What About Other Religions? (Romans 2:17-29)
We are currently in a message series called “All About Salvation.” The whole topic of salvation is a very controversial topic these days. 80% of Americans believe that many religions lead to God. They reason, it really doesn’t matter which one you pick, as long as you sincerely follow it. In the end, you’ll be saved.
Since that view is so prevalent today, let’s think about it. There are many religions in the world. The major world religions in order of size are: Christianity, Islam, Non-religious/Secular, Hinduism, Chinese traditional religions and Buddhism. If you’ve taken any kind of class in comparative religion, you’ll immediately recognize that all of these religions are very different. The God they each claim to worship is very different and their ways to reach God are different as well. So how can all these different religions lead to the same God? The truth is they can’t. In fact, each of these religions worships different gods, for there are supernatural beings that are not God.
Today, my message is entitled “What About Other Religions?” As Christians, how should we view other religions? How should we talk to people who believe in other religions? How should we talk to people who claim to be Christians, but believe other religions lead to God as well? As always, we need to look at what the Bible has to say about other religions. First of all, the Bible teaches that there is only one way to salvation with the true God.
Acts 4:12 (NIV) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name [than Jesus] under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.
I think that verse is pretty clear. Salvation is found in no one else, except Jesus alone. So, other religions cannot lead someone to find true salvation. Now, that doesn’t mean that there are some good principles to follow in other religions. Most religions have at least some of the ten commandments as important teachings. But, the most important aspects of a religion is who it worships and the way of salvation.
Let’s compare Christianity to all the other religions, which we’ll lump all together. Christianity worships the creator God, who consists of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All other religions do not worship the creator God, they worship created things, as we learned in Romans 1. However, there is a supernatural element in other religions, but it is not of God.
1 Corinthians 10:20 (NIV) … the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
All other religions, therefore actually worship demons when they worship created things, rather than the true creator God. What about the way to salvation? In all other religions, the way to salvation taught is by following a set of rules and regulations. If you follow closely enough, you may eventually be saved, depending on how that religion defines salvation. In Christianity, the way to salvation if through faith in Jesus Christ.
So why is this important? We all know and have relationships with people who follow other religions, some of which even claim to be Christian. For example, Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be Christian, but are in fact other religions that do not teach salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. God wants us to be prepared to share the truth with others and lead them to true salvation.
So, now let’s look to our passage this morning in Romans 2 in which Paul is addressing the Jews. Now, we need to recognize that Judaism without Jesus is simply another religion. Salvation in Judaism without Jesus is simply by following the Law. So, let’s see how Paul addresses Judaism and by extension all the other religions.
Listen to or watch my October 7, 2012 message What About Other Religions?