Being Loose

Christianity is necessarily true. Without the Person and Work of Jesus of Nazareth, we are left in our sin and without hope. But aren’t all religions true in some ways? Aren’t there many paths to God?

Is it easy? Not always. Will you receive everything you ever wanted in this life? Most likely not.

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Maybe you’ve heard the parable of the six blind men and the elephant. In this parable, six blind men feel a different part of an elephant and come to different conclusions regarding what the elephant is actually like. One blind man grabs the tusk and says, “An elephant is like a spear!” Another feels the trunk and concludes, “An elephant is like a snake!” The blind man hugging the leg thinks, “An elephant is like a tree!” The one holding the tail claims, “An elephant is like a rope!” Another feeling the ear believes, “An elephant is like a fan!” The last blind man leaning on the elephant’s side exclaims, “An elephant is like a wall!” This parable is often used to illustrate a view known as religious pluralism. Like the blind men, no religion has the truth. Rather, all religions are true in that they accurately describe their personal experience and the spiritual reality they encounter, given various historical and cultural backgrounds. There are various types of religious pluralism, but one way to define it is as follows: “the view that all religious roads – certainly all major or ethical ones – lead to God or to ultimate reality and salvation.” This idea is commonly reflected in such statements as “All religions basically teach the same thing” or “All roads lead to the top of the mountain.” The elephant parable, while attractive to many, suffers from a number of problems.

  • Problem #1: The parable is an analogy, not an argument.
  • Problem #2: Religious pluralism is patently false.
  • Problem #3: The parable begs the question.
  • Problem #4: The parable commits the self-excepting fallacy.
  • Problem #5: The parable is self-defeating.
  • Problem #6: The parable is radically skeptical.
  • Problem #7: The parable proves the opposite.

Read more of the explanation here: The Six Blind Men and the Elephant: A Case for Religious Pluralism?

Jesus said in :

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 ForGod did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Do you understand that to be a Christian, you must only believe in Jesus? That He is the Son of God, sent from the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, whereby Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. ().  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (). Jesus fulfilled everything required of us by God the Father, and even though He did everything perfectly and without sin, He died to save us and was treated as one who broke the law — in our place.

We call this vicarious living and dying.

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Think of it this way. What other religion or religious system allows for someone else to fulfill every requirement necessary for 1) salvation 2) entering into Heaven / Paradise? And thereby, through faith in that one person, you are saved to the uttermost?

Not only this, but if God is your Father, then you will love Jesus (), and if you love Jesus, you will keep His commandments ().

But you will be hated by all for my [Christ’s] name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved (). Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my [Christ’s] sake will find it (). For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my [Christ’s] sake will find it (). And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my [Christ’s] name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life ().

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The Christian life is hard. But unlike Islam, we are saved first through faith in Jesus, whereby we know beyond a shadow of a doubt we will be raised at the last day, therefore, we live our lives in thankfulness and gratefulness to the Lord. Islam and other religions do not have a guarantee as this. And not only this, we receive the promised Holy Spirit by Whom we are sealed — and no one can snatch you out of the hand of the Father nor out of the Son’s hand ().

Why do I bring this up?

In Christianity, sin is sin. All sin and any sin is enough to condemn us to Hell. Why? Because we are sinners. We sin because we are sinners. So, in one sense, no sin is any worse than another. However, without believing in Jesus as your only Hope and Savior, you will die in your sin.

As Christians, we struggle and fight to do what is right and good. Not to gain God’s favor, but because Jesus has gained the Father’s favor for us. We struggle and fight in thankfulness for what Christ has done for us.

It is only reasonable.

Therefore, we are to be strict with our bodies and loose with our money and possessions. The world believes we should be tight with our money and possessions yet loose with our bodies. And the world will go to great lengths to present the perception we can change the meaning and message of words. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap ().

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

3 “Let us burst their bonds apart

and cast away their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the Lord holds them in derision.

5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

6 “As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will tell of the decree:

The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron

and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;

be warned, O rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear,

and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son,

lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,

for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

()

In other words, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Otherwise, God’s wrath is kindled upon you. It will be only a matter of time before your time is up.

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Listen

3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).

25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (ESV)

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (ESV)

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (ESV)


Listen

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. (ESV)


Listen

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (ESV)


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22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (ESV)


Listen

39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (ESV)


Listen

25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (ESV)


Listen

29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. (ESV)


Listen

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (ESV)


Listen

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (ESV)


Listen

2:1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (ESV)

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