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Is the God of Christianity the same as Allah and the same as the god of the Jewish people? What about Jehovah's witnesses?
Thank you for asking your question regarding different religions and their confession of following a god. Considering the position of Christianity, we will be using the bible as a source and base for our answer.
The notion that all religions lead to one God is becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, but is it right?
The assumption is that their differences are superficial and their similarities fundamental but this could not be farther from the truth.
Each religion would argue that matters and beliefs of their faith are not compatible with other beliefs. The 330 million gods of Hinduism are not reconcilable with the single god of Islam, the eternal heavens of the Islamic after life are not compatible with Buddhism’s seemingly endless cycle of reincarnations. Buddhism teaches a person needs to free themselves of the presence of desire, whereas Christianity teaches that in Heaven all pure desires will be fulfilled. The differences are so numerous it would be impossible to catalogue them all. At best any similarities between the religions of the world are superficial.
When we read our Bibles however we discover straightforwardly that it speaks of there being only one way to God, through Jesus.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6)
When Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life", "the" is a definite article. He is "the" way excluding all other ways and just in case that wasn’t clear enough he includes the negative affirmation of this same statement saying "No one comes to the Father except by me".
The apostles later mirrored this truth saying; "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
There can be no other saviour because there is no other solution to the problem of sin.
Christianity stands alone, absolutely separated from all other religions because the Gospel is not about what we can do but about what God has already done through Jesus.
The teaching of every other religion known to man boils down to this same concept, that you must save yourself by your own efforts. Those efforts come in many different forms but whether it be something as simple as meditation through to heavy duty religious ritual the result is always the same: you must cleanse yourself. It's what Christianity would call "works of righteousness". The idea is that if you do enough good you’ll outweigh your bad making yourself acceptable to God.
The Gospel reveals something radically opposed to this notion though. It is the only story in all of human history where the hero dies for the villains.
Christ came to do for sinners what they can not do for themselves. The bible is clear all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It is because we have already sinned that we are unable to work our way back into the presence of God. It took only one sin for Adam and Eve to be removed from the presence of God in the Garden of Eden, so how many sins will it take for us to find ourselves in the same predicament?
The question is not, as is so often asked, "How can a loving God allow anyone to go to Hell". The real question is, "How can a Holy God allow any corrupted sinner into heaven with him where there is no sin and corruption?"
The only answer for all people everywhere is in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
Jesus did what no other person has ever done, he kept God's law in its entirety, he lived a perfect life and then walked willingly to the cross to be punished in the place sinners. We broke God's law and yet Christ takes our punishment.
He who had no sin took on himself every sin that would ever be committed past, present and future and bore in himself the just penalty for those transgressions, declaring with his final breath "it is finished!" (John 19:30)
Scripture speaks for itself:
But God shows his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.(Romans 5:6)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
This is what we call the "great exchange", that Jesus takes on him our sin and puts on us his sinless righteousness. God made him who had no sin to be for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Martin Luther the great reformer wrote this prayer in response to those verses,
You are my righteousness,
I am your sin.
You took on you what was mine;
yet set on me what was yours.
You became what you were not,
that I might become what I was not
It may seem like there are so many religions on offer it's impossible to make a "choice". The real question is though "do all these religions have a correct understanding of who God is?"
Judaism, although it accepts the true God we see revealed in the pages of the Old Testament, rejects his Son, Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. Judaism like every other religion is still this same system whereby a sinner must work their way back to God with religious ritual and good deeds.
With Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses although they "believe" in a figure called Jesus their understanding of him and why he came departs totally from what we see in the bible. This figure they hold to is only like Jesus in name. Instead they have created for themselves a new Jesus who has been demoted to the level of a mere man sent to show us how we should live. It is again you saving yourself by your own efforts and following rules.
Islam like Judaism is this same system of external religious effort whereby a sinner's only hope is that their bad outweighs their good.
What court is there on earth though that would acquit a guilty criminal on the basis that they were sorry? How many good deeds would a murderer have to do for a judge to allow them to walk free without punishment? However sorry we are or however many good deeds we do in our guilt, for justice to be done a sentence must be served. If that is how it is in human courts how much more must it be that way when we stand before the creator of the universe, our law giver and judge who’s holiness and perfection words can not even begin to describe?
This is why Jesus is and can be the only Saviour. God can have mercy on guilty sinners because Christ bore for us the punishment that our sin demands.
The law of God is not a ladder up which we climb gaining more acceptance as we go. The moral law of God is a mirror in which we look exposing how far short of his perfect standard we will always fall and showing how much we need the one God sent to save us, His Son Jesus Christ. We keep the commands of God because we are saved, not because they can save us.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son"(John 3:16-18).
When a person turns from their sin and put their faith in Christ alone as the hope of their salvation they will be saved (Romans 10:9). When we acknowledge in our hearts that Christ is who he said he is this transaction takes place whereby we are washed clean of sin and clothed instead in the righteousness of Christ. That is the only way a sinner may ever stand before God.
If you feel that is what you’d like to do then we would encourage you to pray about this today and just speak out to God. God gave us the Bible for the sole purpose that we are able to know the one who has come down from heaven to save us and one very good place to start if you want to know more would be the gospel of John.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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