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It's O.K. that you made different religions, but don't you get mixed up sometimes?
– Arnold (age 10)
Cute kid. Bad information. Somewhere along the way to the ripe old age of 10, young Arnold was informed that God is behind the plethora of pacifying belief systems that claim to answer life's questions.
Did you know that there are over 10,000 distinct religious groups in the world? Let's see now, if God was behind that wouldn't it mean that He played a fun little game of trivial pursuit with the world's population? C'mon folks- do you suppose He is so confused that He would change His mind 10,000 times?
Or perhaps there really are that many ways to get to heaven, or Nirvana, or Paradise, or become one with the universe, or whatever. Sort of like an ice cream shop. Just pick your flavor of the month, because every choice is valid. Of course ice cream flavors don't argue with each other very much. Many things can taste good at the same time, but many conflicting ideas cannot all be true at the same time.
To be honest, if there really was something that could 'mix up' God, I think it would be how human beings could invent so many conflicting philosophies of life and blame Him for the origin of them. Especially when He Himself came to earth to sort things out.
So Arnold, if you are out there reading this- let me offer you an answer to your question that God might have written, and I think you'll understand that He is not the One who is mixed up.
Thank you so much for your question! With all the different churches and religions out there, it really does get confusing.
Let me start out by saying that my number one desire is to have everyone on earth come and live in heaven with me. In fact, that's the plan that I've had since before there was time. But remember the story of Adam and Eve? The devil tempted them to do wrong and they disobeyed Me, and when that happened it changed my plan. From that point on, everyone born would have a bad streak in them which caused them to do bad things. When they did these things (sinned), they lost their chance to go to heaven. So as you can imagine I had a big problem! I love people, but I hate sin, and I cannot allow sinners into heaven.
To solve my problem, I Myself came down to live on earth (remember learning about the first Christmas? I came down as Jesus). I lived a perfect life, and I died on a cross so that people could have their sins forgiven . I even came back from the dead to show everyone that I am God. I visited with over 500 people so they could tell all their friends the good news about being able to go to heaven when they died.
Many people believed me after I left earth, and the 'religion' that came out of that is called Christianity- but really it is more of a relationship. People who believe that I died on the cross for their sins and are trusting in that to take them to heaven are brought back into a right relationship with me. This is the only way to get to heaven, that is why I said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me...". What I was saying there is that trusting in Christ is not "a" way to heaven, but "the" way. If there really are other ways, why would I take the time to come down to earth and die a horrible death???
So where did other religions come from? Well, as you remember from the Adam and Eve story, Satan hates Me, and he really hates people, because I made them and they are the objects of my love. He hates them so much that he doesn't want anyone to go to heaven and live with Me. So since the beginning of time he has made up all sorts of 'other' ways to get to heaven and called them 'religions'. They look harmless enough, and most of them actually help people in some way. But the problem is that while they are helping people feel good about themselves, they are keeping them from the truth about Jesus.
So if you want to know where all these other religions came from Arnold, you need look no further than to the devil- because putting your trust in any other person, thing, or beliefs besides Jesus is a one way ticket to hell.
It is true that all roads lead to Me, Arnold. One way (Jesus) leads to my mercy, all the other ones lead to my judgment.
I hope this helps, my son. If it makes you sad that Satan has led so many astray, remember that it makes me sad too. But what you can do is make friends with people who don't know about Jesus, and tell them the good news about Him being the only way. Bless you as you help those who are confused!
Your Heavenly Father,
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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