Most Religions are Alike…
…in the sense that all religious people are pursuing the same main goals – 1) they want to please God and 2) they want to have their sin debt paid.
What are you doing in your religion to get your sin debt paid?
When I recently asked a religious person this question he started going into great detail to explain to me how he tries to obtain forgiveness on a regular basis and to maintain as much as possible a state of perfection. I asked when he could know that his sin debt had been paid and that he was headed for heaven when he died, and he said he could never know that. He had just been to church and had prayed and asked for forgiveness for everything up to that point, but he could not know if he was clean right then because he might have sinned in his thoughts since that prayer.
This opened up the perfect opportunity for me to share why I believe something different. The Bible says we can KNOW that we have eternal life . We can have assurance that we are going to heaven. Not because we have achieved a level of perfection by our own effort, but because God has provided the ultimate sacrifice for sins. We are trusting in the Lamb of God who was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
When I got done sharing the beautiful good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ he was very quiet and thoughtful and said, “You mean all I have to do is believe Jesus Christ died for our sins and that’s it? I’m clean?”
The gospel is so beautiful and simple and such GOOD news. The gospel proclaims “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). Religious people are working so hard to save themselves and the great message of the gospel is that God saves sinners. This is a message of hope and peace and freedom and victory over death. The gospel centers completely on the person and work of Jesus Christ. God promised to send a Savior to pay our sin debt and that is exactly what has been accomplished. We simply need to believe and receive this free gift. Then go out and proclaim this great news to people who are in bondage to man-made religions and are terrified of dying because they are failing to achieve a state of perfection by their own effort.
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel. For He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us…as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began…to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we…might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life…to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:68-79).
1. Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime by Mike Shipman
2. John 3:36, 4:1-6, 4:25, 5:24, 8:14-17; Acts 10:43; Rom. 5:1, 8:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 2:13; 1 John 5:11-13.