About 600 years after the Bible was completed, this guy named Muhammad started Islam. In 7th century A.D., followers of this new religion came up with their own sacred book called the Koran. In previous centuries all the Arab tribes of the Middle East worshipped idols, including the moon and stars.
But with the creation of Islam.. they changed it up. Now Muslims began to tell the world that there must be only one God who created everything. Unfortunately, they would say this right before killing the unbeliever and taking their stuff.
Islam has a history of slavery and robbery. It is very political and militant. It’s anti-Semitic. The Koran speaks of a Creator, but then it introduces us to an Arab god (little-g god) named Allah. And the first thing you find out about Allah is — he’s mad. And he commands his followers to kill the infidel. Islam means submission. An infidel is anyone who does not submit to Muslims being in charge.
According to the Koran, Allah hates the non-Muslim but rewards the Jihadist with 70 virgins to lust after in the afterlife. So what do women living in Muslim countries get? They get treated like second-class citizens. And in the afterlife there is no great reward for them. Because, basically, Islam is a mix of male dominance, Arab elitism, and the hijacking of Judeo-Christian monotheism.
Of course, not all Arabs are Muslims. And not all Muslims are terrorists. The majority of those who speak Arabic and live in predominantly Islamic nations don’t want a holy war. They want to work, share a good meal with their family, hang out with friends, and enjoy life.
But there are members of this other more fanatical group within Islam that take themselves way too seriously. But whether a Muslim is radical or conservative, all Muslims seem to agree on this one thing — they think that Jesus was just a man.
The Catholic Church
Then there’s the Roman Catholic Church. It has become widely popular throughout Latin America and Europe. It has reached the islands of the Caribbean. It’s big in the Philippines. For the longest time it has been a part of the culture and heritage of the peoples living in these regions. It’s a tradition.
Can we talk about this? I believe there are millions of good men and women who claim to be Catholic. Even more importantly, there are some among them who believe Jesus is Lord. And I am not talking about any of these people. I’m talking about history.
The Roman Catholic Church was founded in the 4th century A.D. By direction of the Roman Emperor Constantine, its followers took Christianity and combined it with the pagan religions of ancient Rome. Think about it. To this day Rome’s Vatican City serves as its headquarters. The popes are, in essence, a continuation of the Roman emperors. And the bishops (a Roman concept) make bank off the people of the districts they dominate.
The Catholic Church has impressive buildings and priceless art collections. Its clergy have lots of money in the bank, but what about their souls?
This is what the Protestant Reformation was all about. It took place in 16th-century Europe. Martin Luther was protesting (challenging) the church to repent of its false teachings and man-made traditions. And he got in big trouble for exposing their dark side.
You probably already know this — There are some things within the Catholic Church that have gone seriously wrong. It’s no secret. Catholic priests have a history of pedophilia.
The Catholic laity commonly pray to the Virgin Mary as if she were a deity. Catholic churches have paintings and statues of her everywhere. When they bow down to Mary they’re not just paying their respects, it’s a form of idolatry.
It was the popes who added extra books (called the Apocrypha) to the Bible. Inquisitors controlled and sent by popes carried out The Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Popes were even able to command kings to do their dirty work.
Thousands of Jews and Muslims were tortured or burned at the stake as heretics. This prestigious religious institution executed Christians too. By order of the pope whose words they declared infallible.
The Church of Rome led The Crusades, religious wars meant to recover Jerusalem from Islamic rule.
The Roman Catholic Church has, at times, extorted money from commoners, molested the innocent, tortured those who would not swear allegiance to its church, and terrorized entire populations… all in the name of religion.
Then there’s the Buddha. Some scholars believe that Siddhartha Gautama Buddha lived in ancient India somewhere around the time of 500 B.C. This was nearly a thousand years after God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Judaism had nothing to do with being a Jew and everything to do with getting to know God by obeying His commands.
But Buddha ignored God and the Old Testament altogether. Instead, he tried to be a very spiritual person on his own. So he left his family and responsibilities behind to go wander around in the wilderness and meditate. Supposedly, this was the path to enlightenment and harmony with the universe. And this is what he taught his followers — to find your own way.
It is believed that Buddha was seeking a way to escape the suffering of this life so he could reach Nirvana. But this religion, or philosophy if you wanna call it that, is really not all that mysterious or profound. It’s actually quite simple.
Buddhism is all about trying to find the meaning of life without God. Buddhist philosophy taps into your pride and independence — it makes it all about you. This is why Buddhists think they can get to Heaven on their own.
But they are in for a rude awakening after they die and go to the place they call Nirvana.
In the completely opposite direction and yet still just as wrong we have Hinduism. The Hindus profess to have millions upon millions of deities. They claim that their gods each have different and unique super powers, kind of like The Avengers. They’ve even made action figures out of some of them. And these are their gods.
Really, Hinduism is merely the idolatry of worshipping animals and other created things found in nature. It also involves combining different creatures together, that don’t go together, to create abominations. But they call them gods.
Some even believe that after you die you might come back in another life as an animal or a bug. But the Asian religions got it wrong. There is no such thing as reincarnation. You only get to go through this life one time. That’s it. After you die you face the judgment of God.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day
About the only thing Eastern religions got right was karma. You could say karma is this spiritual force behind what comes around goes around. And it’s true. Only, Eastern religion is not the source of this wisdom.
This spiritual principle has been in the Bible for thousands of years. Moses wrote about it in the book of Genesis. He called it — sowing and reaping. In other words, you reap what you sow. It applies to both good and bad things.
What some call karma is just one more truth that “world religion” took from Judeo-Christian teachings.
Now Western culture is a different story. In America we have every kind of strange religion, philosophy and cult you can think of. We have freedom of religion, but we also have the Satanic Church. We have people who practice witchcraft, actual black-magic mystical arts. We also make movies that glorify these occult powers.
To confuse things even more we have Christian cults like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. They believe in Jesus, but they also follow some strange teachings that are not in the Bible. They’re taking Christianity and combining it with other things.
The Bible warns us…
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition and musings of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following the truth—the teachings of Christ. Colossians 2:8 Amplified
Outside of Christ, all the different world religions are useless. They are spiritually unproductive and powerless. Not one of them has the power to save even one soul, much less all of humanity.
You already know the end of your world is coming. The planet will still be here — but you won’t. There will come a day when you breathe your last, when your body dies, and your soul leaves this world. What then? Religion cannot save you.
In the Gospel of John…
Jesus said, “I am the only Way to God and the real Truth and the real Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6 Amplified
Jesus himself declared that faith in him is the only way back to God. The different religions of the world cannot stop God. But they can stop the power of God from working in your life.
This is not hate speech — it’s just the truth. And I’m not trying to attack anyone’s culture. There’s lots of positive things about our different cultures.
I’ve travelled all over the world. I’ve been to Europe. Visited Germany, the UK, Belgium. I lived in Italy for 2 years and really like the Italian way of life. The food is amazing. The people are friendly. Italians are known for their hospitality.
The country’s west coast has these beautiful old towns on the sides of mountains with cobble stone streets and every café you find makes the best espresso and cappocinnos. I always enjoyed hanging out with my Italian friends. But I also tried going to church with Italians.
They invited me so I went… and it’s a bad joke. I’ve seen this people go inside cathedrals to pray to pictures of dead saints. I’ve watched their nuns chanting in Latin as they rub beads. And it is so very obvious that they are not praying to the Lord. You can sense the complete absence of the Holy Spirit in their services.
At the Vatican they’ll sometimes have mass and a huge crowd will gather around, cheering and celebrating like they’re at a soccer game. I like the energy, but they’re not worshipping God. They’re just making a celebrity out of the pope. And they do all these things because they’re traditions.
I’ve also worked in a few different countries in the Middle East. I was in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates. I lived over there for nearly 3 years. I had Arab friends who were Muslim. They were nice people. Some of them were really cool. Not all Muslims are religious or political fanatics.
They like different kinds of sports and music and fast cars. I like those things too. They also appreciate beautiful green plants and trees and flowing streams of water. It’s not their fault they inherited living in a big desert where it gets up to a 120 degrees in the Summer. They didn’t choose the desert.
But all Muslims choose to believe something that is false. The single most important thing to remember about Islam is that — all Muslims everywhere reject the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior of the world.
However, while the so-called Muslim World holds on to its traditions, Christianity continues to spread throughout the Arab states. Now there are Arab Christians (not many but some) in Egypt, and Syria, and Jordan. There are Saudi Christians, Iraqi Christians and Turkish Christians. There are even Palestinians who believe in Christ.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain, after the 2004 film The Passion Of The Christ came out, the king forbade Bahraini citizens from watching it. So, what happened next? It became the number one pirated DVD in their country.
It is estimated that around a third of the population of Lebanon is Christian. Christians are still the minority in all these countries. And there are still many places where Christians are persecuted for their faith. China, North Korea and Iran are some of the worst. Because they’re run by dictators who hate the God of the Bible.
In Iran they have religious police that go around arresting Iranian citizens who are caught professing or practicing Christianity. The police will come into a person’s house and physically beat them! Some Iranians who became Christians have been beaten to death for their faith. But their persecution has only served to spread the message of Christ even more.
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) did a story on Mohabat TV a few years back. This television ministry would broadcast from multiple secret locations, sharing messages of faith in Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. This Christian ministry has made the Iranian government furious, but many of the Iranian people have welcomed it.
In a 2014 article for CBN News, one author explained, “Since 2006, Mohabat TV has been beaming Christian programs via satellite to the Middle East, Europe and parts of Asia. But for the channel’s cast, crew, production and office staff, their main focus is the Islamic nation of Iran.”
And it’s important to understand that — Iranians are not Arabs. They are Persians and they speak Farsi. So, this radical Christian ministry reaches out to them in their own language. This one ministry has reported taking—on average—between 8,000 and 10,000 calls a month from Iranians.
One member of Mohabat TV who managed their phone center said, “Persians are really thirsty for the truth. They really want to know who is this God that we talk about, who is this Jesus, is he real or is he just a prophet?”
A Book… Seriously?
Well that is the question isn’t it… Who is Jesus? And in this world there’s all kinds of false teachings and confusion to help you get the answer wrong.
Some people are offended that the Bible was written by men. I guess they think they could handle the Creator of the universe paying them a personal visit and speaking to them more directly, one on one.
Some people are offended that the Bible was written by Jews. I guess they wanted the Son of God to show up with their same skin color because that would make them feel more comfortable.
Some people are offended that the Bible tells them what to do. It like they’re offended that the Being who created everything is actually in charge.
But I believe… If God can create stars and planets, then he can also author a book. And get it published. I also believe it’s possible for anyone to hear from God… if they’ll just listen.
But the main way God speaks to us is through His Word. The Bible is not just a Jewish thing. It’s not a Western thing. Jesus was not an American. And this book (The Bible) has been translated into all the different major languages of the world. It’s for everyone. And it is called the Word of Truth.
Here’s something a lot of philosophy majors are still confused about. Get ahold of this… You cannot pick and choose, taking the parts you like but leaving the rest. The truth is not whatever you want it to be. The truth is ABSOLUTE. Meaning, it is timeless and universal. It does not change and it applies to everyone.
Some people are offended that Jesus is the only way for you to be saved. Scoffers ask all kinds of hypothetical questions.. like.. What about people on a remote island somewhere who never heard about Jesus… or what about the children? They mean — What if a child dies? What happens to them? Are they saved?
Well, first of all, we don’t know everything that’s going to happen on Judgment Day. Because we weren’t told. But I do know this — God doesn’t reap judgment where he hasn’t sown knowledge. He is very gracious. And if a little child dies before their time then you’ll see them in Heaven. That is, if you go to Heaven.
But my advice to the unbeliever is — Have faith in God. And get to know Him. Then share the Good News with others. And walk out your own salvation. It’s the only one you can be sure of.
Then there’s all the political correctness people who say things like — you have to respect my beliefs. No I don’t. What if they’re stupid? I don’t have to respect your beliefs. I just have to respect your right to have them.
Because God has given every man and every woman a freewill. Without freewill it would be impossible have faith. Because your faith is a choice. Faith is choosing to believe something you’ve heard.. without seeing it.
And the Lord never told Christians to push—what we believe in—on others. We have been commanded to speak the truth in love, share the good news about the Kingdom of God, and be a witness by the way you live your life.
What makes Christianity different?
Around the world different cultures believe in and practice different religions. Just a little common sense should tell you — they can’t all be right. So now you must make a choice. Because not all roads lead to God.
And only one belief system in history—from its very beginning—declared itself to be for all nations and all peoples throughout the world. Only one has a book filled with hundreds of prophecies about the future, that have already come to pass.
Only one has millions of personal testimonies and praise reports of supernatural healings, Divine protection and unexpected provision coming in for its followers. Only one is filled with truth, wisdom, love and power that actually changes people’s lives.
Only one is a counter-culture—that throughout history—has been made available to all peoples regardless of their culture or race. But it’s not just a religion. We call it Christianity. But Jesus called it The Kingdom of God. And the way you enter… is by faith.