Is salvation through Jesus Christ the only way? There are various other religions too, isn’t it? What about all the other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Bahai, and many others. They too uphold moral laws and claim to be a peaceful religion. They too strive to please God, isn’t it? Why is salvation through Jesus Christ the only way?
Well, the word “religion” is derived from a Latin word that literally means “to bind fast”. Therefore, a religious person is bound under an obligation of some sort. Religion can easily hold us in bondage when we determine our lives and actions based on fear of hell and judgment from an angry god. This sense of bondage can cause us to try and appease our god by keeping customary traditions, ceremonial laws, and moral laws although they go against our very nature. Hence our pitiful attempts at holiness are all temporary. We portray holiness and piety during an annual religious celebration or when in a place of worship such as a church building or a temple or a mosque but revert to our human sinful nature when back at home. We get angry and abuse our family members and friends, we lust after luxuries that we cannot afford, we lie and cheat, we are frustrated at our failures, we blame others for our wrongs, and we lust after the opposite sex. We entertain ourselves with gross immorality and we harbor bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts. Yet, we put up a pious and holy attitude on display for others to see. We have categorized sin for our own convenience. We are quick to recognize murder, rape, terrorism, and the likes as gross sins, but turn a blind eye to our own flaws. Is that salvation? Is God okay with that? If yes, then what does that say about the god you serve? Has religion and the god we serve set us free from our sins? I think not. But traditions handed down from generations are hard to break and fear keeps us in bondage to religion, without ever having the courage to ask questions and research the reality of these things.
If there is no life after death, if there is no final judgment, and if there is no heaven or hell, then why have a religion of any sort? Just eat, drink, and be merry because you only live once. Why do people say “May his soul Rest in Peace” or “He has gone to heaven” if there is no life after? And how do they know if the person is truly in heaven or is in peace? It could be quite the contrary, right?
But if life after death is true, heaven and hell are real, and a final judgment is real, then is it not of utmost importance that you know you are on the right path? Is it not worth your time to think, study and research to find out the truth? We all use GPS or Google maps to find our way to our chosen destination. How much more important it is to find our way to our eternal destination.
In addition, when under the influence of a religious mindset, every person’s idea of God can be different; and it is. Just look around the world and you can see the number of gods, none of whom has the power to set us free from sin.
Isaiah 45:20 – Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save.
Leviticus 19:4 – Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.
From the earliest of times, humans have looked around and wondered about the universe, the complexity, the perfection of creation, and the meaning of life and its purpose. There is an inbuilt void in every human due to a broken relationship with God and they try to fill this void by upholding several moral and ceremonial laws and traditions that they think will appease the gods of their imaginations. Thus, religions are formed because every person’s idea of God varies.
But God created each one of us with amazing abilities in His own image. However, realizing the true potential of your capabilities and fully grasping that for which you and only you are gifted, requires you to walk in absolute freedom. Freedom from all bondages that have the potential to hold you down. Your religious beliefs apart from a genuine relationship with the one true God is certainly one of them.
Galatians 5:1 – So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Galatians 4:8 – Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those by nature are not gods.
Religion causes you to live by others’ convictions instead of your own.
Let go of religion and seek to get into a real relationship with the true God. Apart from God, you can do nothing because He is the very source of your life. He is the vine, and you are a branch in the vine. You derive your life by staying connected to Him. A branch detached from the vine just shrivels and dies because it has no life in it although it may appear to be alive for a short while. Be reconciled to God through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. God cannot be contained into an idol in a room or on your desk or in a picture in a photo frame or on a pendant hanging in your car. God cannot be contained by man’s imagination of how He might be, and He is not a set of moral teachings either. God is way too big for that and holds the entire known and unknown universe in the palm of His hands. Yet, He is loving, compassionate, merciful, and forgiving. And He has made it possible for everyone to know Him personally and intimately through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not a “religion”. Yes, people have made it a religion and unfortunately many churches have portrayed it as a religion in competition with other religions, but it is not. True Christianity is a personal “RELATIONSHIP” with the one true God, our Father. Yes, such a relationship is possible, and it is only achieved through the knowledge of Jesus Christ who as God’s sinless son, laid down His own life for our sins and paid the price for our sins. He didn’t stay dead thereafter. He rose from the dead and is alive today and will return soon for the final judgment and to establish His kingdom that will reign forever. His resurrected life is proof that our sins are washed away. His resurrection is proof that we who believe are free from our religious bondages. His resurrection is proof that we who believe are free from the power of sin. His resurrection is proof that we who believe have been declared righteous and we can KNOW God our Father and be reconciled to Him. We can now live in peace and harmony with a genuine love for one another as a family of brothers and sisters with a common Father.
An intimate relationship with God through the knowledge of Jesus Christ brings real freedom and true transformation to your life. Again, I say, let go of religion and embrace salvation through Jesus Christ.