People’s religious beliefs are all over the place. Some believe that God doesn’t exist because there is no proof for His existence. Those kinds of people are generally called atheists. Some people aren’t sure if God exists or not. We usually refer to them as agnostics. Others believe that many gods exist. Take your pick. Those people are referred to as polytheists. Some people believe that a supreme power exists, one who created everything, but that’s about all we can know about him. Those people are deists. Some people believe that there is only one God. Those are the monotheists. There are those who worship spirits and believe objects possess a spirit of their own. We call them animists. There are some who worship their ancestors and believe in believe in a world of spirits. We might call them shamanists.
The list of people’s religious beliefs could go on and on. There are all kinds of beliefs in our world.
Some people see this as a positive thing. It shows that the world is diverse and that people are open-minded. Every one has a right to believe what they want. This means there are no absolutes when it comes to religious beliefs. There is no one religion that is the true religion. Sadly, this is the thinking of today.
We live in an era of relativism. People have a right to choose for themselves what they want and don’t want to believe. People have more or less made themselves to be gods or the final authority when it comes to religious beliefs.
Now maybe some people see nothing wrong with this kind of thinking in our world. It makes for an interesting world, one with lots of religious variety. It leaves the door wide open for religious freedom and liberty. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against religious freedom. We should have the freedom to worship as we wish and believe what we want. We shouldn’t be forced to believe anything that would go against our conscience. And ultimately, each one of us makes the final decision as to what we will believe, since we all have to answer for ourselves before God Almighty.
But contrary to the prevalent thinking in our world today, there is only one absolute when it comes to religious beliefs. That means we have to throw relativism out the window. There is only one true absolute religion in the world. And that religion is Christianity.
In our text from Isaiah, God asserts that He is the only one true God. He is the one who has created all that we see. No other god has done this. Since the God of the Jews, the God of Israel, has made all things, He is Lord and master over all and should be worshipped as such. There are no other true gods besides Him.
The God of the Old Testament Jews is our God as well. He is the one who sent His Son Jesus into the world to die for our sins and raise us from the dead. He sent His Son to restore our relationship with God that was broken on account of sin. Therefore, all people must believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins and salvation. He’s the only God that counts.
I always tell my confirmation classes about the importance of knowing who our God is. What I mean by that is knowing how our God differs from all of the other gods in the various religious belief systems around the world, including those religions claiming to believe in one God. Here we must be careful. Those religions which claim to believe in one God don’t believe in our God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The apostle John says that if a person claims to believe in God but does not accept His Son, Jesus, that person doesn’t really believe in God at all. One must believe the Son in order to be numbered among those who believe in God.
The true God of the universe is the God we believe and worship: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons but one God. The only way a person is going to get into heaven is by believing and obeying this God. What people believe does matter. All this diversity in religion is more of a curse than a blessing. This diversity fragments and divides all the people in the world. This is why we have many troubles today. Look these Islamic fanatics creating all kinds of turmoil in the Middle East. They claim they believe in God, but it certainly isn’t our God. If they truly had the will of the true, triune God in mind, they wouldn’t commit the atrocities they do. If they were true believers in God they wouldn’t act like savages.
Some might say that Christians don’t always act in accordance with God’s will. That’s true. But the ones who commit horrible acts aren’t genuine Christians. They aren’t real believers in God.
If everyone in the world today believed in the one triune God with all their heart, there wouldn’t be nearly the division and violence we see in the world today. So my point is diversity in religion isn’t a blessing like many think it is. It is actually a result of sin. When sin entered the world, people began to turn away from God and pursue their own course in matters of religion. Many were misled by the devil. They came up with all kinds of strange beliefs about God. To this day sin still corrupts the minds of people. That can be seen in the wide variety of religions in our time.
I hope we won’t be misled by the devil. We have been given the truth. We worship the one and only true God: the God in our text today from Isaiah. In Him we put all our trust and hope. He is the only God that can save us from our sins and eternal death. The beliefs held by people in other religions can’t save one from eternal death. Salvation is found only in Christianity, which teaches that God sent His Son to die for our sins and rose from the dead which was necessary for our forgiveness. Our sins have to be forgiven before we can enter into God’s glory. Only Christianity teaches this.
I hope we will remain firm in our faith in the one true triune God, the maker of all things and all people. Whether people want to believe it or not, they are accountable to Him. They will answer to Him, even though now many people run around doing their own thing and go along with the present philosophy of this world which says that it doesn’t matter what a person believes in terms of religion. That’s not true. It does matter what a person believes. Don’t listen to the contrary.
The devil has used the present philosophy of relativism in our day and age to deceive many. As a result many are going down the wrong path. Let’s not follow the herd. He has confused many people by convincing them to believe that diversity in religion is a good thing. No, the devil has used diversity to deceive people in order to take as many people with him as he can to the eternal fire.
In a perfect world, all people would be united under the one and only true God of the universe. That’s what God intended when He first created the world. Unfortunately, sin has ruined all of that. It has caused divisions and has turned many people away from God.
May our God, the only one and true God of the universe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, preserve us until that day when He brings us into His glorious kingdom where only He will reign as the one and only true God.