Summary: Christianity and Religions of the World
Intro: with the diversity of religions in our society today, a question I am asked from time to time is what is the big difference between Christianity and the other religions of the world. Tonight, I would like to give the practical differences, not the deep theological differences.
The Uniqueness of Christianity
1. Man a sinner—Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The concept of sin is not a teaching of most religions of the world. Most people in our society even reject the concept that there is such a thing as sin. Most people define the problems of our society as sicknesses or weaknesses, or dysfunctional behavior. Here is a simple definition of the term sin or sinner.
· Disobedience to God’s Law—Romans 3 gives us the statement that there are none righteous, no, not, one. This means that no one lives in total submission and obedience to God’s law.
· Rejection of the authority of God—Romans 3 continues to paint the picture of man’s rebellion by stating that everyone has gone their own way. Sin is like Elvis use to sing, I did it my way.
· James states that when sin is finished it produces death. Whether or not you believe in the concept of sin, you receive the wages of sin which is death. In Adam we all sin, sin entered the human race, and we are all born sinners, no exceptions.
2. Jesus as Saviour—Luke 2:11—for unto you this day is born in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
· What a wonderful part of our theology, what a beautiful doctrine, that man needed to be saved and God sent His Son as Saviour of the world. Most religions are self help programs, work your way to the next level, strive to reach perfection in yourself. But man cannot perfect that which is imperfect, only God can change the heart. Ye must be born again.
· Other religions are based on teachers who didn’t claim to be Divine or able to save them in any way. Christianity stands out with the teaching, what man couldn’t do for himself, Jesus Christ did.
· Salvation—this is beautiful, sins are washed away. Man is right with God, man is cleansed as white as snow. No guilt, no torment, no condemnation in Christ. Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.
3. Faith—the just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17) here is another major difference between Christianity and the religions of the world. Most religions are work based, what you can do for God. But Christianity is an acceptance of what God has done for you.
· Faith in the Word of God as the supreme truth. John 1:1—in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
We believe in the Bible as a Holy book, an inspired Word, a Divine revelation.
· Faith in the Work of Christ—if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Song-he paid a debt he did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away.
· Faith in the ultimate victory—Hebrews 11:10—we look for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. In many religions you are trapped in an endless cycle, you just keep coming back to do it all over again. Jesus states, and If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, that where I am ye may be also.
4. Monotheistic—John 14:6—Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me. We live in an ecumenical society. Any religion will do, one is as good as the other. But Christianity is unique in that it clearly states, there is no other way.
· This is seen in the hatred of most religions toward Jews and Christians. If we would be polytheistic and speak well of their religion and not try to convert any people to Christ, we would all be one big happy family. But that isn’t the truth, and we must speak the truth so the truth will set them free.
· Jesus stated, ye will be hated by all men. Most Americans have been shocked by the level of hatred by terrorists toward America. Some think it is because of foreign policies and blame President Bush for what is happening in the world. But this hatred and violence isn’t a new thing, holy war has been raging through the centuries, and according to God’s Word, it will escalate in the last days to levels never seen before in the history of the world.