His Church on. Some Christians, erroneously believe this.
As I mentioned earlier, you could get to God, through any religion. If you were able to die, and come back to life again and again.
Then, after you saw the end result of each, you would finally make the right choice, Jesus. Or maybe if you just died once, and went to hell, and saw what other religions are there and then saw that
the only ones in Heaven, are Christians. Then you could come back, and choose Jesus, and be saved. But, as I said, you only have one chance to get it right. Blow it, and it's all over.
Many of you say, that you pray to God everyday, in your own religion, or in your own way. Do you know what that is like doing??? It's like this. My phone number, for instance is (313) ABC-DEFG. As long as you dial this number, no matter where you are in this nation, you will get my house. However, there are millions of other numbers that can be reached by you. But, they will not be at my house. You can't get me by dialing (313) ABC-DEFF or any other combination of numbers. It has to be (313) ABC-DEFG. Now, in the case of reaching God, through prayer. God, has given us a special name (number, if you will) to gain access to Him. That number is Jesus Christ. That is the only number, that puts you in touch with Him. You can use Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed or any other names (numbers). You can even use Jehovah, and some of the other old testament names of God, if you want. But, they will do you no good. There is only one name, and that is Jesus Christ.
Now, one would ask, why would God do this?? It is really quite simple. Before Jesus Christ. Men referred to God, by many different names. Jehovah, Elohim, the God of the Sun and moon, the God of Heaven, the God of Abraham, the Creator, and so on. Others had various other names that they called Him. Now, if you are like me, you will only answer to those that call you by your name. The only exceptions, would be, those that don't know your name. And at some point, you will tell them your name, so they can call you by that name. And, if they refuse to do it, then that is a sign of rejection, isn't it?? They have rejected your name, so they have rejected you. Well, God, in order to make it plain as to what He wanted us to call Him, gave us Jesus. And that name, is the only one that He will answer to.
When Jesus said He is the way, He means He is the only way, not one of the ways. Try as you might, you can not come to the Father, but by Him.
Take your house for example. You have many windows, and a couple of doors on it, right? Well, in order for one to be accepted in your house, they usually have to come in the door that you designate for them to come in, right? Usually, that is the front door. They come up to it, and knock or ring the bell, and if you recognize them, you let them in, and all is well. Now, let's suppose you see, or hear something and you find out that a person is trying to come in through a window or some other part of the house that they aren't authorized to come in. What do you call them?? A thief, robber, burglar or something else. At that point you could possibly hurt or kill them, and be justified in doing it. All because they didn't come in the right way. It's the same thing with God. Jesus is the door, the only way to get in to God. All others are thieves and robbers. (Jo 10:1-2) 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. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. Now, what makes you think that you can do something with God, that you wouldn't allow, yourself?
By Jesus, being the door to God, it means that Jesus, has to First, know you, in order for you to get in to the house (Kingdom). He is the one that will vouch for you. If He doesn't know you, because you are not one of His sheep (saved), then you are not going to get anything from God, the Father.
People in other religions, that say they prayed to God, and got their prayers answered, don't know the whole story. Most of the time, if one is seeking to know God better, and they are in another religion, God will send someone to them, to tell them the truth, so that they can have the opportunity to make a choice. That prayer, is one of the few that God will answer, due to the fact that, 1. The person is truly seeking God, and 2. Christians are constantly interceding for them with God, so He will answer them on their behalf.
Through intercessory prayer, many of us, have gotten delivered from drugs, healed miraculously, escaped death at the hands of criminals, or accident. And we counted it as good luck. The fact of the matter is, when you don't know God, He really has no strong obligation to do any thing for you. However, if you are related to a saved person, or a friend of one, or someone that a Christian may be interceding for, that is how you got your prayers answered. (Eze 22:30-31) And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God. God, speaking through His prophet, is saying, He was seeking a person to intercede for Jerusalem, and no one would do it, so He punished them severely, for all of their evil. Now, do you think these people, weren't praying before things started happening? Of course they were, but God didn't answer them. It would take someone that could (get a prayer through), to change His mind. But, no one would do it. That's the same way it is with all of you unsaved people. If it weren't for intercessory prayer of the saints, most of you, would have been dead, a long time ago, I know now, that I sure would have.
If you want to be on the only team that God will answer, choose Jesus today. Just pray, Lord Jesus, save me, a sinner. I accept You as Lord of my life. I repent of my sin of rejecting You. Come in to my heart, and cleanse me. I believe you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You died on the cross, and rose from the dead, for Me. I will live my life for You. Amen.
That's all there is to it. If you prayed that prayer from the heart (sincerely), you have just gone through the door, Jesus, and now have access to the Father. Not only that, but you have now become His child, and what Father, wouldn't do everything good for His child??? So remember, all religions lead to one conclusion, and that is, they all will fail you, when you need them the most, and that is when you die. You don't need to go through a trial and error process, because you don't have that option. God is waiting on you. What will be your answer to His call?? Yes or no??? It's up to you my friend.
NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - To Study The Bible