4 Myths about Religion
John 3:36, Acts 4:12, 1 Tim. 2:5
If you're familiar with the popular TV game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" you're familiar with the "lifelines" each contestant may use when uncertain about the answer to a question. They symbolize the way many people think about life's ultimate questions.
50/50: Some people hope they will make it to heaven. They think they have at least a 50/50 chance. They're trying to do enough good things to get in.
Phone a friend: Some people do what their friends do and think what their friends think, and are counting on their friends to be right about ultimate truth.
Ask the audience: Others accept the majority view. If New Age is in, they follow it. If 60 percent of the country rejects the Bible, they reject the Bible.
What's your lifeline?
1. All religions are basically the same.
Fact: Jesus claimed to be totally unique.
Fact: All other religions are spelled “DO”
Man reaching to God.
God reaching to Man.
Christianity is spelled “DONE”
To quote John MacArthur: "As far as the way of salvation is concerned, there are only two religions the world has ever known or will ever know; the religion of divine accomplishment, which is biblical Christianity, and the religion of human achievement, which includes all other kinds of religion, whatever names they may go under."
2. All religions are equally valid.
They are equally protected.
They are equally permitted.
They are not equally true.
Fact: Jesus is the only way. Galatians 2:21
Galatians 2:21 (NIV)
21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
3. Sincerity is what really matters.
This myth says, “It is not what you believe it is how you believe.”
Believe with your whole heart in the wrong thing.
Hitler was sincere.
4. No religious group should think they are better than others.
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
2+2=4 - there is truth
He is either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic.
How do we know Jesus is the way?
1. He fulfilled the prophecies like no one else.
2. His miracles
3. The Resurrection
Acts 17:31 (NIV)
31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
What about those who have never heard about Jesus?
1. Everyone has a moral standard and has violated it.
There is honor even among thieves.
2. Everyone knows there is a God.
What about an atheist? The Bible teaches there is no such thing as an atheist. The Bible does say that there are some who are fools. Psalm 14:1.
3. The Bible teaches God will be found by those who seek Him.
Proverbs 8:17 (NIV)
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
Isaiah 45:19 (NIV)
19 I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the LORD, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.
Isaiah 65:1 (NIV)
1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
It is time for us to hold on to our children.
Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His mother--in the house was looking out the window--saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother.
It was too late.
Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the
mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived.
His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my mom wouldn't let go."
You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But, the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.
The Scripture teaches that God loves you. If you have Christ in your life, you have become a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations.
The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-o-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful.
He did not - and will not - let you go.