(This is a repost from my old blog. I'll be reposting some of that content here over the next several days.)
I frequently see a bumper sticker that says "Coexist". It's made up from a lot of symbols for various religions and clearly means that these religions ought to coexist.
Anybody with a lick of sense should know that that isn't going to happen. Further, anyone with a real understanding of Christianity should know what a lie this bumper sticker is promoting.
If you don't know the bumper sticker I'm talking about, here's a picture of it from a seller on eBay.
The notion that all religions are equally true or that one is as good as another is completely and utterly a lie. The only way it could be true is if all religions are false, because they all teach different things. The god of Islam is not the God of Christianity or of Israel, no matter what you've been told.
This is easily demonstrated. Islam teaches that Jesus was nothing more than a prophet or teacher. This puts to the lie His word "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
The treatment of Christians in Iraq by ISIS also demonstrates that Islam and Christianity cannot peacefully coexist. When they force Christians to recant at the point of the sword and then behead them, rape women and force children to watch, it's clear that their brand of Islam can never coexist with other religions.
If Christianity holds the truth then Hinduism will not save you. Islam will not save you. None of the religions (except Christianity) depicted in the bumper sticker can save you, nor can they coexist with Christianity, because Christianity says they are, all of them, false.
The bible says that "Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”" (Acts 4:11-12).
Christianity, true Christianity is not what many people seem to think it is. It's not a way to wealth and power. It's not a way to earthly blessings. It's not a way to demonstrate to the world your righteousness. In fact if any of that is what you're looking for you're not looking for God and you won't find him.
There is nothing any man can do to earn his way into Heaven. Nothing. Living a good life doesn't get you there. Giving a fortune to the poor doesn't get you there. Building homes and wells in Africa doesn't get you there. You can't even get there by going to church, performing the rituals. and singing hymns.
There is only one way to salvation. Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). He also said " “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14) , and "“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matthew 7:21-23).
There are a lot of people out there teaching that Jesus is the way to earthly riches and glory. They teach that His people won't suffer, or that if they do it's because of weak faith. They quote a single verse of scripture, or just a part of one to back this up, and they are liars. The apostle Paul went hungry and thirsty, brutalized and homeless (1 Corinthians 4:11). All of the apostles died - all of them. All of the early church died, many of "natural causes". This wasn't for lack of faith - the time for us all to be with the Lord has simply not come yet
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
That being the case, don't you think it's a bit arrogant to demand of God that he heal you? Or that he give you riches in this world? Why do that? Are the riches of this world better than the riches that we will receive in the Kingdom of Heaven? By all means, ask for every good thing believing, but don't let the things of this world be more important than Christ and His kingdom.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
"Lovers of themselves, lovers of money." "Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." "Have nothing to do with such people."
What is it that we really need to do? Didn't Jesus say "If you love me keep my commands"? (John 14:15) And what commands in particular? Galatians 5:14 says it "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”" or we can take Jesus' own words “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
There are also a lot of people out there claiming "special revelation", that the Lord has spoken to them exclusively about this or that secret thing that we need to do to be saved or to obtain happiness in this world, and they are liars. Scripture is enough: "Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other." (1 Corinthians 4:6).
There are a lot of people out there that claim you must live a good life and do good works to obtain salvation, that you can earn your way into the Kingdom of Heaven, and they are liars.
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:1-10)
In fact, it is this last that separates true Christianity from all other false religions and false sects. True Christianity requires nothing more than that God call the sinner to repentance, grant His grace and our subsequent obedience to Him. All other religions teach that it is by our works that we come to God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)