Summary: a topical sermon on the subject of "Why follow Jesus and not some other religion" loosely based on John 14:6
Islington Baptist Church April 22, 2001
Series: “Why Jesus :Why follow Jesus and not Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion”
Title: Why Jesus? Because he’s the only way
Have you ever wondered “Why are their so many different religions”. There is an answer. The reason so many different religions abound is because people were made to seek God. “Religiousness” is part of our design.
In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” and then it says “yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
In the N.T book of Acts it says this “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, thought he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27
Men’s thirst for God, which has resulted in the creation of all sorts of religions and spiritual practice, can only be quenched in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the source of living water and eternal life. All other “sources” are but dry beds. Only a relationship with Jesus can satisfy a persons desire for God.
Today we are starting together in a new series entitled “Why Jesus”. The reason for this series is because a number of people, ranging from children to adults, have asked me “Why should I follow Jesus and not Islam or Buddhism or Hinduism”.
It’s a great question and to this question there are solid answers; however one of the things I have noted is that when this question is asked that it tends to catch us “flat footed”. This should not be; in fact the scriptures tell us as much for in I Peter 3:15 it says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
What a great verse. What a great reminder. What a great verse to memorize.
Throughout this series on “Why Jesus” I would like this verse to be our theme verse, the verse that motivates us..
I. In response to the question “Why Jesus” the first answer that I would like to draw your attention today is this: Because he is the only way to Heaven.
There is no other Savior’s out there. There is no other way that one can come to be right with God. Jesus is the only way and the only Savior there is.
The assertion that Jesus is the only way to Heaven is one that rankles many people
“How intolerant” is the cry that goes up. “How arrogant and narrow minded and offensive are Christians who contend that the only path to God must go through Jesus of Nazareth.”
All over our city this message is visibly posted “Stop intolerance” “Stop racism” “Stop hatred”. Do you realize that the “Stop intolerance” message is aimed directly at us who are Christians. “Intolerance” is a big sin according to popular culture. For example… whenever you say that homosexuality that, according to our culture is a sin, or for example when you say that an unmarried couple living together, that’s also a “sin”--- that’s qualified as “intolerance”. Proclaiming that the only path to God must go through Jesus of Nazareth is also branded as “intolerance”.
In spite of what people think, Christianity is not the only religion that can be classified as “intolerant”. Christianity is not the only religion to make the claim to be the only way.
Muslims teach that their way is the only way. Hinduism is absolutely uncompromising in respect to the law of Karma (which is the law of moral cause and effect so that every birth is a rebirth that makes recompense for the previous life), the authority of the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) and reincarnation.
Note: In spite of what some folks think “all religions do not teach basically the same thing”
When it comes to the claim that Jesus is the only way there are many who “pooh pooh” this and say “all you have to do is pick a religion and follow it sincerely because every path leads to God and salvation”.
Hans Kung, who is a famous Roman Catholic theologian has said as much “non Christian faiths are the ordinary way to salvation whereas Christianity is a very special and extraordinary way to salvation”
Hinduism teaches as much as well. According to Hindu teaching, God—called “the Infinite” has manifested Himself in billions of ways to help mankind visualize him. Therefore Jesus is just one manifestation of God amongst his billions of ways. Hence when Christians follow Jesus that’s great, just as it’s equally great to follow Islam or any other religion.