All Religions Lead to God… Or Not
A common reframe we hear is that all roads – or religions – lead to God. It seems to me the person who says that is not on any road at all. He’s thinking, “What does it matter if I’m Buddhist, Muslim, Christian or Hindu? They all lead to God.” Even if he were right, he’s not practicing any of them anyway, as if to say, “There really is no God after all.”
The person who says, “All roads lead to God” is usually searching for the right religion, but he’s not fully committed to any of them. Let’s briefly examine that argument and see if we can come to any soul-satisfying conclusion.
Defining the Religions
The overview of each current major religion (in alphabetical order) is this:
Buddhism – a practice of self-fulfillment ultimately to be at one with the cosmos, but there is no entity called “god.”
Christianity – God created the heavens and the earth. After mankind sinned, he sent a part of himself, called his own son, to atone for the sins of all and bring man back to himself.
Hindu – Everything is a god, whether animate or inanimate. The spirit of a god inhabits everything.
Judaism – God created the heavens and the earth. After mankind sinned, he gave a law for people to follow in order to return to God. This law is administered and taught by the Jews.
Muslim – There is a god named Allah who commands all people to serve him in the Muslim faith. Refusal to follow this command brings death or servitude.
In the Christian and Muslim faiths, there is also a strong evil spirit called Satan, or the devil. This Satan rules over a multitude of minions called demons. In the Hindu religion there is a powerful evil god which must be appeased. In Buddhism, there are countless evil spirits which must be appeased.
Those are the world’s current major religions. The “ancient” world had many other religions with which we are familiar. These ancient religions are important to us because the holy writ we use was written at that time, and the instructions in the Bible or other religious books deal with those religions of long ago.
The ancient Greeks and Romans had similar pantheon of Gods. Zeus was the chief god in Greece and Jupiter was the chief god in Rome. In addition to that pantheon, they recognized many other religions, including those fertility religions from the Mideast. Around the Israel/Moab/Edom/Syria area they served Baal (which name means “Lord”) and his wives Astarte and Ashtoreth. The worship of those gods included sexual activities and their props were dildos and icons.
In the statement, “All roads lead to God,” we should rightly consider ancient religions as well as current religions. If any one road (religion) does not lead to God, then we are in danger of choosing the wrong one, and are in grave danger.
An Easy Solution
If all roads lead to God, then it doesn’t matter which one you’re in. Pick one and quit complaining. If you live in Asia, be a Buddhist. If you live in India, be a Hindu. If you live in the Mideast, be a Muslim. If you live in the West, be a Christian. Just quit dithering around. Pick one and get on with your life. Pick the one in your area, so you can get the best instruction possible from that religion and get to God. But if you don't quit dithering around, if you are not sure which religion to pick, that simply means in your heart you don't really believe all religions lead to God. Otherwise you wouldn't be hesitating so much as to which one to choose.
A Matter of Faith
In all this discussion so far, we’ve assumed there is a God. We haven’t questioned the existence of God at all; we’ve only asked about which road leads to God. Nor do I plan to attempt now to prove there is a god. If you’re seeking the best way to God, then you’ve already settled that issue in your mind.
Belief in God is ultimately a matter of faith. There’s plenty of evidence to draw on to form your conclusion, but some people will not be convinced by any evidence at all.
Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31 ends with this statement, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
As recorded in the Bible, Jesus healed the sick with a spoken word, cast out demons, walked on water, fed 5,000 people from seven loaves of bread, changed water to wine, and raised the dead. After all this, the religious leaders came to him and said, “What sign do you show us to prove that you are the Messiah?” (John 6:30). What more could they possibly want?
The Bible tells of the time when the Messiah, Jesus, will come and conquer the world. The evil will be dealt with. God will be manifest. The power and glory of the almighty will shine from Jerusalem and rule the earth. In all this, the Bible says, there will be some nations that reject him. They will not have his authority and kingdom over them. (Jeremiah 12:17, Psalm 2) Zechariah 14:17 says, “If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain.”
Therefore, even if God himself comes down and says, “I am God; follow My ways,” there will be people who say, “No. Another way is good enough.”
God the Creator is not inclined to be called to account by man. He is not a defendant and we are not the judge. If mankind demanded, “Come here and show yourself so that we may believe,” he would not come. It’s to man’s own benefit that he believes in God; it’s not to God’s benefit. God will not be ordered about, called to account, or be in servitude to his own creation.
There is no religion that can prove itself true by calling God down and saying, “Here He is. See, we are the right one. Follow us.” That leaves only one path for us: Faith. Whichever religion we follow, it’s ultimately going to have to be by faith.
Whether we follow Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, or Hinduism, it’s going to be by faith. Therefore, for a person to decline to follow Christianity because it requires faith is not going to find satisfaction for his obstinacy in any other religion, for all religions require faith.
Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Narrowing Down the Options
We’re left with the question, “Do all religions lead to God?” It is possible for all religions to be wrong but it is impossible for all religions to be right, because one religion contradicts another religion.
If Buddhism is right, and the cosmos is divine and there is no entity called “God,” then Islam, Christianity and Judaism must be wrong, for each teaches that God is an entity.
If Hinduism is right, then all the others must be wrong, because none of the others allow everything to be a god.
Christianity and Judaism are mutually inclusive. Christians hold that the Jewish scriptures which prophesy a messiah is fulfilled in Yeshua (Jesus). The Jews are still waiting for a messiah.
The two great religions butting their heads together in America today are Christianity and Islam. Both hold that there is one creator God, and each says theirs is the right way to worship God. This is a good test case for two religions leading to God.
When a person says with conviction that all roads lead to God, that person is setting himself up as an authority. How does he know? Who told him? Did God tell him that? There is only one person with authority who could with knowledge say whether all religions lead to God. Do you know who that could be? Right. Only God himself can say that with knowledge.
Since Islam and Christianity both claim to be of God, that is, God Himself established it, then let the god of each religion declare wither the other is just another path to him.
This is what Allah says through Mohammad in the Koran:
Sura 5:72-73, “Certainly they disbelieve who say: ‘Allah is Christ the son of Mary.’ But said Christ: ‘O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the Garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. They disbelieved who say: Allah is one of three (in a Trinity): for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous chastisement will befall the disbelievers among them. “
Sura 5:17, “Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, the son of Mary.”
Sura 19:35, “It does not befit GOD that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, 'Be,' and it is.”
This is what the Bible says,
1 John 2:22-23, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
So, Allah in the Koran says anyone who believes in Jesus as the Son of God, or in the Trinity, blasphemes God. They are rejected by Allah and will not go to heaven (the Garden of Allah). On the other hand, God in the Bible says that anyone who denies the Son has not the father and he is the antichrist.
Here you have two major religions specifically damning the other one as being heretical and not the way to God. Yet we have people today who say both of those religions worship the same God. The fact is, both of those religions deny they worship the same God.
Why would some people today say Islam and Christianity worship the same God when both religions deny that? They say it because they don’t know what either religion teaches. That is, they don’t know what they’re talking about. If they don’t know what either religion teaches, then why do they have the arrogance, presumption and haughtiness to pass judgment and make statements on such matters?
What Does the Christian God Say About Other Religions?
In Biblical history, God created the heavens and the earth. He created humanity in the form of Adam and Eve. At that time, everyone on earth knew God, because there were only two people on earth and they walked with God.
Adam and Eve sinned, according to the Bible, and broke fellowship with God. Ever since then, people have blamed God for their condition rather than take responsibility for their actions. Nevertheless, God is patient and continued to work with people, calling them back to himself.
As time went by, most people left God and created other gods to worship. When the Bible began to be written, the world was populated chiefly by pagans, people who worship many gods. Only a few clung to the tradition that there was only one God. Abraham was one of these few, and through him God brought about the Jews, the Bible and ultimately Christianity.
The Jews (here I’m saying “Jews” to mean all “Israelites” at that time) are credited with bringing monotheism to the world, the belief in one God only. This is the sole God that reached the world through the Jews.
The name of God is something like YHWH almost pronounced like Yahweh. It is considered a holy word, a holy name. It is holy, because it is God’s name. Therefore in the Bible it is translated to the euphemism LORD (all capital letters). If you see the word lord or Lord in the Bible, that just means a man of dignity and worth. But LORD (all capital letters) stands for YHWH, the name of God. In this study, I’m going to use the word YHWH instead of "LORD.” You should be thinking Yahweh in your mind. That is the name of God.
Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am YHWH: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”
At that time God told Israel that no other religion leads to God, only this one does. All the other religions were created by man in their disobedience to God, because they were not willing to worship their own creator.
An idol is a little figurine made out of wood, mud, clay, rock, silver or gold that represents a god. The maker does not believe that item is “god” itself, but that the god he worships inhabits it. Therefore, when he prays to his idol, his god hears him. Likewise, when the Hindus pray to their gods, which inhabit everything, they are not praying to the tree or elephant; they are praying to the god that inhabits it.
What does YHWH say about these idols?
Exodus 20:4, “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, YHWH your God, am a jealous God,”
Psalm 96:4-5, “For great is YHWH and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but YHWH made the heavens.”
And finally, the Bible teaches,
Acts 4:10, 12, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead that this man stands before you healed… Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
There is no other religion, no other road to heaven that God has given to us except through himself and his son, Jesus Christ.
What Does Jesus Say About This?
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”
According to every religion, all roads do not lead to God, nor is the same god worshipped by all. Some people, who generally are not beholden to any religion, say that all religions do lead to God. Where do they get that information? It is not in any holy writ nor doctrinal statement. They could get it only from their own imaginations. Or, they heard someone else, equally ignorant, say it and thus they clung to it.
Every religion says there are evil, demonic spirits. Some people say there are no demons or devil. Where do these people get their knowledge that there are actually no demons, when everyone with knowledge around them says there are demons?
Jesus said, “When [the devil] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” John 8:44.
Do you think it would be reasonable for the devil, Satan, to say “All religions lead to God,” when in fact all other religions are denounced by God?