Wednesday, August 24 2011
One of the biggest stumbling blocks of those considering Christianity is the fact that there are so many religions in the world.
Many wonder: “If I had been brought up in India, I would probably be Hindu. So how can I think that Christianity is right? I’m probably only inclined to be a Christian because I grew up in a Christian culture where Christianity is widely accepted.”
First, let me acknowledge the truth behind your concern. Our choice of religion is greatly influenced by our culture, our family, our heritage. Someone who is born in a Muslim nation to a Muslim family is much more likely to choose Islam than any other religion in the world. That is true.
And someone born to Christian parents living in the United States of America is more likely to choose Christianity than any other religion in the world. There is no doubt about it.
But let’s take a step back and look at this for a moment. Someone who was born in the days of the Roman Empire was likely to worship Jupiter and dozens of other gods from Roman mythology. Someone born in the land of Canaan before Abraham arrived there was likely to worship Baal. Someone born in a jungle tribe in the depths of the Amazon jungle today is likely to worship a rock or a tree or an animal.
Does that make all of those religions valid? Does that mean that it is just as right to worship Jupiter or Baal or a tree as it is to worship the one true God?
Of course not. So the fact that we have many religions in the world and that people are inclined to accept the one that their nation, their culture, and their family have accepted in the past, does not mean that all of those religions are right.
The last book of the Bible describes what it is going to be like in heaven: "There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. . . . And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9-10, NIV).
When we get to heaven, there will be people there from every nation, every tribe, every people, and every language. But not from every religion. Everyone gathered around the throne will acknowledge that salvation belongs to our God, and to the Lamb, who is Jesus, who was sacrificed for us on the cross. Someday, the Bible says, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.