by Aleta Kay
If we examine the religions of the world most of them have one thing in common: man must earn God’s favor. Man must work his way into God’s good grace. We have to obey all the rules and follow all of the rituals. Then we have to try to be perfect so God doesn’t get upset with us. Most religions think God is somewhere up there and doesn’t really interact with people. The ones who do believe God takes an interest in our lives paint him as an ogre waiting for a reason to whack us.
Most of the Catholics I have met tell me the only thing they got out of Catholic school was a good dose of guilt.
Many of the Middle Eastern religions believe we must beat ourselves into submission, or chastise ourselves, or offer various types of sacrifices (as the Jews were required to do in the Old Testament), say so many prayers a day, being sure to face the proper direction, or murder anyone who isn’t of the same faith.
Many religions keep women under the dominance of men and treat them with cruelty and disregard. Many of these religions are based on the sayings and writings of long-dead prophets who are still in their graves.
Christianity, however, is based on the writings of prophets long dead AND the teachings of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only one to have risen from the dead, as witnessed by thousands of people.
Christianity is the only “religion” based on God’s love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Now these are not automatically given. They are only given to those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the ONLY begotten Son of God, who died on a cruel cross for our sins, took our punishment, spent three days and nights in hell and rose again the third day (you have to understand how the Jews count night and day in order to work that out).
Christianity is the only “religion” that offers a personal relationship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. It is the only one that says we cannot possibly earn our way to heaven. We can never be good enough. We get to heaven one way only: through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for no other reason that because God chooses to love us.
God loves everyone, but only those who put their faith and trust in the shed blood of Christ on the cross to save them from their sin, and seek God’s forgiveness for their sin nature, will enter into heaven. Everyone who trusts in his own goodness will end up in hell. “For by the works of the law shall no flesh be saved.” Galatians 2:16. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8.