World religion. That is the topic of study I’m doing with students on Sunday nights. The interesting thing about studying the different religions is discovering what each religion has in common. One of the most common themes is making the world and ourselves better. Last night we studied Scientology which is all about getting to know the self and working to make the world a better place by doing good in the world and to all living things. Different religions will tell us that the world I know doesn’t have to be this way. If people all over the world decided to change it, we could all live better lives. We could have world peace, no crime, and live in perfect harmony.
It is indeed a worthy goal to want peace in the midst of chaos. Desiring a world without pain and crime is admirable and seeking to be our best in order to make the world a better place is a valuable endeavor. The only problem is the majority of these religions, Scientology included, ignore one flaw in this plan. Sin. The truth is there is no possible way that people are going to be able to turn the world we know into a place without pain or chaos because the world itself and all that is within it are slaves to the sickness of sin. Worldly religions ignore sin altogether making a claim for false hope and belief in a world that cannot exist without extinguishing the one thing they ignore. This would be like a doctor who tells his patient that he can get better with diet and exercise when in fact he has cancer and will be dead within the month. Sure, he can improve his health with diet and exercise, but he’s still going to die from the disease that is slowly killing him on the inside.
Certainly we can improve our lives and our world, but we do not have the ablility nor the authority to carry this on to completion. We’re still going to die. We are still going to suffer. There will still be war, murder, theft, rape, and crime. Why? Because we are ignoring the disease. Sin is like carbon dioxide “the silent killer”. You know something isn’t right, but you can’t smell anything. If you don’t have anything to detect the carbon dioxide your breathing and if you don’t recognize the symptoms then you’ll likely die from being poisoned by it. That is the state of the world today. If we continue to simply “ignore” the sin problem then we will continue to live in false hope, striving to do good in a world that will progressively get worse.
There is good news. This dream of being in a better place and being better ourselves is not just a dream. A new earth without tears, pain, chaos, crime, and sin is a coming reality. Even a renewed self is a real possibility in the future. These things are coming for those who defeat the one thing most world religions ignore, sin. For those who overcome sin there will be a new heaven and a new earth, there will be peace and harmony, and there will be no more suffering. We are headed for paradise. So what can humanity do to fight sin and overcome it? Nothing. That is the catch, we can do nothing. The world we know is doomed. There is no technology nor weapon that we can develop to destroy sin. It’s a disease without a human cure.
That is the other thing about studying world religions. You begin to realize that everything these religions teach relies strictly on humanities ability to get themselves out of their mess. The fact of the matter is we can’t. If we have to depend on ourselves to do it then it is not going to happen. There is only one man who was able to defeat sin and he did so because he was both man and God. When Christ rose from the dead he defeated both sin and death and it is only through the righteousness of Christ that humanity can indeed overcome sin. Jesus is the other factor that world religions seem to leave out. While they believe he exists, they don’t believe he was who he said he was.
If we ignore sin and ignore who Jesus really is then we will continue to live, hope, and dream for a world that we will never see. It’s only in Jesus that humanity can find a cure for the disease of sin. Until other religions recognize both the true state of the world and the true nature of Jesus they will continue to preach and teach false hope. While they may fight to make this world a better place, in the long run it will be for nothing in the end.