Yes, Indeed All Roads Do Lead To God
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
God wants all people to have everlasting life with Him!
He doesn’t want anyone to end up in hell.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Yet, the Bible says there will be people who end up Lost.
Look again at Verse 15
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
So, it’s clear, some people will end up in hell!
(PAUSE…..walk around for a moment)
Have you ever been lost?
One day, I was trying to find
my Grandson’s Pre-school in Evansville.
I was driving around that big city looking at the street signs.
After awhile, I realized that I was lost.
Some of the streets I took ended up in a Dead End.
But eventually, I found Christian’s Pre-school building.
You see, all streets in Evansville
eventually led me to the right place!
There are a lot of roads in this world
and even some dead end streets.
Every road leads somewhere so
Even if you are lost you’re still headed somewhere.
Life, like taking a trip in a car, is not too complicated.
Every road leads to a predictable destination
and even if you’re lost you are still headed somewhere …
somewhere you can predict just by checking a roadmap.
The title of my sermon today is: All Roads Lead To God!
Some of you will strongly disagree with me.
But I ask you to be patient and listen!
I’m fully aware of what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 7:
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Jesus says there are only 2 roads!
One leads to life and the other leads to destruction.
However, many people believe there are many roads to God.
I recently heard a Christian woman say that!
Have you ever heard the quote, “All roads lead to Rome”?
It’s commonly known as the circular system.
I have here a bicycle wheel.
There is a hub at the center of this wheel.
It also has several spokes leading from the tire…
Toward the center hub.
Let’s use this bicycle wheel as an illustration of life!
No matter where you are on the outside circular,
any road you choose to take
will lead you straight to the hub.
God is the eternal hub of the universe
and no matter which road we choose to take
it leads us to Him.
All roads lead to God!
I came across some interesting facts on the CIA’s website.
Lets look at some current World Facts:
The CIA World Fact Book
Population: More than 6.6 Billion (July 2007 est.)
That’s a lot of people!
Religions: Christians 33% (of which Roman Catholics 17.3%, Protestants 5.8%, Orthodox 3.4%, Anglicans 1.2%), Muslims 20.1%, Hindus 13.3%, Buddhists 5.9%, Sikhs 0.4%, Jews 0.2%, other religions 12.6%, non-religious 12%, atheists 2.4% (2004 est.)
That’s a lot of roads in life!
And yet I say, all roads lead to God.
Even the atheism road leads to God.
Let’s examine some of these religions!
I took this information off their websites!
Buddhist belief teaches Four Nobel Truths and an Eight Fold Pathway which leads to the end of all pain. Siddhartha Gautama was a man who lived in the 500’s B.C. in Nepal. In his mid thirties he claimed enlightenment as the result of his sufferings and became the Buddha. One fundamental belief of Buddhism is reincarnation -- the concept that humans are trapped in a repetitive cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. One’s goal is to escape from this cycle and reach Nirvana. Once this is attained, the mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. Suffering ends because desire and craving -- the causes of suffering -- are no more.
Hindusim: Today, the New Age Movement, Transcendental Meditation, Wicca, and many forms of pagan worship are offspring of Hinduism.The Hindu religion involves a caste system and a series of reincarnations in differing forms of life to practice and prove one’s worth in efforts to merge with the ultimate reality through works, knowledge and devotion to achieve a peaceful escape from the cycle of reincarnation.
Islam embraces Mohammad as the last and greatest messenger of God who received the Koran dictated to him and his disciples by the Angel Gabriel. Muslims believe in one God, Angels, Resurrection and Eternal Judgment, Prayer, Fasting, Giving and Jihad. Jihad is the sixth religious duty which requires one to give their life to defend or spread Islam. If a person dies in this manner, without respect to any other fact, they will be immediately escorted into Paradise and allowed to experience special sexual pleasures which are prohibited here on earth and in Paradise except to those who are martyred for Jihad. These special privileged martyrs are also blessed to bring other family members into this Paradise as well. Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet of God who did not die, but was bodily taken to heaven. Thus, they deny the resurrection.
Judaism follows the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, as law. Jews believe they have a covenant through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and are heirs to the land promised them by God. Heaven is their future by covenant and keeping of the Law. They await a coming Messiah who will set up His Kingdom and deliver them from all persecution and bondage forever. They believe Jesus was a false prophet who was not virgin born and deny His resurrection from the dead. They believe salvation is dependent on belief in God and good works.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus is the first of God’s creation, and all other things came into existence through Jesus. They believe that Jesus is none other than Michael the archangel. The Jehovah’s Witnesses place works and faith as the requirement for eternal life, and for one to be truly saved they must be a part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization. In order for a person to become a Jehovah’s Witness they must go through many Bible studies, door to door preaching, and prove themselves that they truly believe that this Organization is truly of God, and agree with it’s teachings. Then they are baptized into the Organization, thus they are now on the train to eternal life if they hold fast to the doctrines and guidance of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Anyone other than a Jehovah’s Witness cannot be saved or have eternal life.
Mormonism is based on the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Mormonism teaches that everyone’s works and righteous desires vary, so heaven includes different kingdoms, or degrees of glory. There is a Celestial kingdom. The Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reside in the celestial kingdom. If you live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ and are cleansed from sin by the Atonement, you will receive a place in this, the highest kingdom, where you will live in God’s presence and know complete joy. There is Terrestrial kingdom. People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom. There is the Telestial kingdom. Those who continue in their sins and do not repent until after they have died, will eventually receive a place in the telestial kingdom. Mormons do believe in hell. Those who did not repent while on Earth will experience a temporary hell after death (during the time that all spirits go to the spirit world where they will undergo instruction and preparation before the Resurrection), but will have an opportunity to repent afterwards and avoid the eternal hell. Hell as an eternal place of misery it is inhabited only by Satan and those who explicitly reject "the Heavenly Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost" even after the period of instruction after death Because of what Jesus Christ did for each one of us, we can return to live with God if we obey His commandments.
Scientology is a religion that has received a lot of media coverage lately. That is mostly due to the fact that some rather high-profile entertainers belong to the Church of Scientology. John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Tom Cruise, and Nicole Kidman are a sampling of these entertainers who have gone on record as being Scientologists (though Ms. Kidman later left Scientology). Scientology was started by sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard, and evolved from his initial concept of Dianetics. The Scientology religion is based exclusively upon L. Ron Hubbard’s research, writings and recorded lectures -- all of which constitute the Scriptures of the religion. Scientology denies that salvation comes from God. As their website says: salvation in Scientology is attained through personal spiritual enlightenment. Scientology holds man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.” They deny the existence of heaven and hell, and they deny the concepts of original sin and salvations by grace. In Scientology (which espouses reincarnation), each person must save himself by ridding himself of destructive memories and experiences that he or she has brought into their current life.
The Universal Unitarians deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Their belief on the nature of Jesus pretty much parallels that of the New Age -- that Jesus was an example of a good and moral man. Nothing more, nothing less. The UU’s do not believe - as Christians do - that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. It is more of a guide than scripture to the UU. Let us once again view the UUA’s own words regarding their view of the Bible: "We do not, however, hold the Bible-or any other account of human experience-to be either an infallible guide or the exclusive source of truth. Much biblical material is mythical or legendary. Not that it should be discarded for that reason! Rather, it should be treasured for what it is. We believe that we should read the Bible as we read other books (or the newspaper)-with imagination and a critical eye." Salvation to the UU is a guarantee. They do not believe in Hell. They do not believe that there is a penalty for sin. As Christians, we believe there IS a penalty for sin, but that penalty has been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. All each person has to do is to accept that. But to the UU, that would seem exclusionary. There is no sin, there is no penalty for sin, there is no hell, therefore, there is nothing to be saved from.
New Age Movement believes God is in everything, and everything together makes up God. Therefore, as a part of nature, man is part of God. Many New Age practices are designed to push man through the spiritual evolution to godhood. Astral projection (training your soul to have out-of-body experiences), contacting spirit guides, and using crystals to purify your body and mind’s energy systems are among these practices. Many New Agers believe in reincarnation and in Karma. They do not believe in a heaven and a hell. They believe Jesus was just a good man and that man saves himself.
Wicca is a religion that worships nature, supports peace, and believes society cannot be at peace if we are out of harmony with nature or are mistreating Mother Earth. Divination techniques such as tarot cards, astrology, psychic readings, candle magic and other occult practices are not only common but encouraged. Witches do not believe in a heaven or hell and will usually espouse the concept of karma and endless reincarnation. Backed up by "memories" of "past lives" they insist the idea of living only once is ridiculous. Others believe in reincarnation until enlightenment, or endless rebirth until such time as the person is enlightened enough to pass on to some other existence. Again, what makes a person enlightened varies from person to person. Still others will openly admit they have no idea what will happen after death and say the will find out when they get there.
Catholics ask Mary to pray for them or anyone else in need in the same manner we ask a friend to pray for us. They believe that Mary continues to intercede for us to her son. It is for this reason they ask Mary, in faith, for her prayers. Their prayers to Mary are an addition to their prayers to God. They believe in Confession to priests. Once an individual goes to confession and actually states the sin aloud with true contrition, it is guaranteed that a relief and cleansing will immediately follow, as well as a strong sense of forgiveness! Catholics believe in praying for the dead whose souls are in a place they call Purgatory. All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. Catholics do believe that works will get them to Heaven accompanied by faith and God’s grace and there is more to salvation than accepting Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior. Catholics believe in infant baptism and teach that in order for man to be "saved," to have eternal life, he must be baptized with both water and the Holy Spirit and that being baptized is what secures eternal salvation.
Protestant Christianity comes in many forms and believes that Jesus is the Son of God. However, some Protestants believe we must be baptized to go to heaven while others say it is by faith alone that we are saved. Some believe in eternal security while others say it is possible to walk away from your salvation. Some believe in the Trinity and some do not.
With so many roads to God, which one is right?
The fact is, All roads lead to God.
Romans 14:10 For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The question is not will everyone see God
but rather what will God say when He sees you?
Everyone gets to God,
but what does God do with you when you get there?
All roads do lead to God, but not all roads lead to heaven.
Every religion other than New Testament Christianity
demands that a person must work to prove his worth
and earn a relationship with God to gain entry into heaven.
The Apostle Paul tells us that we do not earn,
but rather are given this relationship with God
by grace through our faith.
Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We are saved by grace through faith!
So then where do works come in?
Are works important?
Look at our text again in Revelation 20
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Which Book of Life is this?
Revelation 21: 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Who is the Lamb?
Look into every religion you wish, there is only One Lamb!
His Name Is Jesus!
No one else even lays claim to Him as Lord and Savior
except Believers in Jesus.
What are His demands?
His demands are simple:
"You are My witnesses," says the LORD,
"And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
11I, even I, am the LORD,
And besides Me there is no savior.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Shall be saved.’
let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ’stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Believe in Him!
Call upon His Name!
Confess Him as your Savior!
If you will do these things,
you will gain heaven and rewards throughout eternity.
How long have you heard and when will you believe
that only the blood of the Lamb will save your soul.
Believe in Him and call upon His Name right now.
He will save you!
He will set you free from the penalty for sin!
He will save your soul for all eternity.
Yes, there are many roads to God.
All those roads except one will lead you to the Great White Throne
Those who appear there will be headed for hell…
Just as Jesus said in Matthew 7:
…wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
An estimated 2 out of every 3 persons in the world…
Has rejected Jesus as the Savior.
And not all professing Christians are on the right road either!
14Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Jesus says a small percentage are on the right road.
There is only one road you should want to be on!
That’s the road that leads to the Judgment Seat of Christ!
1 Cor. 3:11-15
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Jesus says in Rev. 3:5
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.