Is Your Religion the Right One?
Many people believe that their religion is the only right one. How can one tell? Is there a way to be sure?
How sure are you that yours is the only right religion? Almost every Catholic, Protestant and Jew believes that his religion is the right one. The heathen also believes that his religion is right. So it becomes obvious that, believing alone is not enough. Being able to prove your religion is the right one is an all-essential factor. Peter tells Christians to be “always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you.” Paul counseled: “Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is right.” This means knowing your religion, understanding what you believe and why.—1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Thess. 5:21.
Your religion should have solid basis, not on religious leaders, not on religious systems, but on God’s Word, the Bible. You should make sure your religion speaks according to God’s Word before you hold fast to it. If you learn that your religion is teaching what is not right, you should let go of that religion, even as Paul found it necessary to do when he was in Judaism. You must be willing to see and accept the truth. By so doing you will come to worship God in the right way and thereby win his approval.—Gal. 1:13-24.
How can you tell whether your religion is the right one or not? A simple way of telling is to expose it to a test of God’s Word. If your religion is not in accord with what the Bible teaches, then it is not in harmony with truth. It is not right. “And if they speak not according to this word, they shall not have the morning light,” said God. It is important, then, that you “keep testing whether you are in the faith,” as Paul declared. Keep checking to see whether the things you believe are in keeping with God’s Word. But the question is, Are you willing to put your religion through such a test? There is nothing to fear, because if you have the right religion you can only be reassured by the examination. And if what you believe is not in keeping with the Bible, then you should welcome the truth, because it leads to light and life.—Isa. 8:20, Dy; 2 Cor. 13:5.
Following are a few questions that should help you to see whether your religion adheres to the Bible. Answer the inquiries as you read them. Then ponder what the Bible has to say. If yours is the right religion it will be in harmony with the Bible. Now for our questions.
Does your religion teach that the soul is immortal, which means it cannot die? Now note what the Bible says: “Let my soul die the death of the upright ones.” “You must deliver our souls from death.” “Our souls are to die instead of you people!” “Let my soul die with the Philistines.” “And every living soul died.” “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” The Bible answer is obvious. It teaches that souls are mortal, that they can and do die. Does your religion teach that? It should if it is the right religion.—Num. 23:10; Josh. 2:13, 14; Judg. 16:30; Rev. 16:3; Ezek. 18:4, 20, AV.
Try another question. Does your religion teach that only the wicked go to hell, that hell is a place of fire, that none are redeemed from hell? Of Jesus Christ the Bible says that he was in hell three days and was redeemed from there. Peter said of Christ: “That his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” Jonah was another man that was in hell and got out alive unsinged. When swallowed by a big fish, Jonah said: “Out of the belly of hell cried I.” Where was Jonah? In the fish’s belly and there is no fire there. What, then, is hell? The Bible answers that hell is mankind’s common grave. “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave [the hand of hell, Dy]?” Does your religion teach that hell is the grave? The Bible does, and so will the right religion.—Acts 2:31, AV; Jonah 2:2, AV; Ps. 89:48, AV; Gal. 1:8, 9.
Now for another question. Does your religion teach that the dead are conscious? The inspired Scriptures say: “For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” “The dead themselves do not praise Jah, nor do any going down into silence.” No, according to the Bible the dead are not conscious.—Eccl. 9:5; Ps. 115:17.
TEST YOUR RELIGION ON THESE POINTS
Most “Christian” religions teach that men should love one another. Does your religion teach that? Why, then, in recent wars have Catholics on one side been found killing Catholics on the other—the same being also true of Protestants and Jews? Is this the showing of love one for another? Hardly. Jesus said: “For all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” “No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul [life] in behalf of his friends.” The giving up of one’s life in behalf of his neighbor and not the taking of it is the way of love and true religion. Does your religion practice this?—Matt. 26:52; John 15:13; Matt. 22:39.
Test your faith a little further. Does your religion teach that ministers should preach from house to house? Instructing his followers, Jesus said: “When you are entering into the house, greet the household; and if the house is deserving, let the peace you wish it come upon it.” “And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.” “While I did not hold back . . . teaching you publicly and from house to house.” Do your ministers preach and teach from house to house? Jesus did. His apostles did. And so do ministers of the right religion today.—Matt. 10:12-14; Acts 5:42; 20:20.
Is your religion an integral part of this world and its politics? Does it encourage you to be? Of his followers Jesus said: “They are no part of the world just as I am no part of the world.” James, a disciple of Jesus, wrote: “Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.” “The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: . . . to keep oneself without spot from the world.” Is your religion without spot from the world? The right one is.—John 17:16; Jas. 4:4; 1:27.
Examine further your belief in the light of God’s Word. Does your religion teach that the name of God is Jehovah? At Psalm 83:18 the name of God is given: “That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” “I am Jehovah, that is my name.” Does your religion teach that? The right religion does.—Isa. 42:8, AS.
Does your religion teach that God is a trinity (three persons in one God), that Jesus is God the second person of the trinity? The Bible says: “For there is one God [not three], and one mediator between God and men, a man Christ Jesus.” “One body there is, . . . one God and Father of all persons.” “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.” Not a trinity, then; he is one God. Of himself Jesus said: “I am God’s Son,” not God. The angel told Mary that Jesus would be called the “Son of the Most High.” Does this compare favorably with what your religion teaches? It should if yours is the right religion.—1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Eph. 4:4-6; Deut. 6:4; John 10:36; Luke 1:30-33, 35.
Does your religion teach that Jesus was equal to God? Trinitarians believe that he was. But Jesus said: “The Father is greater than I am.” Not equal but greater. Paul said of Jesus’ prehuman existence that he “gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.”—John 14:28; Phil. 2:6.
Take another question. Does your religion teach that heaven is the destiny of all righteous mankind? Note what the Bible says: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” “For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth.” Jesus agreed: “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” Not heaven but the earth will be the destiny of the majority of humankind. Does your religion teach that? The Bible does.—Ps. 37:29; Prov. 2:21; Matt. 5:5.
COMPARE THIS WITH WHAT YOU BELIEVE
Other religions teach that men prior to Christ, such as David, Enoch, Elijah and others, went to heaven. Peter said: “Actually David did not ascend to the heavens.” Jesus declared: “Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man.”—Acts 2:34; John 3:13.
Others teach that when Christ returns the whole world will see him. But Jesus said: “A little longer and the world will behold me no more.”—John 14:19.
Some instruct that we are still under the law of Moses. But Paul said: “You are not under law but under undeserved kindness.” “Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law.” “By means of his flesh he [Jesus] abolished the hatred, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees.”—Rom. 6:14; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 2:15.
Others say and teach that all men will eventually be saved. Jesus said that he gave his soul “a ransom in exchange for many”—not for all men. “He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”—Matt. 20:28; John 3:36.
How does your religion measure up with all of this? Test your religion. Make sure it is in keeping with the Bible.
Perhaps you are of the belief that all that is required is that one be sincere in one’s religion. The Bible says: “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.” Sincerity is essential but it is not all that is required. Jesus said: “Many will say to me in that day: ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you at all. Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Apparently these were sincere in their worship and had works to prove it, but sincerity and works did not save them. They were judged lawless because they did not have and practice the right religion, which is essential to salvation.—Prov. 14:12; Matt. 7:22, 23.
To choose the right religion intelligently will require some personal study on your part. God has provided his Word, the Bible, which outlines right religion. Study the Bible. Learn its principles. Prove what is false and reject it. Prove what is true and hold it fast. “Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is right.” Christians have but “one faith.” Through a diligent study and application of the Bible, you will find that one right religion—the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Thess. 5:21; Eph. 4:4-6; Prov. 2:1-9.