Inspired and Inerrant

During my college years, I developed a really cynical attitude towards Christianity. Across the world there are over 4,000 religions. In my mind, I took the spokesperson for 500 Christian religions, put them together around a huge table, and then watch while each one sincerely proclaims their particular belief is “inspired and inerrant.” My initial assessment was simple:
since none of those religions fully agreed with each other, and since most claimed to be inspired and inerrant, they just proved themselves to be neither, so I wanted nothing to do with any of them. Years later, I did soften my resolve, admitting that each of those religions most likely have some amount of truth, but truth interleaved with error. You make the best rat poison by mixing the finest grain money can buy with just a drop of arsenic.

In parallel with my college studies, the real God was showing me that life on this planet was far too complex and awesome to have simply evolved: There had to be a creator! That begged the next question: which of all those religions out there most closely matches up with clear Biblical language?

Looking at just quantity, there’s over 2 billion Muslims at the top, then Catholics at 1.3 billion, Hindus at 1.2 billion, Protestant Christians at 920 million (of which 21 million are SDA), Buddhists at 500 million, and Jews at 15.2 million. Keep in mind there’s over 8 billion of us now on this planet, so all these estimates are in flux.

The vast majority of the world’s religious belief systems utilize a “LIST.” If you do everything on their list, then you will have earned salvation… or whatever it is that they say comes next after death. Interestingly, that also eliminates the need for a savior to die in your place for your sins, because you can just check off each item on their list… and then you’re saved… by works alone. The Bible doesn’t teach that. The Bible is clear that you can’t earn or work your way to Heaven: it’s the free gift of Christ… to those whose faith and trust is in Him.

Then there’s the “Ten Commandments” of God. Many point their finger at those commandments as just another impossible list. Others say that their own list gets them to Heaven or Nirvana or whatever they say is next, but the reality is that keeping the Ten Commandments list has never saved anyone apart from Jesus, who is the only one who perfectly kept all the Commandments. It’s the Ten Commandments that condemn us, because it not only tells us what to do, but it also tells us what is forbidden. We wouldn’t know what sin is, if the Ten Commandments weren’t there to spell it out. Jesus proved that the Ten Commandments can indeed be kept, but only by the complete surrender of self with unrelenting love, faith and trust in God.

The Bible clearly states that LOVE is the key ingredient in a saving relationship, followed closely by FAITH and HOPE. (1 Cor. 13: 13). How many of those religious beliefs out there actually promote those three on top? Interestingly, most of those same belief systems that depend upon a list are the same ones that view love, faith, and hope as signs of weakness, not strength! God and Jesus clearly have the opposite view. Our belief system, as small as it is compared to other belief systems, squares with Bible truth in every way. Wow!

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