So you have selected the door that says that you believe that "a God." A creation needs a creator so which god? And, which religion truthfully represents the Creator?
Judaism - Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and rabbis and scholars who interpret them. The history of Judaism spans more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as a structured religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. The Hebrews and Israelites were already referred to as "Jews" in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". Judaism's texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. (Wikipedia)
What happens when you die? - Judaism does not have much dogma about the afterlife, and leaves a great deal of room for personal opinion. It is possible for an Orthodox Jew to believe that the souls of the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian heaven, or that they are reincarnated through many lifetimes, or that they simply wait until the coming of the messiah, when they will be resurrected. Likewise, Orthodox Jews can believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented by demons of their own creation, or that wicked souls are simply destroyed at death, ceasing to exist. (Source)
What is Jesus to Judaism? The belief that Jesus is God, the Son of God, or a person of the Trinity, is incompatible with Jewish theology. Jews believe Jesus did not fulfill messianic prophecies that establish the criteria for the coming of the messiah.
Hiding Scriptures - Sadly, there are Hebrew scriptures that are not discussed even in religious Judaism. Scriptures that point so clearly to Jesus being the Messiah that they (the scriptures) have to be shelved and certainly not discussed). Here are some of the "forbidden scriptures, " Isaiah 52:13-15 and Isaiah 53. Read them for yourself then ask yourself who the "He" is?
Buddhism - is a religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism teaches people how to end their suffering by cutting out greed, hatred and ignorance. When people do bad things, they will get bad consequences. When people do good things, they will get good consequences. Good and bad things do not cancel out.
This cause-and-effect chain is reflected in the endless cycles of life, death and rebirth. Buddhism believes in reincarnation (rebirth). The ultimate goal of a Buddhist is to reach the state of enlightenment (Nirvana) and liberate oneself from endless reincarnation and suffering. Some see Buddhism as a religion, others see it is a philosophy, and others think it is a way of finding reality. Some think that it is unnecessary to label Buddhism.
Gautama Buddha – a man who lived between about 563 BCE and 483 BC – was born in Lumbini, Nepal, as a rich prince. He gave up everything to find a way to end suffering. His teachings spread, after his death, through most of Asia, to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and the East Asian countries of China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan and have now spread to the west. (Wikipedia)
What happens when you die? - Buddhists believe that after death each person is reincarnated as another being. The new life is dependent on past actions and deeds. Karma plays a large role in determining what happens to people after they die.
What is Jesus to Buddhism? Jesus was born around 4 BCE, Buddha was born 563 BCE. Buddha was the fully enlightened Samma-sam-buddha (teacher of the masses, re-discoverer of the truths) for our time. Buddhism was well established and in place long before Jesus arrived on the scene. As such, there is no "official" position of what Buddhism sees Jesus as being.
Hinduism - with about one billion followers is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. However, it is not a religion of the same kind as the other two main religions. Hinduism is a very old religion from India that is still practiced today. It was one of the first religions that had the idea of reincarnation (that people can be born again after death), karma (one event invents another, or that every action has its consequences), and other ideas. Hinduism is not simple. Hinduism has been described as a tradition having a "complex, organic, multileveled and sometimes internally inconsistent nature". Hinduism does not have a "unified system of belief encoded in a declaration of faith or a creed", but is rather an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena of India. According to the Supreme Court of India, "Unlike other religions in the World, the Hindu religion does not claim any one Prophet, it does not worship any one God, it does not believe in any one philosophic concept, it does not follow any one act of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion or creed. It is a way of life and nothing more". Hinduism is the federation of a number of faiths (a group of sub-religions or sects (Sampradaya) joined together, which have evolved from people who lived in the Indian subcontinent (land near the Indian Ocean). One group accepts the varna system, another does not accept it. One group accepts vedas, another does not accept it. One group accepts god, another does not believe in god. But they are all called Hindus. The Indian constitution says that, by law, a Hindu is whoever who lives in India and is not a Muslim or a Christian. (Wikipedia)
What happens when you die? - Hindus believe that a person's atman (spirit) is permanent and cannot change while the physical body is not permanent and can change. The atman is reborn many times, this is samsara (reincarnation). ... Death is a natural event so that the atman can move nearer the ultimate release from rebirth, moksha. (Wikipedia)
What is Jesus to Hindus? Shaunaka Rishi Das: "In Hindu thought, church or temple membership or belief is not as significant as spiritual practice, which in Sanskrit is called sadhana. As there is no Church of Hinduism, everyone holds their own spiritual and philosophical opinions. It is difficult then to understand someone's spirituality simply by looking at their religious trappings. So, in India it is more common to hear someone ask, "What is your sadhana (practice)?" than, "What do you believe?" Then when we ask how we can see spirituality in Hindus, the answer comes: by behavior and practice. We can ask are we humble, are we tolerant and are we non-violent? Can we control our senses and our mind? Are we aware of others' suffering and are we willing to give up our comfort to help them? Looking at these criteria Jesus measures up as a Sadhu, a holy man. He preached a universal message, love of God and love of brother, which was beyond any sectarianism or selfishness. Jesus was one of those people who appealed from heart to heart, and that's what makes him such a good Hindu Saint. Shaunaka Rishi Das Shaunaka Rishi Das In my particular tradition, and among other Hindus, He is seen as much more, as an Avatar, specifically a Shaktavesha Avatar or an empowered incarnation. This means that God has sent Him to us for a specific mission to fulfill God's will on earth."
Islam - Islam began in the early 7th century. Originating in Mecca, it quickly spread in the Arabian Peninsula and by the 8th century the Islamic empire was extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century when much of the historically Islamic world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing.The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates and empires, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to the status of women and the environment. (Wikipedia)
What happens when you die? The dead have a continued and conscious existence of a kind in the grave. Muslims believe that, upon dying, a person enters an intermediate phase of life between death and resurrection. Many events take place in this new “world”, such as the “trial” of the grave, where everyone will be questioned by angels about their religion, prophet, and Lord. The grave is a garden of paradise or a pit of hell; angels of mercy visit the souls of believers and angels of punishment come for the unbelievers. Resurrection will be preceded by the end of the world. God will command a magnificent angel to blow the Horn. At its first blowing, all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth will fall unconscious, except those spared by God. The earth will be flattened, the mountains turned into dust, the sky will crack, planets will be dispersed, and the graves overturned. People will be resurrected into their original physical bodies from their graves, thereby entering the third and final phase of life. The Horn will blow again upon which people will rise up from their graves, resurrected! God will gather all humans, believers and the impious, jinns, demons, even wild animals. It will be a universal gathering. The angels will drive all human beings naked, uncircumcised, and bare-footed to the Great Plain of Gathering. People will stand in wait for judgment and humanity will sweat in agony. The righteous will be sheltered under the shade of God’s Magnificent Throne. When the condition becomes unbearable, people will request the prophets and the messengers to intercede with God on their behalf to save them from distress. The balances will be set and the deeds of men will be weighed. Disclosure of the Records of the deeds performed in this life will follow. The one who will receive his record in his right hand will have an easy reckoning. He will happily return to his family. However, the person who will receive his record in his left hand would wish he were dead as he will be thrown into the Fire. He will be full of regrets and will wish that he were not handed his Record or he had not known it. Then God will judge His creation. They will be reminded and informed of their good deeds and sins. The faithful will acknowledge their failings and be forgiven. The disbelievers will have no good deeds to declare because an unbeliever is rewarded for them in this life. Some scholars are of the opinion that the punishment of an unbeliever may be reduced in lieu of his good deeds, except the punishment of the great sin of disbelief. Link
What is Jesus to Islam? Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him). They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary). Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother. During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man. Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus. Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it. Link
What happens when you die? - Our spirits are divine and they are eternal; they existed long before we were born, and they will continue on forever after we die. In many ways we can compare our existence to a three-act play, with a pre-mortal existence, an earthly existence, and a post-mortal existence. While most of us focus only on the act we’re currently taking part in—our life here on earth—God’s plan for us includes our entire existence. We have to exercise faith when trying to understand His vantage point, because our concepts of time and purpose are limited by the mortal lens through which we view them. Accordingly, we have difficulty envisioning the limitlessness of eternity and eternal progression.
God’s plan of salvation for us included leaving His presence in the premortal world to achieve the kind of progression unique to an earthly existence. The earth was a place where we could gain physical bodies; exercise agency; grow in wisdom, faith, and compassion; build relationships with others; and perform holy ordinances necessary for our salvation. Link
Who is Jesus to Mormons? IS THE MORMON JESUS- The Real Jesus? - It’s not uncommon for Mormons to argue that they should be regarded as Christians because their faith is centered on Jesus Christ. And while this may appear to be the case from the perspective of the Mormon Church, there can be little doubt that the Jesus preached by Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible.
THE MORMON JESUS- A Different Jesus Simply believing in someone named Jesus will not solve the issue for Mormons because — as the apostle Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 11:4 — there are some who preach a different Jesus. For example, while the Bible teaches that Jesus has always existed as God (John 1:1), Mormons see Jesus as someone who worked His way up to godhood. In fact, to Mormons, Jesus is merely one in purpose with God the Father; whereas the Bible declares that the Father and the Son are also one in essence (cf. Phil. 2:6) — that they are both equally God and members of the Holy Trinity.
THE MORMON JESUS- Doctrine Twisting This leads me to what is perhaps the most problematic matter facing Mormons with regard to their view of Christ. You see, in their attempt to evade charges of polytheism — which, of course, is the belief in or worship of more than one god — Mormons end up prohibiting prayer to Jesus. Mormons confess that they believe in the existence of many gods but pray only to God the Father. Well, in light of the Bible’s explicit command to pray to Jehovah (cf. Deut. 4:7; 2 Chron. 7:14; Pss. 5:2; 32:6; Jer. 29:7, 12), it’s simply incredible that Mormons refuse to pray to Jesus while yet acknowledging Him to be Jehovah! In addition, let me point you to passages like John 14:14 and Romans 10:12 which demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that believers ought to pray to Jesus. Link
What happens when you die? - Each thetan is billions of years old, passing from one human life to the next through reincarnation. There is no judgment of the soul involved, and the process is automatic, without any necessary intervention through ritual, prayer or other means. As such, Scientology funerals are relatively simple ceremonies and are largely for the benefit of attendees rather than the deceased.
What is Jesus to Scientologists? Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard described Scientology as "the Western Anglicized continuance of many earlier forms of wisdom", and cites the teachings of Jesus Christ among belief systems of those "earlier forms". Jesus is recognized in Scientology as part of its "religious heritage,"and "is seen as only one of many good teachers." Contradicting the Christian concept of Jesus' "atonement of mankind's sins" through his death on the cross, Hubbard states in the Volunteer Ministers Handbook that "Man is basically good, but he could not attain expression of this until now. Nobody but the individual could die for his own sins – to arrange things otherwise was to keep man in chains."
Peoples Temple - was a new religious movement founded in 1955 by Jim Jones in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jones used the Peoples Temple to spread a message which combined elements of Christianity with socialist politics, with an emphasis on racial equality. The group moved to California in the 1970s and established several locations throughout the state, including its headquarters in San Francisco. At its peak, the Temple boasted 20,000 members and connections with left-wing political figures. The Peoples Temple is best known for the events of November 18, 1978, in Guyana, when 909 people died in a mass murder/suicide at its remote settlement, informally called "Jonestown", as well as the murders of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his visiting delegation in nearby Port Kaituma. The mass suicide and killings at Jonestown resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act prior to the events of September 11, 2001. (Wikipedia)
Heavens Gate - was an American UFO religious millenarian group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp. (Wikipedia)
Branch Dividians - From its inception in 1930, the reform movement believed themselves to be living in a time when Bible prophecies of a final divine judgment were coming to pass as a prelude to Christ's Second Coming. The name "Branch Davidian" is most widely known for the Waco siege of 1993 on their property (known as the Mount Carmel Center) near Waco, Texas. The 51-day siege, by the ATF, FBI, and Texas National Guard, resulted in the deaths of the Branch Davidians' leader, David Koresh, as well as 82 other Branch Davidian men, women, and children, and four ATF agents. (Wikipedia)
Note: - There are many different religions that each offer their own version of salvation, a different way than the the salvation that is offered in the Bible. They all have one thing in common, they remove or otherwise, downplay the necessity of "believing in Jesus for salvation." The one, boiled-down necessity, articulated by Jesus in John 14:6.
Many people chaff at the idea that when it comes to Heaven, they are told that trusting in Jesus is the "only way."
This stance is easily shown to be illogical, by this:
If you developed life threating cancer and there was only one treatment that provided the possibility of a cure, would you really have a problem that there was only "one way?" Of course you wouldn't. You would just be glad that, there was "a way."
In the case of Jesus, the stakes are much higher than cancer, because the ramifications are "eternal, eternal separation from God, the Giver of all good things."
In John 14:6, Jesus said: "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." The choice is ours, whether or not to believe Him. He is the only one that taught the things and did the miracles foretold by the prophets. He is the only way. Choose wisely.
The real reason is rebellion against God and the salvation He has provided, it comes from a rebellious heart.
Definitions for heart include: - one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations - "knew it in his heart" "a man after my own heart" : the central or innermost part : center : the essential or most vital part of something.
Here is where you can do a self-check:
How do you feel about God? If you became convinced that He is real and indeed your Creator, would you love Him? Trust Him? Follow the instructions in His Word, the Bible?
Is your heart inclined away from God; in that you find every excuse and argument you can come up with, (even crazy ones) to relieve you of your responsibility to your Creator?
Consider a lesson from two thieves:
Two Thieves were hanging with Jesus,
they had two different destinations, so, what was the difference?
(Hover over scriptures to see them)
Ponder this: Two guilty thieves, they both had equal access to Jesus but one thief ends up in Hell, and one in Heaven, what was the difference?
The difference was that one had a "change of heart" and acknowledged his guilt and placed his trust in Jesus, period. He could not do any of the "good works" that people associate with actions to earn their way to Heaven, even one.
So, what qualified the thief to be in Heaven? God's wonderful mercy and undeserved favor, known as "grace."
The takeaway here is that like the forgiven thief, you can change the disposition of your heart and trust in Jesus, in fact, you could do just that right now: click here. I pray that you will.
Gen 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Exo 7:14 So the LORD said to Moses: "Pharaoh's heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go."
Deu 4:29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Mat 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
It is clear by these verses, that the inclination of a persons heart toward God is really the crux of the matter. I encourage you to give some real thought about whether you are inclined toward God, or not.
If you are inclined away from God, you can pray to Him, ask Him to show Himself in the timing and coincidences of your life and to soften your heart, He will.
One thing for sure, God is not going to allow rebels in His eternal Kingdom. He is using Satan to purge rebellion from the heavens, and, He is using Satan and his destructive enticements, to purge rebels from earth. After all, what kind of sense would it make for God to purposely allow rebellious people into His Kingdom?
A few Questions and Answers
Does it really matter if a religion is true?
Does truth matter to you in your daily life? Of course it does. Then, it should stand to reason that the truth should matter in a decision that involves your eternal destiny even more, way more.
Don't all religious paths lead to God?
In a way that saying is true, all paths do lead to God. Like it says in the Bible in Hebrews 9:27, ... it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Mankind is judged by the Living God who sent His only Son to take the punishment for our sins as the "only way" to save us. If you selected "some other way," how is He likely to rule when you are in His court?
Which religion is true?
There are really only two ways to go in answering this question.
1. There is God's way as proclaimed in the Bible, and,
2. All other (man made) religions.
In most all other religions, the eternal disposition of the follower is dependent on the performance of the believer.
However, God's way of reconciling man to Himself as detailed by the Bible, is unique. The way of salvation that the God of the Bible provided, is that He sent His only Son who lived a completely sin free life, and even though completely innocent, He was tortured and killed as a substitutionary sacrifice for mankind's sins, specifically, anybody that would believe and trust God. We just need to believe and accept what He has done and put our trust in His Son, Jesus, and live our lives in harmony with His instructions which are in the Bible.
Theoretically, another acceptable way would be if you lived a COMPLETELY, sin-free life, not just in deed, but in thought also. Good luck with that.
Because you are at war!
The scriptures are clear that there is an ongoing war for your eternal soul. The war is not physical, it is spiritual and the battlefield, is in your conscience. The Bible says that our enemy, Satan, is like a hungry lion, seeking to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
Most every action we perform in life starts with a thought. Let's say you are in an unpleasant situation, at odds with someone and responding to the emotional pain they have caused you. You will probably find it easy to view a virtual parade of evil payback alternatives. Hopefully, the good side of your conscience will counteract the most evil solutions.
Consider this: Have you ever wondered why is it that while "Jesus" and "God," are used as common curse words, you never hear the leaders of any other religions used that way. The answer is that the evil forces behind such slander, are not interested in denigrating those other guys because it would be counteractive to their objectives.
Deception is a well proven technique used in warfare. During WWII, the Germans were fooled into thinking that the Brits were staging for an invasion in other places; other than where the real invasion was planned. Their phony stagecraft caused chaos and confusion for the enemy which resulted in wrong choices that led to their downfall.
In a similar way, by the enemy providing many alternative religions, people are lured into a religion that "feels right," but does not have the ability to save.
Other factors that allow easy ensnarement in phony religions, is that most of them, are based on "good works" of some kind to counter balance a person's evil deeds. And, many of the religions allow the subscriber to enjoy their most favored vices.
Salvation - God's way, is completely different, it says that everyone has missed the mark (Romans 3:23) and, a person is saved by trusting God in what He has done in regard to their salvation (John 3:16).
The Apostle Paul so clearly understood the spiritual battle, that he used the protective battle gear of the day as an analogy for how Christians should protect themselves (Eph. 6:11-17).
Chuck Missler once said: "If you don't believe in the devil, try resisting him."