Is there such a thing as one true religion? It really becomes a pertinent question in light of the majority and growing trend among evangelicals. A 2018 State of Theology survey conducted by LifeWay Research shows that a majority of the religious right in the US believes that God accepts the worship of all religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. While it might be the politically correct thing to say, is that what God’s word teaches?
To the Samaritan woman, Christ said, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:22-24)
Christ made it clear to this Samaritan and to the majority of mankind in principle that “You worship what you do not know.” The only real way to worship God is in spirit and in truth. Unfortunately, the truth is not found everywhere today. The Apostle Paul wrote, “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15) God’s Church is where the truth is found. It is where we receive instruction as to how we ought to conduct our lives. And that truth/instruction applied is what identifies true worshippers of God. This is what God’s word teaches.
Scripture teaches that there is only one God that delivered Israel out of Egypt and then gave them the land of Canaan. He consequently warned them against worshipping other gods. “Then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you.” (Deuteronomy 6:12,14) Just as there is one God that delivered Israel, there is only one name by which a person can be saved. Speaking of Christ, Peter said, “Nor is their salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) This same Christ, the Father made the head of His Church which is the pillar and ground of the truth. (Ephesians 1:22-23) True worshippers of God will be found where the truth is and where God’s spirit abides. It may not be politically correct, but it is the truth.
It is also true that God desires that all people come to repentance and that His plan of salvation is designed to give each person who has ever lived that very opportunity. But only part of humanity is presently being judged. The Apostle Peter wrote, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17) Understanding our unique calling and identity is not about being superior to any other group – far from it. It is about treating all people as well as possible as we come out of the world and being separate in the spiritual sense. Paul wrote this to the Church of God, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) Our job presently is to properly represent true religion to the world in spirit and in truth.