How to distinguish the True from the False Religions
"But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." (John 3:21)
Description and Meaning of Religion
According to the Webster's New World Dictionary religion is "any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy."
Generally speaking there are only two basic forms of religions - true and false. In principle there can be only one true religion and all the others are false. The source of true religion can only come from the One True God, and false religions can either come from man or the devil.
Criteria for Selection of the True Religion
There are ten factors that determine which is the True Religion.
- Have accurate and inerrant source of information from God.
- Has the truth on the origin of the Universe and Life on Earth.
- Existence of the One True God and not multiple gods.
- Nature of the Personal God who interacts with humans.
- Messiah is the human Incarnation and the Son of God
- Believers can receive salvation and entrance to Heaven.
- Has moral Teachings for the Living.
- Has the truth on what happens to Humans after Death?
- Has the truth on Wrongdoing and Suffering in the World?
- Supernatural Experiences such as miracles, healings, etc.
Christianity is the only one that meets all the Criteria of the True Religion
True Religion is based on Worship of YAHWEH the One True God
"This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (YAHWEH) God (Elohim) made the earth and the heavens," (Gen. 2:4)
The primary meaning of the name LORD (YAHWEH) is "the Self-Existent One". "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM (YAH) has sent me to you.'" (Ex. 3:14) YAHWEH is distinctly the redemption name of God. When sin entered into man and redemption became necessary, it was LORD (YAHWEH) God (Elohim) who sought the sinners Adam and Eve and provided them with "tunics of skin, and clothed them," a beautiful type of righteousness provided by the LORD God through sacrifice.
Choice of God's True Religion and the Devil's False Religion
We can see in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve had to choose between the two religions. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen. 2:16-17)
In God's true religion there are three principles for living according to His will.
1. God has given us sufficient good things abundantly for our enjoyment in life.
2. God forbids us to do things against His will and there is absolutely no choice.
3. Disobedience to God's commandments is sin and it will surely result in death.
Now read what the devil, who disguised himself in the form of the serpent, said to Eve. "And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:4-5).
There are three characteristics of the devil's false religion.
- The devil lied by changing and distorting God's Words when he said to Eve - "You will not surely die."
- Enlightenment in giving false encouragement by saying - "your eyes will be opened."
- The devil elevates man to the position of God by saying he can know as much as He does.
Unfortunately Adam and Eve chose the wrong religion and it resulted in death and condemnation for all mankind.
In the True Religion the One True God provides Salvation for Man
God came to this Earth to seek and to save Sinners
After Adam and Eve committed sin they "hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?' (Gen. 3:8) Sinners are afraid to face God but He came to look for them. "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost." (Mt. 18:11) "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8) God's salvation for the sinner is His unconditional love for him. He does not save us because we are good; only because He loves us. It is called Grace.
God makes Atonement for Sin by the Shedding of Blood
After Adam and Eve sinned against God "then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings." (Gen. 3:6-7) As fig leaves cannot fully cover their shame and neither are the garments permanent "the LORD (YAHWEH) God made garments of skin, and clothed them." (Gen. 3:21) It is possible the garments of skins came from the lamb. God slew an innocent animal so that blood was shed, and the garments of skin He had made for them were to let them know what it meant to die because of sin. This is the first sacrifice that was offered by the hand of the Almighty God.
There is a clear statement in the Bible that gives the reason why God places so much importance in the blood. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."(Lev. 17:11)The value of the "life" is the measure of the value of the "blood". This gives the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ its inconceivable value. When it was shed the sinless God-man gave His life. The blood of Christ is seen as surpassing the blood of the Old Covenant and eternally satisfying the requirements of a holy God .(Heb. 9:12) There is mighty power in the Blood of Jesus Christ.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed." (Rom. 3:23-25)
God promised a Savior who is the Seed of the Woman
God spoke to the serpent (devil): "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15).
Shortly after Adam and Eve sinned, God promised to send a Messiah, a Savior, who would bring judgment on the serpent. The serpent is identified in Revelation 12:9 as Satan the devil.
This announcement of the Savior is the foundational promise God made to humankind because it paves the way for salvation through Jesus Christ. Without a doubt the promised redemptive work of the Messiah is one of the most important promises God has ever made.
True and False Religions exist in Every Age
Adam and Eve had two sons whose names were Cain and Abel and both of them brought offerings and worshiped the LORD (YAHWEH) (Gen. 4:1-4). These two men represent two types of religions; one is true and the other false.
Cain (means "acquisition") is a type of the mere man of the earth. His religion was destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need of atonement. This religious type is described in 2 Peter 2. Seven things are said of him: (1) he worships in self-will; (2) is angry with God; (3) refuses to bring a sin-offering; (4) murders his brother; (5) lies to God; (6) becomes a vagabond; (7) is, nevertheless, the object of the divine solicitude.
Abel (means "exhalation" or "that which ascends") is a type of the spiritual man. His sacrifice, in which atoning blood was shed (Heb. 9:22), was therefore at once his confession of sin and the expression of his faith in the interposition of a substitute (Heb. 11:4).
The lamb that Abel offered to God represents a type of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn. 1:29).
Christianity is the One and Only True Religion in the World
Christianity is not a religion in the sense it is a system of beliefs and rituals. True Christianity is having a personal relationship with the One True God through His Son Jesus Christ. It is trusting in Jesus and what He did on the Cross for you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), not on what you can do for yourself (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation begins with your acknowledgement that you are a sinner in the sight of God, and your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior.
Christianity is not only based upon evidence. . . . it is fully backed by evidence attested in writing by real witnesses regarding the death, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christianity has the credibility because the Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled over 300 messianic prophecies that were written in the Old Testament Scriptures. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the reliability of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, both of which have been proven to exist prior to the time Jesus walked on the earth, you can be assured that these prophecies were not "conspired" after-the-fact. They were truly fulfilled by Jesus the Messiah. "Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." (Luke 24:44)
The Lord Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) He is the One True God (John 8:58; 10:30), who forgave sins (Mark 2:5; Luke 5:20; 7:48), resurrected from the dead (Luke 24:24-29; John 20:19-29) and ascended into heaven (Luke 24:50; Acts 1:9-11).
Buddha did not resurrect the dead or rise from the dead, nor did Confucius or Zoroaster. Neither did the founders of Islam or Hinduism. All of them are good teachers of religion but they are all human beings who have died and their corpses have rotted in their graves.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the One True God who manifested in the flesh. "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:9-11)
Christianity is truly the One and Only True Religion in the World.