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“I know now that the Lord is greater than all other gods, because he rescued his people from the oppression of the proud Egyptians.” — Exodus 18:11 (NLT)
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” — John 17:3 (NIV)
WE’VE ALL SEEN THE BUMPER STICKERS.
COEXIST, adorned with symbols representing several religious traditions: the Cross, the Star of David, the Crescent, and a peace symbol. Those symbols represent Christianity (Cross), Star (Judaism), Crescent (Islam), pentacle (Wiccan, pagan).
The other symbols on the typical bumper sticker include a yin and yang symbol (representing “balance” and “harmony” in nature), the male-female symbol, and a second pagan/Wiccan symbol.
The bumper sticker, distributed through the Coexist Campaign, claims to represent religious diversity in hopes of fostering tolerance among the various religions, that is, respect for and acceptance of another person’s “religion” even if it is foreign to one’s own religious teaching.
Here’s the problem: God is not a coexist God, and the “coexist movement” is antithetical to Christian teaching because it posits the falsehood that “all gods” are equal and that “all religions” teach basically the same thing and lead to the same conclusion.
CHRISTIANITY’S BASIC DISTINCTION from all other religious systems is that God, Himself, defined the “religion” by revealing himself to us (see Romans 1). All other religions are man-made. They are invented, defined, created, and structured by humans.
Christianity teaches that God reveals himself, first, through nature; that is, through creation. Second, He reveals himself to us through our consciences, which teach us that there is a code of right and wrong. Third, He reveals himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is both fully divine and fully human. Fourth, He reveals himself through the Bible, the Holy Word of God.
No other religion can make the claim of revelation.
A second basic distinction between Christianity and man-made religions is that God created humans in His image, that God seeks a personal relationship with each individual, that God comes looking for his creatures, and that God died for our sins and was raised from the dead to show us what our future looks like if we accept Him into our lives.
No other religion can make the claim of creation.
No other religion can make the claim that God sacrificed himself to reclaim us from our sins.
Even Judaism, Christianity’s closest cousin, fails to make those claims because that religion does not recognize Jesus as the divine Son of God, co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
While there are similarities in basic religious beliefs — presence of supernatural creatures, better natures to strive for, presence of sacred rituals, rigid system of “right” and “wrong” — those similarities exist because we all are created by the same God, who created us in His image and breathed life into our souls.
Those similarities do not defeat the statement that Christianity alone worships the one true God, as He has revealed Himself to mankind.
GOD IS VERY CLEAR that we are to stay away from foreign “gods” and worship only Him.
Here is a sampler of familiar passages, as given to us through various English translations:
- “I am the LORD your God. … You shall have no other gods before me.” — Exodus 20:2a-3 (ESV)
- “For you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” — Exodus 34:14 (NASB)
- “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6 (NIV)
- “For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus.” — 1 Timothy 2:5 (CSB)
- “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” — John 5:44 (NKJV)
IN OUR PLURALISTIC SOCIETY, the notion that there is only one God and that He is the God Christians worship, is not a popular concept.
In fact, those of us who profess to believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior are ridiculed for our beliefs. We are thought to be “bigots,” “hypocrites,” “legalistic,” “fundamentalists,” “haters,” and probably more.
Fine. That’s okay. Our Lord and Savior was beaten and crucified for teaching the Truth, and His closest disciples were martyred for their faith.
The Bible clearly states that mankind prefers the darkness of sin to the light of Jesus and His Truth.
“And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness [their sin] more than the light, for their actions were evil.” — John 3:19 (NLT, amp. mine)
ONCE WE ACCEPT THAT GOD IS ONE, that He created us, and that we are His possession and all of creation — from the farthest star to the smallest nano creature — belongs to Him, we can give praise and honor to the Source of life, instead of bowing down to the gods and substitutes that we’ve made.
When we faithfully receive the gift of life from the God of the Bible, we can testify to that truth, as the apostle Paul taught us, without fearing rebuke or torture:
“Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 NCV)
Our Heavenly Father, You have revealed yourself to us through nature, through our consciences, through the testimony of your Son, Jesus Christ, and through your Word, as inspired through writers from Moses to David to Isaiah to Luke and the Apostles. Finally, you have revealed yourself to us through our hearts, as You speak to us and transform us from nonbelievers with hearts of stone to believers with hearts of flesh. You, God, are the only God, and there is no one like You. To You, O God, goes all the praise, honor, and glory! In Jesus’ mighty and holy name, we pray. AMEN
Questions for Personal Meditation or Small Group Discussion:
- Can you accept God’s claim to be the only one and true God, that He exists and that He has revealed himself to us, through nature and the Bible, through our consciences and the testimony of Jesus, so that all of mankind knows of Him and is without excuse if they don’t believe?
- Can you understand and accept that the *coexist* movement, while it sounds noble, tolerant, and mutually respectful, actually violates God’s explicit command to place no other gods before Him and that we, His creation, are not to worship or tolerate other objects of worship?
- Can you accept God’s truth that He alone is the *Absolute* and worthy of our worship and praise, even while the world teaches differently, that all religious system are essentially the same? Can you see that the world’s teaching is a false doctrine and harmful to our well-being and our salvation?
- Now that you see God’s command that He alone is worthy of worship, how would you answer those who hold to the world’s contrary and sinful view? Will you pray for God’s guiding hand in your life?
Would you like us at LoveAndGrace to pray for you? If so, please indicate in the Comment field. God bless!