Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Are all religions the same? Are all faiths merely alternate paths to the same God who offers His followers the same eternal reward?
Recent studies have shown that the majority of Americans believe that "all religions" will lead ultimately to God. The general consensus is that God reveals Himself in all religious traditions -- no matter what they teach: Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim ... they all have different truths to offer.
On the surface, that sounds tolerant and open-minded, and many people would like you to believe that. I'm not one of them, nor is your Lord.
Here is one, just one reason I say that Christianity is God's own truth:
* According to traditions, Buddha was born about 500 years before Christ. After considerable contemplation, he came up with what he thought was a good idea about man and his relationship with the cosmos. Others around him also thought his was a good idea, and there grew up a religion around his teachings. But no one ever predicted Buddha would appear when he did and teach as he did.
* Similarly, Mohammed was born more than 500 years after Christ. He shared how he had received some angelic visions that gave him some definite ideas about man and his relationship with the divine. Others around him thought his ideas were good, and a religion formed around his teachings. Still, nobody ever went on record saying Mohammed would appear when he did and teach as he did. Nobody ever said that someone is coming with a good idea.
* In contrast, the Old Testament has more than 300 prophecies declaring that Someone -- God's Son -- was coming to offer His life as the payment that would be made to save us from our sins. Some of those prophecies spoke of His birth; some gave specifics about His death, and still others told of what He would do, how He would behave, and how He would resist the temptations of Satan and break the shackles of sin. In short, the world was told not only what this man would teach, but where he would be born and how he would die.
If he is correct in his book, Science Speaks, Dr. Peter Stoner says the odds on Jesus fulfilling all 300 prophecies are 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I think that number is read 1 in ten-octillion. The possibility of you being struck and killed by lightning is 1 in 2,000,000.
It is the Holy Spirit who places faith in our hearts, and it is the Savior's sacrifice -- and not Dr. Stoner's calculations -- which forgives our sins. Even so, it is a blessing for us to have an outside, secular, scientific source tell us that Jesus is One of a kind.
Of course, the Bible has told us that already.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Your plan of salvation which has, in Your Son, rescued me from eternal damnation. May the minds and hearts of doubters be brought to see the greatness of the Christ's sacrifice. Let this be our prayer offered up in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Those who wish to refer to Stoner's book may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://sciencespeaks.dstoner.net/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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