Do All Religions Lead To God?
Many believe that one way to God is too limiting, and those who believe that way are intolerant. Like Oprah, they think it is more understanding and loving to believe in many ways. This idea that all religions lead to God is at the core of New-Age belief. The nineteenth-century teacher, Shri Ramakrishna said,
“God has made different religions….Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole hearted devotion….A truly religious man should think that other religions are also so many paths leading to the Truth.”
But if Jesus is the only way to God, then there can’t logically be other ways as well. Ramakrishna’s statement can only be right if Jesus is not the only way to God. The same holds true for other religions, which claim they offer the path to God. If they are true, Jesus’ words can’t equally be true. But if Jesus is speaking truth, other ways to God are not.
And that is what Ravi came to understand in his bed of suicide. After Ravi’s failed attempt to take his own life, someone shared with him about a loving God who came to earth to die for him personally. Suddenly, as Ravi heard about Jesus Christ’s love for him, hope began stirring in his heart.
Ravi began comparing what Jesus said with what other religions taught. As he read about Jesus, he discovered, “All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not….Every religion at its core is exclusive.”
Ravi observed that Jesus’ teaching about God and life is radically different from that of other religions. Most other religions teach that the path to God lies in obeying a set of rules, submitting to certain rituals, or practicing a particular lifestyle. None of them can guarantee our eternal destiny, since they teach that it depends upon our performance.
Ravi realized that although many things taught by other religious leaders are good and noble ideas, none of them satisfied his hunger for meaning, or provided hope for life after death. Furthermore, none of them answered Ravi’s inner need for forgiveness, love, and comfort during trials.
Jesus, on the other hand, taught that God loves us more than we can imagine. And although as sinners we deserve judgment, Jesus paid the penalty for us himself. His death and resurrection made it possible for us to be forgiven, and to live forever with him in new bodies. Our only part is to put our faith personally in what he did for us. Jesus also tells us to “come unto me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” Jesus’ promise gave Ravi hope.