This BLOG is adapted from Chapter 4 “The Uniqueness of Christianity” in my book “Always Be Ready to Give an Answer!” In spite of all of these worldviews and religions there are only three different views of Mankind’s position in this world and his possible rescue from death: 1) God’s not relevant and death is final. 2) Non-Christian religions escape death by human efforts, and 3) Christianity, God rescues man from death. All must answer the same question: “What happens to us when we die?”
God’s not relevant and death is final. Atheism, agnosticism, humanism, and materialism take the position that God may or may not exist but, if he does, he is not relevant to human behavior. They all believe mankind will evolve to a better state without aid from a deity. Evolution from microbes to man is the foundation of these views. Their answer to “What happens when we die?” is simply: “We are extinguished and no longer exist. There is no afterlife.” Atheists, agnostics, and humanists that understand this fully may take their own lives as they age because of the trials of aging and the hopelessness of this view. They ask, “What’s the point of suffering the painful aging process?” This view is bad news only! There is no good news here, only extinction and nothingness! There is no purpose or meaning to life in these views! As Christians we can see the hopelessness of this view clearly because we have the “good news” of the gospel.
Non-Christian religions escape death by human efforts. In all world religions Including cults like Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses some form of human effort, with or without divine intervention, is required to achieve reconciliation with God. It is some kinds of good works or keeping ritual practices by human effort that provides redemption to escape death. Most world religions recognize the fundamental flaw in mankind (sin) and find a way to deal with it to escape death. BUT we all know no one escapes the Grim Reaper. They rid their adherents of this curse by some form of religious rules, rituals, practices, etc. Man is able to rescue himself from death. In some religions, it may require the help of a deity, but human effort of some kind is the key. In Hinduism, for example, you go round and round in reincarnation until you achieve Nirvana. In Islam, die a martyr and you get to heaven and get 72 virgins. In Judaism, one lives as close as they can to God’s law and you might get into heaven if you’re good enough. Christianity holds a very different view. You are condemned and cannot do anything to escape the consequence of dying. Next week we’ll explore the uniqueness of Christianity.
Conclusion: Non-Christians hold two views on God and redemption. Either God is not relevant OR reconciliation with him can be achieved by some human effort. Christianity is VERY different! Man is incapable of doing anything to escape death, God must rescue man.
Charlie is the author of “Always Be Ready to Give an Answer! A Former Atheist’s Personal Christian Evangelism Plan.” which develops an evangelism strategy that gets to the Gospel every time you witness. His second book ANSWERS For “The Hope That Is In You.” contains answers to more than 100 questions skeptics use to try to stump Christians. The third book, “Without 3 Miracles Darwin’s DEAD!” is currently in the final editing process and will be published later this year. http://yourchristiananswers.com
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