Which Religion is the Right One?

Have you ever asked yourself: With all the thousands and thousands of religions in the world, how can anyone know for sure which is the right one? How can anyone know with absolute certainty that their religion is correct and that all the others are wrong?

Most religions are exclusive. For instance, the Koran clearly teaches that all Christians are going straight to Hell unless they convert to Islam and then do a whole series of really good works (like killing infidels such as myself), but the Bible clearly teaches that it is the Muslims who are going to Hell unless they simply accept Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior.

Technically speaking, both religions could be wrong. It’s true! Think about it for a moment. Technically speaking, it is possible that both religions could be wrong. But there is no possible WAY both religions could be right. If Islam is right then Christianity MUST be wrong. If Christianity is right, then Islam MUST be wrong. There is no middle ground on this issue. Anyone who thinks otherwise should definitely go read my article: “What is Truth?

Now, exactly how many religions are there in the world? Some of the big names are: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Secular Humanism (man simply worships himself in this instance), Universalism, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Scientology, and Spiritism. Then there are religions such as Sikhism, Juche Baha’i, Jainism, Shinto, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Rastafarianism, and thousands more.

But let’s not stop there since all the major religions can also be further broken down into various branches, sects and cults. For instance, in Christianity we have Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals, Angelicans, Evangelicals, Latter-day Saints, Quakers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and on and on the list goes, and then all those major branches, sects, and cults can be further broken down into various major associations and groups, and finally those major associations and groups can be further broken down into local congregations. Yeash! And I don’t know about you, but every single Christian church I have ever attended in my entire life held to a “slightly” different set of beliefs then the next, even if they belonged to the exact same association in the exact same denomination.

A complete listing of all the various religions would be rather large wouldn’t you think? If I had time (which I don’t), I would travel the world over and make a complete listing for you. Just think of the Frequent Flyer Miles I could rack up as I traveled the entire globe counting every single mosque, church, cathedral, synagogue, pagan temple, shrine, Atheists are Omniscient Book Club, etc. in the entire world. After I was done counting and compiling my list, I would have my life’s work published. I would entitle my masterpiece: “The Complete Listing of All the Known Religions of the World!” I can just imagine my scholarly endeavor residing alongside other great literary classics such as James Ussher’s: “The Annals of the World” or William Whiston’s English translation of the works of Flavius Josephus. How many pages do you think my extensive volume would contain? I can already give you the answer: One. Yep, that’s it… One single page… In fact that page would only contain two words. You see, there is actually only one religion on this fallen planet and it is spelled “D-O.”

Do _____, and do ______, and do ______, and do ______, and you will work your way to _________  (heaven, be reincarnated as a rat or a god, rot in the grave, or anything else the black heart of man desires).

The second word in my extensive listing is not a religion at all, but a relationship. It is spelled “D-O-N-E!”

No religion on earth is remotely like it, because the “DO ______” part  has already been DONE by Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus alone lived a sinless life, paid the full penalty for our sins by dieing on a cross, rose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. We cannot DO anything to EVER “earn” our way to heaven:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

You see, to be saved and have eternal life no works or good deeds are ever involved. Rather, we simply place our faith in Jesus Christ and accept His free gift of pardon. Romans 10:9 says:

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ” Wow!

I often hear people say things like: “Hey, we’re Christians just like you, because we are _____________  (pick any denomination you want). Dear reader, you cannot become a Christian by simply joining a particular church or denomination. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, gets saved by the “act” of joining a church. That would be turning Biblical Christianity (which, remember, is a relationship) into a Religion – “Just DO ________ and you will be saved.” Now am I saying, do not join a church? Not at all. On the contrary, we are all called to join together with fellow believers and worship God. Hebrews 10:25 says:

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

But, please understand, all the various Christian denominations and churches you see as you drive down the road each day are ALL man-made institutions. They are simply designed to help people in the local community join together with other like-minded people to worship God and have fellowship together. Local churches are never divine or inerrant. They are just buildings made of brick, steel, and mortar. The real “Church” is the “Body of Christ” – those who have been saved by placing their faith in Jesus.

For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. - Ephesians 5:30

I should briefly mention Christian baptism, since so many wrongly think that it is a requirement for salvation. Baptism is a “display of faith” and should certainly be sought by everyone who has placed their faith in Christ. But, the “act of baptism” can never save in itself. The criminal who died on a cross beside Jesus was never baptized, yet he was saved. Luke 23:42-43 says:

Then he (the criminal) said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

I hope you are getting the picture. Good deeds, rituals, works, and man-made institutions cannot ever save a person. Some Methodists are saved and some are not. Some Lutherans are saved and some are not. Some Catholics are saved and some are not. Why? Because some have called upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and some have not.

Let’s read Jesus’ last words on the cross:

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”… – John 19:28-30

The quote: “It is finished!” is the most common English translation, the Contemporary English Version says: “It is done!” But, if you really want to know what Jesus said we need to go back to the existing Greek manuscripts. They say Jesus said in a loud voice one single Greek word: “Tetelestai”

“Tetelestai” is the perfect passive tense for the verb “teleō”. “Teleō” means: “to complete something”. But, Teleō in the perfect passive tense has a VERY special meaning. Archeologists have found all kinds of invoices, receipts, and records of payment from the 1st century throughout the Roman empire. If something was paid for, they would write on the  papyrus which recorded the transaction, the verb teleō in the perfect passive tense. Which is: “Tetelestai” which means: “Paid in full.” During the time of Jesus, this one word was used daily by almost everyone when they purchasing items or goods. Near death, Jesus in agony pushed up on the nails that pierced His hands and feet to inhale another breath, he raised His head and shouted in a cry of victory: “Tetelestai!” — “Paid in Full!”

At that moment Jesus knew He had won the great victory He so long desired. Luke 23:44-49 records what happened next:

“…darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Think about it. It is done, it is finished, and it has been paid in full! Even the Roman Centurion, an officer and a Captain who was a professional in implementing extreme cruelty, torture, and death, clearly understood that Jesus was completely unique and unlike any other man he had ever seen die before. The pardon Jesus purchased with His very life had been paid in full:

Who is a God like You,
      Pardoning iniquity
      And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

      He does not retain His anger forever,
      Because He delights in mercy.
       He will again have compassion on us,
      And will subdue our iniquities.

      You will cast all our sins
      Into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:18-19

So now I ask you, how do you spell your religion? Is it spelled: “D-O”. Do ______ and ______ and ______ to earn your way to salvation or whatever (which won’t work).

Or is your religion actually not a religion at all, but a relationship with Jesus Christ which is spelled “D-O-N-E”? Meaning: “Everything has already been DONE by Jesus. I have simply placed my faith in Him. I have accepted the free gift of pardon that He purchased for me on that cross that fateful day. Thanks to Jesus, all my past sins and even my future sins have already been paid for in full! Praise Jesus!!!”

If you are not a Christian, please reach out and accept the free pardon that Jesus has already purchased for you:

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13

Have a blessed day!

Sean Kirkpatrick

Sean Kirkpatrick posted at 2011-8-21 Category: Refuting False Religions