Is Jesus The Only Way To God?

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

What Do Other Religions Offer? Part 2


In our previous devotional, we discussed the essential aspects of two major world religions, Islam and Hinduism. Today, we cover Buddhism and Judaism. In our next devotional, I’ll ask the question, “Who’s right?”


Buddhism


Buddhists believe that all suffering is due to desire and that the renunciation of wrong desires leads to nirvana or enlightenment. 


They follow the Four Noble Truths:



  1. Life is suffering. 

  2. The origin of suffering is wrong desire. 

  3. The cessation of wrong desire leads to the cessation of suffering. 

  4. The cessation of wrong desire comes from living by the Noble Eightfold Path: right view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. 


Like Hindus, Buddhists believe that we will one day become part of reality and cease to exist as individuals.


Judaism


Judaism is practiced today in three main traditions: 



  • The "Orthodox" are the most committed to living by a literal interpretation of the Torah. 

  • The "Conservative" are less literalistic than the Orthodox. 

  • And the "Reform" are the most liberal (so much so that many among the Orthodox do not consider them true members of the faith). 


However, each of these traditions focuses in its own way on obedience to the law as the means of pleasing God and receiving his mercy in eternity.


As you can see, these are very different views of eternity and salvation.


If Hindus and Buddhists are right about eternity, Muslims, Jews, and Christians must be wrong. 


If we achieve heaven through the five pillars of Islam, all other religions are wrong about salvation. 


Only Christianity offers eternal life by God's grace through faith, apart from human works (cf. Ephesians 2:8–9).


These are not different roads up the same mountain, but very different mountains.