Polling shows that 75 percent or more of the U.S. population believe in God, believe that the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God, and consider religion to be important to them. Yet only 30 percent attend church on a weekly basis and only 16 percent read the Bible daily. Obviously, there is a huge disconnect between what people say they believe and what how they actually live when it comes to the topic of religion.
This makes me think of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 (niv): “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Saying all the correct religious things isn’t what grants us access to God and, eventually, to heaven.
What does your life prove that you really believe? Are you building your life on the solid foundation of Jesus’s teachings or on the shifting sands of false beliefs (Matthew 7:24-27)?
You can know what to believe and how to live. Remember Foundational Principle 1 from “Start Here”: The Word is essential to success. The Bible is absolute truth. It’s how God teaches us what we need to know to live lives that are pleasing to Him. So let me give you some questions to answer concerning what you believe about religion. Then I will point you to the truth of Scripture to help you solidify what you believe.
1. Do I believe the Bible is the absolute truth of God?
Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3, niv)
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. (2 Samuel 22:31, niv)
The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever. (Psalm 119:160, hcsb)
Everything begins here. If you don’t believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, then it’s only a matter of time before you lose confidence in who God is and His ability to guard and guide your life. You must know that you know that you know that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. Sure, just by saying this doesn’t mean that you are confident in what you say. But this is the starting point.
Of course, the more you are in the Word, the more you will believe in the Word. And, the more you are in the Word, the more confident you will be in knowing that the Bible isn’t just a book of words. The Bible is absolutely the words of God!
2. Do I believe all religions are the same?
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8, niv)
All religions are not the same. Some religious groups worship false gods. Some believe in God but don’t believe that Jesus was His Son. Some believe Jesus was a real person but don’t accept the fact that He died for us on the cross and was resurrected from the dead. Some don’t believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God.
Christianity accepts God as the only God and believes that Jesus is the Son of God, who came to earth, died for humankind, and conquered death by coming back to life and proving that He is the one true Savior of the world. We believe the Bible is God’s Word and the ultimate authority for everything we do. To be a Christian means one is a follower of Christ.
So before you believe the modern cliché that “all paths lead to God,” do yourself a favor and consider what other religions are teaching in contradiction to the exclusive claims of Christ in Scripture.
3. Do I believe there are multiple ways to get to heaven?
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, hcsb)
Christianity is based on a person’s willingness to believe in and choose to live for Jesus. So Christians believe that faith in Jesus in the only way to get to heaven. You can’t just be a “good person” or just do “good deeds” (though, of course, if you believe in Jesus, you will want to do those things). There’s only one path to eternal life, and it’s through Jesus.