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The Religions of The World

SIH STSTA ICONCurrently there are approximately 40 major religions that exist in the world today. You can see a listing and description of forty of them at http://www.religionfacts.com/

The some of the largest religions include… Christianity , Islam, Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist, Hinduism, Chinese traditional religion, Buddhism, primal-indigenous, African Traditional & Diasporic, Sikhism, Juche, Spiritism, Judaism, Baha’I, Jainism, Shinto, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Neo-Paganism, Unitarian-Universalism, Rastafarianism, and Scientology.

One thing we can know for sure, each of these religions vary in doctrine and practices.  Their teachings range from Atheism that denies the existence of god, to the Wicca religion that teaches many gods exist.  There are similar irreconcilable discrepancies between the religions in the area of man’s condition, salvation, the afterlife, and their founders.

As you study the basic differences between the beliefs of these religions, one thing becomes very clear… these religions contradict each other in almost all areas of their teachings.  This establishes the fact that all but one of these religions must be based upon error.

Why do so many various religions exist?  The Bible helps us to understand why these varied belief systems exist.

THE SCRIPTURES:

 

2Tim 4

1) I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4) And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

1Tim 4

1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3) Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

2Cor 11

1) Would to God ye could bear with me a little in [my] folly: and indeed bear with me.

2) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.

3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]….

13) For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15) Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 

THE STUDY:

False religions have been with us from the beginning of time.  In the very beginning, Adam and Eve were called upon to choose which set of spiritual truths they were to embrace and follow with their lives.  Would they accept the truths that had been given to them from God or the lies that were told to them by Satan?  We are all familiar with the choice that they had made and the affects of that choice upon all mankind.

Adam and Eve choose to submit to the teachings and desires of Satan. This represents the first act of human belief in a false religion….

2 Cor 11:3-4, 13-15

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]……  For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Since false religions have been with us from the Garden of Eden, as Christians, what are we to do?  By remembering Adam and Eve’s sin, and its results, we are reminded of the devastating effects of following a false religion.

In 2nd Timothy 4:1-4, Paul writing to the young pastor, Timothy, gives timeless insight into false teachings and the religions that oppose the truth of the gospel of Christ.   Paul’s instructions are so important for us all…

 

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ,

Remember, as Christians, we are given the responsibility to remain faithful to the truths of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

This same Lord that we serve, will someday judge both lost and saved, those who will be physically dead and those who will be alive at His coming.  This means that all men will be held accountable for the choice they make concerning which God they will serve.  The choice is plain, follow the teachings of Jehovah God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ; or the teachings of the  many false gods of this world, created, empowered and supported by Satan.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Timothy was to:

  1. proclaim the truth of God’s Word
  2. continue to be faithful in blessed times and in times of trial and heartache
  3. convince others of the truth
  4. correct the errors held by others
  5. encourage others to stand by the truths to which they held
  6. do all the above through the use of patience and the teachings of doctrinal truth.

These responsibilities not only apply to Timothy, nor to pastors in today’s time, but to all who hold to the truths and faith of Christ Jesus.  We are to stand for the truth and work for it’s continuance and growth.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Why is it so important for Christians to work for the propagation of the truth?

Because due to the sinful desires of mankind, the natural course of the fallen world is to reject the truth and follow after those who teach error.   The doctrines of sin, man’s inability to gain salvation of his own merit, God’s grace, and salvation through Christ’s work alone, are a few of many truths that go against the lusts of the depraved human heart.    

And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

When looked at from the light of God’s Word, fallen mankind is responsible, guilty, shameful, and unable to deliver themselves from their horrible condition.  God’s Word presents a clear view of the wickedness of man contrasted by the love, grace and the ability of Almighty God.   This is why lost mankind, apart from God’s gracious intervention, will reject the truths of His Word at every turn.

It is due to this desire of our fallen natures to hear fables that we have the false teachings of this world flourishing.  It is much more pleasing to a fallen human heart to hear that they are not wicked and separated from a Holy God; or although sinful, they deserve salvation and can attain it through their own good works.   These are the basic messages of the false religions of the day. These are the messages of error, that if followed, will condemn mankind to an eternity of separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

As the coming of Christ draws near, each of us must be on guard against allowing error to enter into our lives and beliefs.  As Paul stated so clearly in 1 Timothy 4:1-2….

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; …

Turning from the truth to a false religion is proof of an imitation salvation experience and  a mark of an unregenerate nature.  In other words, if we find ourselves turning from the truth of God’s Word to a false religion, we can rest assured that our original salvation experience was a counterfeit.  It only involved a mental acceptance of truth, without ever receiving a changed heart through the gracious workings of Christ.

For those who have yet to be saved…

In this blog posting, you have come face to face with a small portion of the Biblical teachings on the false religions of today.  The motive behind God’s Word and this blog entry is the same.  It is an attempt, motivated by love to warn those who have been deceived by the seducing spirits of this world and the fallen nature within each of us.

Please, look into the Word of the Lord and by faith, accept it’s truths.  Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has done for His people.  Look to Christ and receive salvation from your sins and eternal life with Him.  If you would like more information about the teachings concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation He so graciously gives you have many options:

  1. Open His Word and read about Him
  2. If you are uncertain where to start in His Word you can take a look at my blog page “All About Salvation” to help get you started
  3. You can look at these links for more information:

http://www.bryanstation.com/articles/a-message-to-the-lost

http://www.intouch.org/resources/content/topic/how_well_do_you_know_god

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A335

http://www.lwf.org/site/PageNavigator/jesus/who_is_jesus

  1. You can contact a Bible believing church.  They will be glad to help you to understand what Christ has done for you
  2. Or, you are more than welcome to contact me through my email address settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done for you.

With the multiplicity of false religions, comes proof that the second coming of Christ is coming soon.  Time is short.  No one knows what tomorrow holds.  Look to Jesus know while He is at work in your heart and you still have time.  Don’t say as did the prophet Jeremiah…

Jer 8:20

20) The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – Part # 6

SIH STSTA ICON“… He shall direct thy paths.”

 

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of my most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

  1. What is God’s will ?
  2. Not my will, but thine be done.
  3. Thus saith the Lord
  4. Oh what a feeling
  5. Open and shut doors
  6. Summary of the study

In part number 6 of our study lets study… “… He shall direct thy paths”

THE SCRIPTURE:

Ps 25:9-10 (KJV)

The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.All the paths of the LORD [are] mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Prov 3:5-6 (KJV)

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Prov 16:9 (KJV)

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Isa 48:17 (KJV)

Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I [am] the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way [that] thou shouldest go.

Jer 10:23 (KJV)

O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

THE STUDY:

Please notice all the above verses… these are just a few, of many verses that affirm, and then reaffirm, to us the promise that the Lord will show His will to anyone who sincerely desires to follow Him.

Throughout our study we have seen the graciousness of our Lord brought into view.  From His first promise to show us His will; to giving us the desire to put His will first; to giving us His Word, the foundation and authority for all our decision making; to giving us thoughts, desires, and a conscience to lead us to His desires for us; to personally intervening in our lives opening and closing opportunities for us; we have His grace clearly shown.

As in every area of our life… we should be always appreciative for His many acts of grace on our behalf.

Now let’s apply all of our previous studies on His will to a very simple example… (please see practical application)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

Keeping our previous studies in mind, lets consider a practical application to our study…

Let’s assume that I am a young man that has been called to preach God’s Word.  I am currently seeking aBibleCollegeto begin my studies.  I am not sure which college the Lord would have me to attend…. Now what?

Step 1:  I can be assured that the Lord has a will for my life, and I can put my full trust in His promises to show it to me.

Step 2:  I examine my heart to be sure that it is His will that I desire.  In prayer, I lay out my desires, asking Him to bless my efforts.  However, I ALWAYS seek His will above any desires I may harbor within.

Step 3:  I begin to compile a list of Bible Colleges that would meet my academic needs.  I take into account their curriculum, their doctrinal statement, the testimony of their instructors, and the mission statement of the school.  Also, the location of the nearest Bible teaching church, the ministries that would be open to me at each school, the cost of the classes, etc etc etc.

I look into the Bible to find the requirements of the position to which I have been called, the major Bible doctrines that should be taught, the requirements of Godly teachers, and the mission of those who are called of the Lord, the Lord’s teachings on indebtedness, etc, etc, etc.

Through this process I should be able to weed out some of the schools due to unscriptural doctrine, ungodly teachers, a lack of opportunities to serve the Lord while in college, excessive, wasteful costs or in some other way, not meeting my needs to prepare me for the ministry to which I have been called.

Step 4:

With the remaining choices left, I am sure that some school choices would seem more appealing than others.  Now I have to be honest with myself… since from a Scriptural standpoint, all my remaining choices seem to be basically “equal”; why do some appeal to me more than others?

Is it perhaps, the Holy Spirit, placing in my heart the desire to attend the school the Lord would have for me, or is it simply a fleshly desire that really should not have a part in my decision making process.  I come to the conclusion that it is due to the location of the school.  I like warmer weather and the school I am drawn to is in the South.  For now I take it into account, but I cannot allow it to be the final decision. That desire has no real spiritual significance.

My prayer now should be “Dear Lord, you know my desire to follow your will.  Also, you know my desire for warmer weather.  To my knowledge, this southern school is no better, or worse, that any of the other schools based upon principles of your Word.  Please allow the doors to remain open so that I may attend… but not my will but thine be done.

Step 5: I apply to all the remaining schools, including the southern school… again, through the Lord’s intervention some more of the schools will be eliminated.  Of the remaining schools to which I have been accepted, I begin a review of all the Biblical research I had done in step number 3.  If the Lord shows me nothing new in His Word and, therefore, all the schools are still on equal footing after a review, then I are free to go to any of the schools to which I have been accepted.

If the southern school is one of the schools to which I have been accepted, I can feel free to go.  The Lord has graciously kept the door to this school open for me. I should step through the open door with a thankful heart, knowing He has blessed me with a sound school and given me the desire of my heart.

Please remember, the Lord will hold me responsible to follow the directions of His Word.  By researching schools in the context of His Word and then doing a final review, I have done all I can do to follow His teachings.   Since He has opened doors to several schools, I can assume these schools would all fit into “His will” for my life.  I can go to any I would choose with confidence, I have put His will first and now have His blessings upon me.

Ps 32:7-11

Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.Be ye not as the horse, [or] as the mule, [which] have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.Many sorrows [shall be] to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

In our search for God’s Will ….

Prayer Principle #6 –  At the end of this process we need to thank Him for showing us His will (even if it is a “no” answer or a “you must wait” answer).  Also, we must commit ourselves to continued submission as we begin down this new path of life He has opened to us.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Just as the Lord opens opportunities to serve Him for His followers, so too, the Lord has opened opportunities to become a follower of Christ.  The Lord never promised how long the opportunity to trust in Him would last, but He did make it plain that the opportunity to trust in Him would end someday…

John 12:35 (KJV)

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

None of us know what tomorrow will hold.  A car accident, sickness or other tragedy could bring an end to the opportunity we’ve been given to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.  That’s why anyone who has not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ should seek His face NOW.  We have no promise of a tomorrow.  We need to be ready to face eternity while we can.

If you have questions about the gracious salvation that our Lord offers to us, please feel free to refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” .  Or, you can find any Bible teaching church, I’m sure anyone there would be glad to answer your questions about having a relationship with Almighty God.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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