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It is the different interpretations of our beliefs that has led to the formation of various religions. While one's battle against wickedness, disease, addictions and environmental issues or natural calamities is understandable, the conflicts in the name of a religion seems to be one of the costliest & worst vanity of vanities that a human race can pursue!
In fact, being born into the home of a certain religion is not in no one's hands. We are just born to parents of a certain religion and start pursuing the traditional faith of that particular home! But in all true sense, pure religion is not based on our believe system but more on serving the poor, the helpless, the destitute, the orphans or the widows. It has to do more with our human rights!
What do we agree on!? There are so many things which are common among all of us! A prison or hospital has people of all faiths. We all have similar struggles in various areas of life! We all have various desires but thankfully, among them all, the greatest desires that we as Indians have, deep down in our heart is to know God, to worship Him, to be blessed, to live for Him and ultimately live with Him! In reality, we should be proud to be known as the most democratic, secular, co-existing, tolerating people who are devoted to God in the whole world!
We all agree that there is only one God, the one who created this world and sustains it, generation after generation!
We also believe that we are all only trying to press towards perfection; while in reality we are not fully perfect!
We all agree that just as we all have a 'birth-day'; we all will have a 'death-day' too!
We also believe that all religions, old or new, are the same, and though they were not created by God, they are intended to help one make an attempt to reach God!
What must one know!? While a religion can give some sort of satisfaction and discipline, it is a fact that religion in itself cannot save us or provide a genuine hope for 'life after death'! Under the given circumstances, the greatest Good News is that God does not really want us to live in suspense or in darkness! He knew that we cannot reach out to Him by our own efforts, good works or any form of religion, for we all have a sinful nature. Therefore, God Himself took the initiative to reach down to us, taking the form of a man, revealing Himself to us as 'Jesus', to take the punishment for our sins! It is on the basis of His coming to this world that History has been divided between 'BC & AD'. It is on this basis that every year we remember the birthday of Jesus as 'Christmas', his crucifixion day as 'Good Friday' and his day of resurrection as 'Easter'! The name 'Jesus' means, "the one who saves us from our sins"! The Holy Bible says, that there is no other name given under the sky by which one can be saved, except by the name of 'Jesus'!
How is 'God with us'!? When Jesus Christ was born, those who saw Him immediately identified Him as the Son of God, and called Him 'Immanuel', meaning "God with us!" Jesus' birth, words, deed, teachings, life, claims, death & resurrection were all unique! His divine power was evident over nature, the sick, the suffering, the needy & even the dead. His divine authority to forgive was evident when he forgave the sinful, the guilty & the repentant. He also proved His dominion over evil & all demonic powers that oppressed or possessed people. Further, Jesus said, "I have the authority to lay down my life & take it back!" Today, He is the Living Savior because He rose again from the dead! And, because He has conquered death, there is hope of life after death for everyone who believes! He has assured that He will never reject anyone of any background who comes to Him!
What is beneficial!? Even today, all who come to Him with a sincere heart find forgiveness, healing, joy and even deliverance from suicidal tendencies, loneliness, bad habits, depression, transformation, etc,. It is His great Love & compassion that accepts us graciously and fills us with Heavenly peace! Jesus reflects the true attributes of God and as such is the means by which we can understand and know God in all true sense! Through Him one can endure or enjoy life as it comes; and finally live with God in Heaven forever!
What is the Truth!? The Holy Bible confirms that Jesus did not come to form any new religion or convert others to some specific religion! All through His life, Jesus taught & preached about "the Kingdom of God" and also told His disciples to preach about the Kingdom of God! His main intention is that we who are created by Him should be delivered from sin and its power and be reconciled with God! He emphatically declared that He is 'The Way, The Truth & The Life' and that no one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven without Him!
What is more important!? Jesus said, 'What does it profit a person if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?' It is in order to save our Souls that He, as a true mediator, bore the punishment of our sins, granted forgiveness by shedding His innocent blood and sacrificed His sinless life! That's the reason why the Bible says, "The wages of Sin is (eternal) death but the gift of God is eternal life (in Heaven) through Christ Jesus, our Lord!"
What do we do!?As a result, anyone who repents of his sins and believes or accepts Jesus as the Lord of His life, is set free from all sins and its guilt or bondages & consequences. This enables us to be God's own children and walk in intimacy with Him during the rest of our lives! The whole transformation is not about a journey from one religion to another but it's all about becoming part of God's eternal Kingdom! Accepting Him or placing our faith in Him has eternal rewards and that's why the good news about Him is preached all over the world persistently, before it becomes too late! Jesus said, "This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come!" (Matt.24:14/Holy Bible).
-JM Manna, a freelance writer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org