(There are really just two religions in the entire world)
The Bible says there are two ways, two roads, the broad and the narrow. It does not say there is one narrow road and many other broad roads. So no matter how many religions you may think there are in the world, from God's perspective there are ONLY TWO! Yes, just two: God's and man's. Now you may think that this is a preposterous idea and yet it is completely accurate. Man's religion is a self-made system whereby he tries to get right with God on his own termswith a set of criteria of his own choosing(though he may think that it is the choosing of the church he was born into and to a large degree that may be the case).
The Tower OF Babel
Man's criteria for getting right with God can and does include doing various things that man thinks will earn him favor with God. Those things include items from this list:
church membership, attending church services
reciting prayers - the Rosary, a mantra, etc.
meditating, doing penance, fasting, suffering
being a 'good' person, doing good deeds
praying to dead people - saints, ancestors, etc.
using holy water, owning religious statues
wearing religious medallions, robes, etc.
lighting candles, burning incense
bowing down to statues or towards a 'holy' city
christenings, baptisms, initiation ceremonies
communion, confirmation, last rites
becoming a priest, nun, pastor, guru, etc.
confession of sins to a priest or any other man
preaching or teaching religion
being born into some (any) religion
trying to keep 10 commandments or other rules
involvement in special ministries or causes
donating money to charity, helping the poor
prayers from others for your departed soul
suffering somewhere temporarily after death
going on pilgrimages to 'holy' places
dying for someone or for 'your' religion
doing more good deeds than bad deeds
achieving some higher state of consciousness
ANY OTHER HUMAN EFFORT
Thanks to man's ingenuity (actually his rebellion and self-righteousness) and his desire to get to heaven HIS own way, NOT God's way, there are many thousands of ways to travel that one broad road to hell, consisting of all sorts of combinations of the above mentioned religious activities.
If you are counting on ANY of the above things to get you into Heaven or to even help to get you to Heaven, then God has this to say about YOU:
"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." [Romans 10:3]
God has only ONE religion that He accepts - HIS religion. You see, God Himself has devised a salvation program for the entire human race. It is a narrow way:
"... narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" [Matthew 7:14]
It is a way that does not require and does not allow man to participate in the salvation of himself:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" [Ephesians 2:8-9]
It is a plan that we can know, because God has revealed it to the human race through the prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Holy Bible:
"And he [Jesus] said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." [Luke 16:31]
You cannot earn Heaven:
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us" [Titus 3:5]
You cannot contribute anything to your salvation:
"we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" [Isaiah 64:6]
God does not need or want your help to get you into Heaven:
"And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him." [Isaiah 59:16]
God is not only a God of love but also a God of judgment and wrath:
"For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire" ... [Deuteronomy 4:24] ... "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." [Romans 12:19] ... "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" [2 Thessalonians 1:7-9]
The idea that God loves everybody is false. God hates ALL workers of iniquity. Everyone who is not bought by the blood of Christ at Calvary is God's enemy:
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" [Romans 5:10] ... "For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity." [Psalm 5:4-5] ... "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." [Psalm 11:5-6]
The unrighteous cannot enter Heaven:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" [1 Corinthians 6:9-10]
The unrighteous are headed for Hell:
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire" [Revelation 21:8]
It doesn't matter if you are no worse than all the people around you. God says you are condemned to Hell already:
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already" [John 3:17-18]
Absolutely no one is righteous in the eyes of God, not even the Pope, Mary, mother Teresa, Billy Graham or the greatest guru:
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" [Romans 3:10] ... "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" [Romans 3:23]
Jesus Christ, who is eternal God, was the only one capable of paying for sins. A perfect, sinless Saviour is needed:
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" [1 Peter 3:18]
Jesus Christ did all that was necessary to save anyone from hell who is going to be saved. As He died on the cross He declared that the work of salvation that He came to do was complete when He said:
"It is finished" [John 19:30]
Jesus is the ONLY one who can rescue a person from Hell:
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [except Jesus] under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12] ... "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" [John 14:6]
Jesus is not your Saviour until He has converted you:
"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew 18:3].
God is not concerned with whether you like His salvation plan or not; or if you think His way is unfair:
"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" [Romans 9:20-21]
If God was to be 'fair', then He would send everyone to hell for all eternity:
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity." [Isaiah 59:1-4]
After you die it will be too late for Christ to be your Saviour. He must then be your judge and you will hear Him say this to you:
"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matthew 25:41]
Is there no hope? While you are alive there is still hope that God will save YOU:
"behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" [2 Corinthians 6:2]
Seek God, by reading the Bible and listening to it being read on cassette tapes or on Christian radio(see www.familyradio.com)
God may have mercy on you while there is still time for you to be saved:
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." [Luke 18:10-14]
No one can afford to be wrong about the way to heaven:
"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." [Luke 12:4-5]
Which religion do YOU have?
God's or man's? Are you sure?
Does your salvation depend on anything YOU DO or on Christ ALONE?