Heartland Church April 15 Sermon - There Can't Be Just One True Religion

Heartland Church Pastor, Joel Spiridigliozzi, preached part 1 of his new sermon series 'The Reason For God' titled There Can't Be Just One True Religion. The sermon notes are below.

There Can't Be Just One True Religion

Pluralism believes...

-Religious views are culturally conditioned and because of this all roads lead to the same God.

-Truth is relative...we can only tell what is true for us.

A Response to Pluralism...

-It is contradictory for the pluralist to say people should not make exclusive truth claims.

-Where do we draw the line with relativism? If turth is relative to every individual...does that include flying airplanes into people filled towers?

-No amount of tolerance permits belief in contradictory statements.

Exclusivism believes...

-God's salvation is only on the basis of Christ's work and through explicit faith in Him. Jesus said:

"I and the Father are one." John 10:30

"I am the way and the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" John 14:9

Ravi Zacharias (born in India as a Hindu) says: "All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or defining life's purpose. Every religion at its core is exclusive.

Jonah 4:10-11 "You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

What attitudes should the Christ community hold on to in a pluralistic society?

1. 'Who' over 'What'

-We need to concentrate on the 'who' rather than the 'what' of Christianity. Ultimately the 'who' must carry the 'what'.

The word Christianity is never mentioned in the Bible. Christianity is Christ, no other religious teacher ever claimed to be God. His claim is unique. Christianity is unique because Christ is unique.

a) Jesus said he was God

Mark 14:61-62

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

b) Others said he was God

Isaiah 9:6Philippians 2:10-11

c) He is worshipped as God

Matthew 8:2Matthew 20:20Mark 5:6John 9:38Matthew 14:33

d) He does what only God can do

He has the power to forgive sin (Mark 2:1-12)

All judgement is in his hands (John 5:27; Acts 17:31)

He will raise the dead (John 5:25)

He is the creator (John 1:3; Hebrews 1:10)

He is the sustainer - upholding all things (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3)

2. 'Goodness' over 'Rightness'

-"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

-"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." (2 Peter 2:12)

3. 'Dialogue' over 'Monologue'

-"No one has a right to teach if they cannot learn from others."

4. 'Passion' over 'Passivity'

"To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." (1 Corinthians 9: 20-23)

5. 'Gentleness' over 'Arrogance'

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." (Isaiah 42:3)

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