It is no secret that many non-Christians claim to worship the true God and practise their faiths very sincerely. But everyone cannot be right, can they? How do we know Christianity isn’t just one more of the many false religions? What is different about Christianity? When someone of another religion approaches you and all seems innocent and sincere, how can you put your finger on the key issues to keep your mind on truth?
Since the Gospel never changes and is really not that complicated, the key issues between Christianity and all other religions (and even the cults within broader ‘Christianity’) are always the same. One way or another the key issues are one’s view of:
- Scripture (inspired by God and complete sufficient by itself alone)
- God (Both perfect loving and just, holy, eternal)
- Jesus (God, Saviour, Lord)
- salvation (by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone), and
- the after-life (After death comes judgement, then eternal heaven or hell).
What you believe about all five those issues, is the deciding factor between true and false faith. These five topics are what set Christianity apart from all the others.
For example, Jehovah Witnesses don’t believe Jesus is fully God. Mormons limit eternal life to the 144 000 and claim the book of Mormon to be on the same, or higher, level as Scripture. Catholics claim Mary and baptism is also important in order to be saved. New Age religions deny Jesus’ Godness, but claim everything is Divine. Islam denies the Godness of Jesus and requires another book instead of the Bible. Judaism doesn’t acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son and bases salvation on keeping the Law of Moses. Hinduism has many gods besides God and many writings besides the Scriptures. Buddhism believes in reincarnation instead of judgement and an eternal state after death. The ‘Church of Christ’ requires baptism for salvation. Seventh-Day Adventists require Sabbath keeping for salvation and deny eternal life after death.
No matter the false religion, the issues are always what one believes about the Scriptures, God, Jesus, salvation and the after-life.
The truth is that:
- Scripture is inspired by God and enough all by itself for all matters of living a life of faith (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
- God is a God of perfect love and justice (John 3:16; Colossians 3:25)
- Jesus is the only true God, the only Saviour for this world, and the only Lord/Master (Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 1:21; Romans 10:9)
- Salvation is accomplished when God acts in mercy on behalf of man who cannot save himself and in so doing God forgives the sin of man and produces righteousness and eternal life instead (Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 2:1-10)
- The after-life is one of judgment after death, and then either eternal Heaven or eternal Hell based on God’s impartial judgment of each person (Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 25:46)
If these five basic elements of true faith are not believed, then there can be no true worship. Know what God has said. He has revealed it to us; those who believe Him, are saved (Romans 10:9-11).