When we look at all the religions in the world, they have a common theme: man must do certain things to attain salvation or utopia:
- Adam thought he could become like God by knowing good and evil.
- Abraham believed he had to leave his land, get circumcised and sacrifice his son to obtain a promised land and be the father of nations.
- The Jews believed that they had to obey the Ten Commandments to have utopia on earth
- Muslims believe in obeying their 5 pillars and repenting from sin to go to heaven
- Hindus and Buddhists believe that they must do certain good deeds and self-sacrificial abstinence to break from the cycle of reincarnation to be one with God and attain salvation.
Man has always been trying to reach God based on their efforts but was unsuccessful.
Therefore God became a man as Jesus to show how it is done.
Jesus was born of a woman under the law and He did the greatest and most holy work ever. He did not sin even though He was crucified on the cross. He loved His enemies without sinning.
No man had ever lived such a holy and pure life on earth until Jesus came.
That is why Jesus rose from the dead and entered heaven to be seated at God’s throne.
Jesus is Lord and God – the only true God.
He said that if His followers did what He did, then they would also enter this utopia on earth (God’s kingdom)
They had to be perfectly righteous as Jesus, stop all sins, selling all their goods, loving their enemies, carrying the cross so that they would be resurrected in the coming utopia.
Matthew 5 “20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven….48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Luke 12 “32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor….35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return”
Matthew 16 “24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.””
Matthew 24 “9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. “
John 13 “34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
Matthew 18 “21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 5 “29 If your right eye/hand causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away…44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
Revelation 2-3 “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God….21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne…26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations”
Following and obeying Jesus was the ultimate path to utopia / nirvanah / salvation.
Some people think that Paul preached a different gospel than Jesus.
But Paul also preached the same faith of Jesus, to forsake wealth, help the poor, love one another, follow Jesus, carry the cross, stop sinning to be saved.
1 Timothy 6 “11…flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life …..keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ….17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Ephesians 5 “1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.3 But among you there must not be even a hint of any sins”
Romans 8 “12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Romans 13 “8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
Romans 12 ““If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”
Philippians 3 “10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
The way of Jesus goes far above all religions. The way of Jesus is perfect holiness, pure self-sacrificial love, to die as martyrs so as to be resurrected as immortal beings, one with God.
No other religion came as far as what Jesus did and commanded.
But nobody could follow Jesus, not even the Christians. They all failed in that ultimate test of the great tribulation in AD66-70. The Church fell away into apostasy in that time period and all the Apostles died.
Jesus promised to judge the world and bring salvation to His followers but this did not happen because even the Church failed to follow Jesus and the Bible came to an end.
The Christianity that was born in the 2nd century and later was a watered-down non-Apostolic version of the faith. Today the Church looks nothing like the Biblical faith. We think that just believing in Jesus without obeying His commands will give us immortality. We have made a diluted and watered-down version of Christianity.
Christians today try obtain eternal life by faith, baptism, sacraments, repentance, confession, good deeds, church-attendance, etc and are nowhere near the perfection of Jesus Christ.
All of this is evidence that man has failed to follow Jesus and be perfect.
In the end of the day, the Bible is an allegorical story, where God shows man to stop their religious efforts and accept His unconditional love.
All religions try to become like God but Jesus showed that man cannot do it.
Jesus Christ is God who showed man that our religious efforts of trying to be like God are in vain.
Jesus alone did all the things needed to become immortal like God.
We will never be perfect and God will never reward our futile efforts with immortality on the earth.
God is perfect and immortal but He created us to be imperfect beings who have this one life on earth to enjoy His blessings and unconditional love. After we die, our spirits go back to God our Father.
The perfect God will never judge imperfect people. There is no punishment of hell or any reincarnation.
God loves us unconditionally, He accepts you and me as He created us, in all our imperfections and uniqueness.
He is not telling us to be perfect to attain any utopia or immortality.
Jesus died to forgive our sins and rose from the dead, showing that God accepts us the way we are and tells us to stop all our religious efforts.
You are unconditionally loved and accepted in the Father’s love through Jesus Christ.