Let's recap: In the last article, you learned that genuine followers of Jesus Christ, those who endeavour to live by Christian standards, still exist and can be recognized by their fruits. Some will scoff at this and say it doesn't matter what religion you belong to as they all lead to the same place - to God. Is that how you feel or what you believe? Let's consider what the Bible says.
Jesus Christ was the greatest man and teacher who ever lived. Notice what he said at Matthew 7:13, 14*: "Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it." What did Jesus mean?
Back in ancient times, roadways through gates were the means of entry into cities. Frequently, the Scriptures liken the course of life that individuals follow to a road or pathway. Jesus didn't refer to a third or middle way. He only spoke of two. Thus, the "broad road to destruction" means death for those out of divine favour. This road is for the crowd, the many people who choose to do as they please. They don't want to make changes to bring their lives in harmony with Bible principles. They like to do things "my way", regardless of the consequences. Bible examples of such ones include: Adam and Eve, Cain and Judas Iscariot.
The other option is the "narrow and cramped road to life". This road is for the few who desire to please God with their way of life. They exercise self-control in all areas of human conduct, even enduring violent persecution and death for doing things God's way. They let Bible principles guide their every waking thought and deed. Examples of these faithful ones include: Abraham, Noah, and even Jesus himself.
How does all of this relate to religion? The Bible makes it clear there are only two sides - God's and the Devil's. How so? Satan the Devil is a powerful, rebellious angel. He rejected true worship, God's way of things. John 8:44* states: "he [Satan] did not stand fast in the truth." He [Devil] is intent on turning all creatures away from the true worship of God and getting them to serve him by way of religions that do not teach the truth about Jehovah God. At Matthew 7:15, 16*, Jesus said: "Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep's covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them." Satan even tried to tempt Jesus from devotion to God! (Matthew 4:1-11*)
The Bible warns us at 1 Peter 5:8, 9*: "Keep your senses, be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. But take your stand against him, firm in the faith." To be "firm in the faith" means not carrying on practices that are out of line with God's high standards [think of those Babylonish beliefs and practices such as idolatry, hellfire, occult]. Doing so would mean you're on the Devil's side, pleasing him rather than God. Jesus was quite firm when he said at Matthew 12:30*: "Whoever is not on my side is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
Based on what the Bible says then, religious diversity with its differing doctrines and practices do not all lead to God. There are only two roads, two sides - Jehovah God's side or the Devil's. Both are completely opposed to each other. A person is either walking the cramped way of God, living his whole life according to God's high moral standards and principles or he's doing things "my way", following the crowd along the broad road that belongs to Satan and ultimate death. Deuteronomy 30:19, 20* says: "I [God] take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice, and by sticking to him, for he is your life."
Life or death, which one will YOU choose?
*New World Translation Bible (2013) available to read/download free here
**Photo by ~Me~
See you next time!