John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me KJV .…
if not then why the ‘let us work together and exploit what we have in common’?
Among the heathens are those who worship God ignorantly,those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentalities , yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard his voice speaking to them in nature and have done the things the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts and they are recognized as the children of God. (Desire of Ages p.578)
The religion a man professes does not seem to shorten the divine arm to save. Potentially therefore people can be saved in all religions. it all comes down to the person's responsiveness to the universal Spirit of God that works throughout the entire earth.
Romans 2:4-29 is your scriptural confirmation, Leonard:
"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
The Jews Guilty as the Gentiles
Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,”as it is written.
Circumcision of No Avail
For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God."
All religions are not equal...however all people are equal in the sight of the LORD, regardless of their religion.
Hi Sarah, thanks for the comment. Would you say, it is important to be in the one religion and not the other(s)? If yes, which one would you recommend always?
Good quotes. To add to what you said
"If you have become estranged and have failed to be Bible Christians, be converted; for the character you bear in probationary time will be the character you will have at the coming of Christ. If you would be a saint in heaven, you must first be a saint on earth. The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming. The work of transformation must be done now. Our daily lives are determining our destiny."
The outward act only mirrors what is in our heart. I think Ellen White puts it best when she says in COL 420.1
"Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord’s glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence."
I love it when she gives practical council; she remarks, "remove the obstructions". Powerful. Father, reveal the obstructions that are prohibiting me from letting Your light shine fourth. In Jesus name, Amen.
@ Jay, thanks for the quotes. A timely reminder me thinks. God bless.
It is more important to be in Jesus Christ...He leads us step by step, not wanting anyone to be lost. Some may trivialize this scriptural fact, but it more important to know Him.
Regarding "religion", the Bible says this:
"If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."--James 1:26-27. (NKJV)
It does not get any simpler or straight forward than that!
@ Leonard .... i like this one ...The religion a man professes does not seem to shorten the divine arm to save. i guess is this is till he grieves the Holy Spirit.
what do you mean by universal Spirit of God? Holy Spirit?
I take it from your response...you support working together with different religions. if you do, how important would you say, is the how part in? any guidelines perhaps?
The Magi were astrologers but they seem to have been more up to date on the birth of the Messiah than the Jews who had the Torah the prophets and the other writings of the OT. The Universal Spirit (Holy Spirit) is not limited by denomination or religion. As such there are people of goodwill all over the earth. Game recognize game and spirit should recognize spirit. Of course Christian should cooperate with anyone seeking to advance positive causes. Health, family, poverty alleviation drug rehabilitation, human rights, ect. Christian should feel comfortable getting involved in ecumenical or interfaith programs promoting such causes. Here in Barbados the former President of the conference was the feature speaker at an anual inter-religious gathering.
the Magi were looking for the truth and were influenced by the Holy Spirit to find the Son.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Ec 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.