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Summary: In this message we will attempt to help answer the question whether or not all religions are the same.

Religions: Aren’t They All The Same

Ephesians 2:11-21

I’d like to ask you a few questions as we begin our time together today… They are real easy questions to answer. OKAY – here we go.

• Is every soft drink the same?

• Is every french fry the same?

• Is all music the same?

• Is all fried chicken the same?

• Is all make up the same

• Is every ice cream the same?

• Is every donut the same?

• Is every restaurant the same?

• Is every; car, house, college football team, mattress, hotel, shampoo, soap, razor, tooth paste, chicken sandwich, church, teacher……the same?

LISTEN – we all know that those things are not the same… And why is that BECAUSE – they look different, feel different, taste different, have different stuff in them

Today’s conversation is entitled – “Relgions Aren’t They All The Same?”

QUESTION – have you ever encountered anyone who thinks that way? (I have) Do you think there is a large and vocal part of our culture, who wants us to think that way? (you better believe there is, it’s called PC – and that doesn’t mean ‘personal computers’ it means ‘politically correct.’

And since 911 and the war on terror it is getting worse all of the time…

GUYS – the topic we are going to try to tackle this morning is huge, - I went to my Thesaurus to find a few more words to describe the topic before us today; here are a few; Our topic today IS: immense, enormous, gigantic, titanic, colossal, sizeable, monumental, massive, extensive, galactic, cosmic, monstrous, mammoth – in other words, our topic today, is really – really big!!!

I MEAN - Colleges have entire courses on this – there are tons of book and web sites about this subject. FRIENDS – my challenge this week as I sat before my computer… as I; read books, surfed the net and scribbled stuff down on paper was – HOW could I, in the brief time that we have this morning give you some practical stuff, some good stuff (that will enable you to answer questions and give the reasons for the hope that you have) - without completely overwhelming you – and causing you to scream, “STOP STEVE – my head hurts!”

WELL – all I can say is that was my goal… AND – the condition of your head when we are through we tell me if I met it…. BUT – if you listen up I will give some good stuff, some basic stuff, some summary statements that will help you see that the statement, “All Religions Are The Same” is not true…

Resources:

The Compact Guide To World Religions – Dean Halverson, General Editor

But Don’t All Relgions Lead To God? – Michael Green

World Relions made Simple – Mark Water

Jesus Among Other God’s – Ravi Zacharias

NOW – there are a lot of different religions we could look at this morning BUT I have limited our discussion to just 4… Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity… AND – the reason is because they represent over 76% of the world’s population…

CHECKOUT – the chart in your outline….

World-Wide (% of population) United States (growth rate from

1990 - 2001)

Christianity – 2 billion 33% 159 million 5%

Islam - 1.3 billion 22% 1.1 million 109%

Hinduism – 900 million 15% .766 million 237%

Non religious – 850 million 14% 27.5 million 110%

Buddhism – 360 million 6% 1.08 million 170%

Other - 600 million 10%

THE FIRST – point in your notes is:

I. Two Popular BUT False Statements

“It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe As Long As You Are Sincere”

QUESTION - have you ever heard anyone say that? Have you ever said that? Why would people make such a statement? I think for several reasons…

SOME people make it simply because they don’t want to get into an argument about religion. HEY – you believe what you want and I will believe what I want… and we’ll just join hands and sing Kumbaya.

OTHERS – make this statement because they never really stop to think…They never stop to think how illogical that statement really is…

UNDERSTAND – sincerity does not make something right or true. Have you ever been sincere about an answer on a test – but find out you were sincerely wrong.

LISTEN – you can sincerely believe with all your heart that 2 + 2 = 5, BUT – it will not change the reality that 2 + 2 = 4. (For centuries people sincerely believed that the sun revolved around the earth – but Galileo following Copernicus showed that this was not true… You could sincerely believed that eating lots of fatty & sugary foods, being 100 pounds overweight, never exercising and getting only 2 hours of sleep a night --- is the best way to live a healthy and long life – (and if you do – I suggest you make sure that your life insurance premiums are up to date)…

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