Category: India Blog

Brave Indian Warriors – Women Indian Navy Pilots

Indian Navy’s first batch of women pilots ready to soar high on Dornier aircraft

Lieutenant Divya Sharma, Lieutenant Shubhangi Swaroop and Lieutenant Shivangi are the three women pilots of the first batch.

Scripting history, they are ready to take on all MR missions on Dornier aircraft.

We salute these women for their courage and bravery, and their scrifice for their beloved country!!

A 30 Year Old Vegetable Vendor Rescues A Baby From Trash

A real life story that happened in Tinsukia District, Assam…A vegetable seller, Soberan, was coming home, pushing his vegetable thela.

He heard a baby crying in the bushes. Soberan went near the bush and saw an infant lying on the heap of garbage, crying. Soberane looked around, waited a while and when no one appeared, lifted her in the lap.

It was a baby girl. Soberan brought her home. Soberan was 30 years old at that time and was unmarried. He was very happy and decided to raise the child single-handedly. He named the girl, Jyoti!!

Soberan worked hard day and night and did not let her feel the lack of anything. He sent her to school and did everything he could to fulfill her needs. Even if he had to remain hungry, he never let his daughter fall short of anything.

Years passed by….. And Jyoti graduated in Computer Science in 2013. She started preparing for competitive exams. In 2014, Jyoti performed brilliantly in the examination conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission and was appointed the Assistant Income Tax Commissioner!!!

Soberan’s eyes welled with tears on seeing his daughter fulfilling her dream. Presently, Jyoti is taking good care of her father and is fulfilling all his wishes. Even though she insists on him relaxing, her father still runs the vegetable vendor trade.

Soberan says,”I did not pick a girl from garbage; I got a diamond from a coal mine. She has filled my life with divine light.” That’s Soberan & his daughter, Assistant Commissioner Jyoti!

The Hound Of Heaven by Francis Thompson

By Ravi Zacharias

I believe one of the most profound poems ever written was penned by an Englishman named Francis Thompson. Thompson was a genius, but he became a drug addict and was on the run for many years.

Towards the later part of his life he wrote the magnificent masterpiece he called

“The Hound of Heaven.”

The poem describes God as the persistent hound who, with loving feet, follows and follows until he catches up with this person who is trying to run and flee from him. Writes Thompson:

“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;

And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.”

As the poem comes to an end, Thompson depicts the persistent cry of God to the one who flees his presence, the one God pursues to the end:

“Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.”

With the wisdom of one who had found himself chased after, Thompson notes the heart of God and the contradiction of humanity. We run away, fearful that if we have God, we might have nothing else beside.

And God says, “You were weak and blind and miserable when you were driving me away, because you were actually driving love away from you. It is Me you seek.”

Why is Idolatry Forbidden in the Bible

The Warnings Against Idol Worship

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;  (Revelation 9:20 NASB)

The condemnation of idolatry, usually defined as worship of any cult image, idea, or object, is found throughout the Bible. For example, the first two commandments state…
Then God spoke all these words, saying, 
“I am the  Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 
(1) “You shall have no other gods before Me.
(2)  “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 
(3) “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the  Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6 NASB)

Note: “Jealous” does not mean He is suspicious or distrustful, but that He demands exclusive devotion. 

And many, many other verses endorse the commandment that prohibits idolatry. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:4 NASB)

You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 26:1 NASB)

I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the  Lord your God.’ (Ezekiel 20:7 NASB)

I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. ‘I am the  Lord your God; walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and observe them. (Ezekiel 20:18-19 NASB)

Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. (Ezekiel 14:6 NASB)

Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”  (Matthew 4:10 NASB) but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.  (Acts 15:20 NASB)

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. (Romans 1:22-25 NASB)

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14 NASB)

In fact idolatry is singled out in the Bible as the most abominable of sins

Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha through Jehu the prophet, for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel sin, provoking the  Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols. (1 Kings 16:12-13 NASB)”

Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in whom is no faithfulness. ‘They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, (Deuteronomy 32:20-21 NASB) 

Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her?” “Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?” (Jeremiah 8:19 NASB)”I will first doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable idols and with their abominations.”  (Jeremiah 16:18 NASB)

All mankind is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, For his molten images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of mockery; In the time of their punishment they will perish. (Jeremiah 51:17-18 NASB)

The Consequences of Idol Worship

In the Old Testament Isaiah and Ezekiel  were very clear as to the fate of those who indulged in idolatry,The pride of man will be humbled And the loftiness of men will be abased; And the  Lord alone will be exalted in that day, But the idols will completely vanish.

Men will go into caves of the rocks And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the  Lord And the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats Their idols of silver and their idols of gold, Which they made for themselves to worship, In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs Before the terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. (Isaiah 2:17-21 NASB)

They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame, Who trust in idols, Who say to molten images, “You are our gods.”  (Isaiah NASB)They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; The manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation. (Isaiah 45:16. 42:17 NASB)’So as I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations, therefore I will also withdraw, and My eye will have no pity and I will not spare. (Ezekiel 5:11 NASB)

“So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols. “I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. “In all your dwellings, cities will become waste and the high places will be desolate, that your altars may become waste and desolate, your idols may be broken and brought to an end, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out. (Ezekiel 6:4-6 NASB)

So were Paul and John in the New. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, (1 Corinthians 6:9 NASB)

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NASB)

For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5-6 NASB)

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,  (Colossians 3:5-6 NASB)

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; (Revelation 9:20 NASB)

“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NASB)

All of which brings us to the question of why? Why was idolatry so strongly condemned in the Scriptures – so strictly forbidden with such severe consequences for disobeying very express commands to stay away from idol worship.

Idols.. Images of gods or Demons in Disguise?
Elijah And The Priests Of Baal:

It is interesting that when Elijah challenged the priests of Baal atop of Mount Carmel to persuade their god to perform a miracle, the pagan priests beseeched their god without the use of an idol, which certainly indicates that Baal was not just an idol, but rather one of the polytheistic gods that could be worshipped through an idol.While the ancients believed that Baal was a god, the Bible is very clear that false gods are nothing more than demons which accounts for the strongly worded commandments against their worship.

Note how the Bible does not differentiate between sacrifices made to idols and sacrifices made to demons and that wine poured out as a libation, or drank by the worshipers was the “cup of demons””They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread. (Deuteronomy 32:17 NASB)

They (the Israelites) did not destroy the peoples, As the  Lord commanded them, But they mingled with the nations And learned their practices, And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. (Psalms 106:34-38 NASB)

What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols (Gk. eido?lon) is anything, or that an idol (Gk. eido?lon) is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons (Gk. daimonion) and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons (Gk. daimonion). You cannot drink the cup of the  Lord and the cup of demons  (Gk. daimonion); you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons (Gk. daimonion). (1 Corinthians 10:19-21 NASB)

In other words the pagan images, the lifeless statues of ancient gods and goddesses were simply the face of the daimonia (demons) which may also be one explanation for the hideous faces given many of these images (Ex. the eight-armed, demonic looking, goddess Kali depicted as holding a skull in one of her hands) are far more than man made images.

It is fair to conclude the characterization of such deities as “Zeus,” “Amun-Ra,” “Demeter,” and “Isis,” were simply the classical names attributed to specific fallen spirits. The images (falcon headed statues, animal forms, etc) provided a point of focus. It is interesting to note that each of these deities has specific characteristics such as nature, gender and authority which would probably not be the case if they were nothing but inert man made statues. See The New Age and Devil Worship

In other words, Apollo was a real personality; Osiris was a genuine underworld fiend; Hecate actually lived, and still does! Ishtar, the goddess of love and war who played a major role among the Canaanites as Astarte (the Israelites knew her as Ashtoreth) was a real live demon. Isis, one of the most important deities of ancient Egypt is still revered by pagans today.

The Hindu gods Shiva and the eight-armed demonic looking goddess Kali depicted as holding a skull in one of her hands are far more than man made images. It is no wonder the apostle John warned believers to beware of them.Little children, guard yourselves from idols.  (1 John 5:21 NASB)
Idolatry and Other Religions

Hinduism: In Hinduism, “an idol or an image is not a lifeless form but a living embodiment of God thus “a superior form of divine worship” [01]. Even the most philosophically sophisticated and ethically advanced Hindus usually worship before idols. To add to which, occult practices such as those condemned in Deuteronomy 18:9-14 [divination, telling fortunes, interpreting omens, consulting a medium etc. are common in Hinduism.

Buddhism: Although there does not seem to be any evidence of the promoting of idol worship by Buddha, statues of him flood the world of present day Buddhism. The official position is that “The images are erected as a mark of respect and appreciation for the highest achievement of enlightenment and perfection by an extraordinary religious teacher”. Symbols which helps the Buddhist “recall or to remember the Buddha”. The reality is probably a little different, with very little “pure” Buddhism being practiced in the world today. The ultimate aim of Buddhism is “Nirvana”, a perfect peace of mind that is free from suffering, desire, anger and the cycle of rebirth. The individual becomes one with the universe. See The Message of the Bible

Islam itself condemns idolatry, but has fundamentally unbiblical views of God and Salvation (See Section on Islam)

The Final End of Idolatry

One of Isaiah’s prophecies concerning the end times says thisThe pride of man will be humbled And the loftiness of men will be abased; And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, But the idols will completely vanish. (Isaiah 2:17-18 NASB)

As did Micah and Zechariah”I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications. “I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more. “I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands. “I will root out your Asherim from among you And destroy your cities. (Micah 5:11-14 NASB)

“It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. (Zechariah 13:2 NASB)As Isaiah said “the Lord alone will be exalted in that day”End Notes[01]

Reasons For Idol
Worship in Hinduism.

Can practicing Yoga and Meditation be very harmful

“One often hears and reads about the dangers of Yoga, particularly of the ill-reputed Kundalini Yoga. The deliberately induced psychotic state, which in certain unstable individuals might easily lead to a real psychosis, is a danger that needs to be taken very seriously indeed.

These things really are dangerous and ought not to be meddled with in our typically Western way. It is a meddling with Fate, which strikes at the very roots of human existence and can let loose a flood of sufferings of which no sane person ever dreamed.

These sufferings correspond to the hellish torments of the chönyid state…”   C. G. Jung, Introduction to The Tibetan Book of the Dead *

DRDO Scientist Appointed by the PM in India

Interesting story of a young DRDO Scientist appointed by PM Narendra Modi. He is Pratap aged 21 years. He travels 28 days in a month to foreign countries. France has invited him to join their Organisations for which he will be provided with monthly salary of Rs 16 Lakhs, 5 BHK house and Car worth 2.5Cr. But he simply declined.

PM Modi has honored him with suitable award and has asked DRDO to absorb him.Let us see what this boy from Karnataka has achieved.

Part 1
He was born in a remote village in Kadaikudi near Mysore Karnataka. His father earned Rs 2000 as a farmer. Pratap was interested in Electronics right from childhood. While studying he acquainted himself with various websites such as Aviation, Space, Rolls Royce, Boeing 777 etc. from a nearby Cybercafe .

He sent several emails to Scientists all over the world in his broken English about his interest to work but in vain. He wanted to join Engineering School but due to financial problems he joined a Science College to earn a BSc in Physics. Again he was unable to complete the same. He was thrown out of hostel for not paying the hostel fees.

He used to sleep in Bus Stand in Mysore, and used to wash his clothes in the public toilet. He learnt computer languages such as C++, Java Core and Python on his own. He learnt about “Drones” through eWaste. After 80 attempts he succeeded in developing a Drone.

Part 2
He went to IIT Delhi in rags in a unreserved train compartment to participate in a “Drone Model Competition”. He won “Second prize”. He was told to participate in a competition in Japan. To go to Japan an academic Professor in a Chennai College had to approve his Thesis.

He went to Chennai for the first time and with great difficulty that Prof. approved him with some comments that he was not qualified to write it.

Pratap required Rs 60,000 to go to Japan, a philanthropist from Mysore sponsored his flight ticket and balance money he made up by selling his mother’s Mangala .

Somehow he reached Tokyo after going on his maiden flight to Japan all alone. He had only Rs 1400 when he landed there. He couldn’t take the Bullet Train since it was very expensive. So he went by normal train by changing trains at 16 different stations with his luggage to reach his last station.

He walked another 8 km to reach the ultimate destination with his luggage. He participated in an Exposition where 127 nations were participating.The results were announced in a graded manner and finally top 10 . Pratap dejectedly started walking back and slowly the judges were inching to top 3, 2, and finally the First prize was announced as “Please welcome Mr Pratap Gold Medalist from India”.

He was crying with joy. He saw with his own eyes the Indian flag going up. He was rewarded with $10,000 and celebrations followed everywhere. He was called by PM Modi, Karnataka MLA & MP and was honored by all.

France offered him a job with a great salary and fantastic perks. He simply refused and now the PM has honored him and has asked the DRDO to absorb him.


How Many God’s Are There?

Question: “How many gods are there?”

Various religions have various answers to the question “How many gods are there?” Religions that hold a monotheistic worldview believe there is only one real God. Polytheistic religions allow for multiple gods. The Bible unequivocally teaches there is only one God, and He created all things, sustains all things, and transcends all things.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are the three main monotheistic worldviews that accept the existence of only one God, and no other. While monotheism embraces the reality of other supernatural or spiritual entities, it does not allow that they are truly gods, and it rejects the belief that any creature could challenge the power of the one true God.

Atheism is a worldview that rejects the existence of God, the spiritual world, or gods of any kind. From the atheist’s perspective, there is no such thing as a personal, divine being who caused or created any part of the material world.

Polytheism is a worldview that believes more than one or numerous finite gods are present in the world. Polytheism takes many different forms. In some, all the gods are relatively equal. In others, the gods are subject to a hierarchy. Examples of polytheistic belief systems include Hinduism (which teaches the existence of millions of gods), some forms of Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Paganism, and Mormonism. Mormons typically deny this classification, arguing that they worship only one God. Be that as it may, Mormonism still endorses a belief in an indefinite number of gods.

Pantheism is a worldview held by most Hindus, many Buddhists, and other New Age religions. Pantheists claim God “is all and in all.” He permeates all things, comprises all things, includes all things, and is contained within all things. Since nothing exists apart from God, all things are in some way associated with God. The world is God, and God is the world. In pantheism, God is infinite, but not personal—all is God, and God is all.

Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all teach the existence of a singular, personal, transcendent, preexistent, self-existent, omnipotent, sovereign, and eternal God. Jewish and Christian Scripture says, “I alone am God. There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be” (Isaiah 43:10, NLT; see also Isaiah 44:68).

But Christianity sets itself apart with a distinct perspective on God’s nature. God has revealed Himself to be triune: the one God exists in three co-existent, co-eternal, co-equal Persons who share the same nature. The three Persons of the Trinity are God the Father (John 6:27Romans 1:71 Peter 1:2), God the Son (John 1:114Romans 9:5Colossians 2:9Hebrews 1:81 John 5:20), and God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3–4Mark 1:10–11John 4:241 Corinthians 3:162 Corinthians 13:14).

It’s important to understand that the Trinity doctrine does not imply three Gods. The Bible is clear that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:41 Corinthians 8:4Galatians 3:201 Timothy 2:5). But He exists in tri-unity.

People have imagined for themselves many gods, given them names, fashioned their images, and drawn up elaborate stories of their feats and foibles. But “we know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’ and that ‘There is no God but one’” (1 Corinthians 8:4). The myriad of gods and goddesses that have come and gone in the history of the world are nothing but cut-rate imitations of the One who’s really in charge. Demonic deception is behind false gods and their idols, as Satan continues to lead people astray from the truth: “The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God” (1 Corinthians 10:20).

The Bible says that the one true God is the sovereign Creator of the universe (Isaiah 42:5Ephesians 1:11). He is eternal (Psalm 90:2); He is personal (Deuteronomy 34:10); He is holy (Psalm 99:3). The Bible says this one God is all-knowing (Isaiah 46:10), all-powerful (Matthew 19:26), and present everywhere (Psalm 139:7–10). The one true God never changes (James 1:17). Scripture confirms the presence of many false, so-called gods (Deuteronomy 32:17), but none of these counterfeits possess the unsurpassed excellence of the Lord God Almighty. He alone is worthy of worship, honor, and glory (Revelation 5:12).

Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias

Did you know that Buddha Prophesied about the coming of Jesus Christ!

Hebrews 1:1 New International Version (NIV)

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

The Bible says that in the past, in ancient times before the coming of the Messiah, God spoke to people through the prophets, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel some of the Old Testament prophets. It could be posited that Buddha, Zoroaster, etc. would fit in here.

But if you watch this video, Buddha had prophesied about the coming of Jesus Christ. The Zoroastrian scriptures also speak about a future coming of a Saoshyant which may have been Jesus Christ. Saoshyant (Saoshyans) is a Zoroastrian term for “savior.” 

Hebrews 1:2-3 New International Version (NIV)

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Main Mandir hoon Tera – I am a Temple of the Holy Spirit by Anil Kant

This is a beautiful Hindi Song by Anil Kant. The words of the song mean that I am a Temple of the Holy Spirit, which dwells within me.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

John 14:26 King James Version (KJV)

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

My Shoe Shine Miracle 2 Years ago on the streets of Bombay!

I was walking on the sidewalk, from Sterling Cinema theatre, (where my nephew works) to the Kotak Bank, on P.M. Road. This was more out of necessity than any desire on my part.

Let me explain – Taxi Driver’s are loathe to drive short distances, as they don’t make much of a profit. The sweltering heat, and the afternoon sun, we’re almost intolerable. So reluctantly I decided to walk it to the bank.

I was slowly meandering towards my destination, when lo and behold I noticed shoe shine guys on the pavement, and even as I was walking, I made a mental note, to get my shoes shined, because I hadn’t had them shined by these guys in a long time.

As I was walking my eyes strangely came in contact with this old man, with a bekoning look on his face. I just had to stop for one. He cheerfully reminded me that it would only cost me Rs. 20 (roughly 30 cents).

As he was shining my shoes, I was wondering how this old chap was surviving on only a few shoe shines a day. I was strangely compelled to share my testimony about how Jesus had transformed my life, and I urged him to trust in him.

I payed him Rs. 50 which seemed like a big Bonanza to him, and he was instantly beaming from ear to ear.(I had made his day!). I told him that he could probably get a Bible in Tamil, just a few steps away from the Bible Society Shop.

I began to quickly walk away ( before I would start weeping) and the holy spirit started dealing with me, nudging me to have done some more. I turned back and bought him a New Testament Bible in Tamil, walked up to him and gave it. I urged him to read it.

This afternoon almost a week later, ran into him on my way to the bank. I noticed a strange glow about him. He immediately recognised me, and wanted to touch my feet and kinda worship me.

I just grabbed his hand and prayed the Good Lord would fill him with his Holy Spirit.Wonder if one day I will meet him in Heaven, and he would tell me how he was gloriously saved and delivered out of poverty! O, what a glorious day that would be!

Most people believe they are pretty good. So are you a good person?

No one is good enough to go to heaven. All of us deserve to go to hell. But what God did was amazing in that we don’t have to get what we deserve (hell), and we also can have what we don’t deserve (heaven).

Around 2,000 years ago, God gave us His Son, who lived a perfect life. He was mistreated by evil people around Him, and He went to court and was punished for things He did not do. But when He went to court, and was punished for the things He did not do, He did it for us, so that we would not have to be punished for our sins.

Of course, we might have a good understanding of what Jesus did when He died on the Cross to take the punishment for our sins, but if we have never responded to God by repenting of our sins, and putting our trust in Jesus Christ as our sin bearer, it will do us no good.

We have to respond to God and the message of the Gospel. We must turn to God and be forgiven of our sins.

We commit sins every time we break God’s Commandments. God will punish every sin we have committed. When we die and stand before God, we will see our sins. If we die in our sins, we will go to hell to be eternally punished. That is bad news…

But the Good News is that Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins. He was buried in a tomb and on the third day he arose from the dead.

He is alive today and will return to the world to collect those who belong to Him.

All others will be left behind. All those who have died already, who are in Christ will be raised from the dead and will go to be with the Lord.

The ones left behind will await God’s judgment and will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. On That Day, Jesus will either be your Advocate, or He will be your Adversary. Which one will He be for you?

What is Syncretism and why is it strictly forbidden in the Bible? – The Subtle Sin of Syncretism

2 Kings 17:30-33 The men from Baby-lon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 

They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.2 Kings 17:39-41 Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies. They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.


Syncretism is the fusion of different forms of practice or belief. Syncretism is not a sin when biblical truth and moral standards are not involved. The fact that Mexican culture and American culture are so intertwined that tacos are just as American as Mexican is syncretism, but it is not sinful syncretism.

The fact that baseball is just as much Japanese as American and the martial arts are now as American as Asian is syncretism, but it is not sinful syncretism. However, when vestiges of pagan religions and unbiblical beliefs and practices are mixed in and fused with the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is not only syncretism—it is sinful syncretism.Sinful syncretism is subtle.

It doesn’t happen overnight. Changes usually occur slowly and insidiously. Little by little the culture drifts away from God and His standards. This is exactly what happened in the 8th century B.C. when the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians. The sinful syncretism that resulted is a lesson from history for growing Christians today.

Background Notes

King Hoshea was the last of the 19 kings who ruled over the northern kingdom of Israel. After assassinating King Pekah in 732BC (2 Kings 15:28), Hosea reigned from the capital city of Samaria until 722BC, when the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrian Empire. In 2 Kings 17:2 we read that King Hosea “did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.” 

This does not necessarily mean that Hoshea was more righteous than the other 19 kings of the northern kingdom. It may mean that he couldn’t promote the calf worship (which was established 200 years earlier by Jeroboam I) because the calf idol had already been removed from Bethel by the Assyrians.

This had been predicted by the prophet Hosea back in the days of prosperous King Jeroboam II. (See Hosea 10:5-6.)Shalmaneser V of Assyria forced Hoshea to pay annual tribute or taxes (v3). After making a treaty with Egypt, however, Hoshea refused to pay the tribute to Assyria. This treaty failed to provide protection for Israel, and Shalmaneser invaded and besieged the heavily fortified capital for 3 years (725-722BC).

The city of Samaria finally fell to Sargon II, Shalmaneser’s successor. According to Assyrian records which were found by archaeologists, Sargon carried 27,290 Israeli captives into exile and resettled them in Assyria. They never returned from captivity.

Doctrinal Points1. Rebellion against God leads to captivity.

Verses 17-23 explain why God allowed the downfall and captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel. Instead of gettingrid of all the pagan practices that had infiltrated the land given to them by the Lord, Israel adopted the idols, the pagan rituals, and the false gods behind them. They broke all the commandments of the Mosaic covenant. They “sold themselves” to the worshipof the golden calves (v16). They becameinvolved in astrology, sorcery and other occult practices.

They even practiced the horrible pagan ritual of sacrificing their children “in the fire” to false pagan gods (v17).In His grace, God sent warnings to His people to forsake their evil ways. He allowed foreign powers to plunder and afflict them. He sent prophets to speak His message and plead with His people to repent, forsake their false gods, and turn back to Him. But they “persisted in all the sins… and did not turn away from them… so the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria”(v22-23).

Rebellion against God leads to captivity.This truth is just as true today as it was in 722BC. People think that they can gain personal fulfillment by ignoring or “reinterpreting” God’s moral standards in order to free themselves of any restraint. But ironically, the very opposite is true. Unwittingly, people who rebel against God become captives to their sin and to Satan. 

Ephesians 2:1-3 makes an unbeliever’s situation very clear: unbelievers are dead in sin and captives of Satan. “You were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.

Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”However, even Christians who rebel against God become captives of the enemy in certain areas of their lives! Christians can gradually stray away from the Lord into sin in the areas of false doctrine, or undue emphasis on worldly security, or various types of immoral sexual practice.

It’s possible that both unbelievers and rebellious believers are in view in 2 Timothy 2:25-26, where Paul urged Timothy to instruct these people, “in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 

Rebellion against God leads to captivity.2. Rebellion against God leads to syncretism. 

Syncretism is the fusion of different forms of belief or practice. In 2 Kings 17:24-41 we read that the Assyrians not only took some of the people of Israel away to Assyria as captives, but they repopulated the land with peoples from other areas of the Assyrian Empire.Intermarriage took place, and this mixed race became known as the “Samaritans.” This was the origin of the Samaritan people, who are mentioned in the New Testament at the time of Christ and the apostles, and who are still in existence today in north central Israel.

The fusion that took place between the people of Israel and the foreign settlers was not just the physical fusion of intermarriage. A fusion of religion took place as well. The Jewish people who were left in Israel should have returned to the Lord and taught the Law of God to the new residents. Instead, they joined in the worship of the foreign gods that the new settlers brought to the land.

Because of Israel’s worship of false gods, the Lord allowed lions to come down from the hills and kill some of the new residents of Samaria. When the king of Assyria heard this, he decided to placate the “god of the land” by ordering that one of the priests who had been taken captive be sent back to teach the people what “the god of the land requires” (v27). Unfortunately this “priest” had most likely been a priest who had served at the golden calf shrine established by Jeroboam I at Bethel, and thus was neither willing nor able to teach anyone what the Law of God required.

As a result, religious syncretism took place. “They worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines of the high places. They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods” (v32-33). This was a direct violation of the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Rebellion against God leads to sinful syncretism—then and today.In many countries around the world today we can find religious syncretism—a fusion of Christianity and vestiges of pagan religions.

Why? Because of rebellion against the First Commandment. Other gods were not completely removed. For example, festivals for pagan gods or seasonal revelries were “christianized” to allow “traditional” or “ethnic” sinful celebrations to continue. This is the subtle sin of syncretism at work.

Practical ApplicationWatch out for syncretism in your own life!

Syncretism has a “ripple-down” effect. What’s forbidden in one generation is tolerated by the culture in the next generation and becomes acceptable and part of the culture in the followinggeneration. The negative aspects of syncretism become less noticeable, and a practice which is not acceptable to the Lord becomes more acceptable by Christians as time goes by.Let’s take a familiar example.

What does Christmas mean to you? Is it a profusion of gifts and Christmas trees and parties and decorated homes—and also a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ? Are you practicing a form of syncretism?Let’s ask ourselves what our words and actions signal to our children and grandchildren and our unsaved friends. Are we reflecting a message of truth, or a mixed and confusing message?

Is the birth of Jesus Christ and the astounding truth of the Incarnation fused with the materialism of our culture? While gift-giving and holiday decor are not wrong in themselves, excess in these areas can drown out the message of “Immanuel,” that is “God with us.” We must be clear in our own minds so that we are able to pass on the unadulterated truth to the next generation, and give a clear witness to our friends and colleagues.

Another example of syncretism is the insidious fusion of Christianity with the “culture of success.” Satan has effectively used the “success syndrome” to undermine Christians in our country. It’s easy to rationalize our desire to be “successful.” Our culture says, “If you’re not prosperous and affluent, you’re a nobody, and who wants to listen to a nobody?” Or, “the more money you have, the more you can give to the Lord.”

And a variety of TV preachers tell us that “God wants His children to be healthy and wealthy.”However, 1 Timothy 6 teaches that “people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (v9-10). And notice that these verses don’t apply to unbelievers only! Look at the end of verse 10: “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus very pointedly taught that mixing God and materialism is impossible. “You cannot serve both God and Money.” What “god” do I serve?We need to ask ourselves—what message am I communicating to my neighbors? To my coworkers? To my family? Are the desires and goals for my life any different than an unbeliever? What are my aspirations and goals for my children?

Is my emphasis on financial security and desire for personal possessions sending a mixed message of syncretism to the next generation? How will the ripple-down effect of syncretism in my life affect the next generation?Spiritrual syncretism is insidious and disastrous. Watch out for syncretism in your own life!

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Can my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds and I make it to Heaven?

Some Parsi friends of mine have made up this death certifi-cate just for fun! However notice the circled part. I think they truly believe that if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds they will make it to Heaven.

So can your Good Deeds outweighing your Bad Deeds help you to make it to Heaven?

When it comes to being saved, good deeds do not matter – simply because no one is good enough. This verse tells us clearly that we are saved apart from any good deeds: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). The salvation referred to here is that of faith making us righteous. Our good deeds could never give us a righteous standing before God.

Furthermore, good deeds are useless when it comes to escaping any punishment for crimes. For instance, if you were convicted of first-degree murder, it wouldn’t matter how many good deeds you’ve done. You must be punished for murder. Similarly, we’ve broken God’s laws, so we must be punished. That’s why we believe on Jesus – because he bore the punishment in our place.

Nevertheless, good deeds enter in when it comes to growing in faith. These good deeds are of an entirely different character than the deeds before salvation. Before we confessed faith in Christ, we acted out of personal decency and when it was advantageous to us. The gospel tells us, however, that despite all our good behavior, we were bound for @#!*% . When we acknowledged that truth and turned to Christ to save us, we saw our deeds in a new light – as directed by us and not God.

Because we acknowledge that our former way of life apart from God was sinful, we turn to the Word to learn how to live in a way that pleases God. That is a new motivation that we never had before. It gives rise to its own character of good deeds.

The Bible has much to say about good deeds. First, they are deeds reflecting a believer’s response to God as a servant of God. The Lord commands, and it’s our duty to obey (Luke 17:10). In the end, when our Master returns, we must give him an account of our service. At that point our deeds will be judged as to whether they’re worthy of a reward or not. If we are judged faithful, we will be handsomely rewarded.

Second, the good deeds Christians do will prove that they are taking their salvation seriously. Christians who persist in disobedience cut themselves off from many blessings in this life, and will forfeit some everlasting rewards for the time to come.

Third, good deeds, those which we do in faith and obedience, and those directed against sin, preserves our relationship with God. They show that we are holy, that is, set apart for God’s use in this world. Other reasons for good deeds exist as well, including the fact that God works through men and women who have yielded to him. Good deeds from such are God working through them in love. Through their faithful representation, the world can see what God is like.

What Do You Think?

a. If a man is on trial for first-degree murder, why should his good deeds matter? In the same way, if God has condemned the unbeliever for his bad deeds, why should his good deeds prevail?

b. If someone hurt you badly and destroyed his relationship with you, would you feel better if that person started doing good deeds in another area of the world? Why should that restore your relationship? In the same way, why should our good deeds restore a relationship with God if we continue to have nothing to do with God?

c. What religion practices the idea of good deeds outweighing bad deeds? Why would you have confidence in the truth of that system?

Why should a Hindu consider becoming a Christian?

As a Hindu, you have great rever-ence for your sacred scriptures. You believe in one Supreme Being, worlds beyond this world, and the cycle of life that includes reincarnation. You accept belief in karma and respect for other faiths. As a Hindu, it is likely important to you to learn more about the worlds beyond this world and to better understand what takes place the moment after your life ends in this existence.

For example, will you reincarnate into another life form, will your spirit simply cease to exist, or does heaven or hell await? This important question is worthy of attention, as the consequences affect this life and could be eternal. It would be unwise to say such a discussion is unworthy or unimportant.

Where can we find answers about life after this existence? Hindu scriptures from the Vedas offer some assistance to Hindus. Yet the Christian faith offers a more comprehensive understanding from the Bible, a book revealed by the Creator God. Let us consider its teachings for a moment on the question of what happens after we die.

The Bible teaches: “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

On what basis does this judgment take place? While many religions teach that a person must follow certain rules or rituals to achieve God’s favor, the Bible is clear that no person can live up to God’s standards to win His favor. Every person has sinned or done wrong things and is therefore imperfect and separated from God. Romans 3:23 notes, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory [or perfection] of God.” Our sins make us deserving of eternal separation from God: “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Did you catch that last part of the verse? Our sins deserve death, but God offers us a free gift! What is this free gift of God? It is eternal life. God offers a perfect eternity with Him after this life, but it is not automatic. To receive God’s gift of eternal life, we must believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ. John 3:16 teaches, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus, God incarnate, was sinless and He died as a sacrifice for our sins. He then rose again from the dead, proving He is God and conquering the power of sin and death. Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

How can you believe in Jesus and receive this eternal life? It is not contingent on any of your works; receiving Jesus as Savior is by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” God’s grace, or undeserved favor, changes our lives. When we believe in Jesus, not only are we welcomed into Heaven when we die, we experience meaning and purpose in life on earth. And all of this is a free gift, based on the work of Jesus and not on our works!

Are you willing to place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive this free gift of eternal life? You can do so right now. There is no special prayer or formula to follow. Remember Romans 10:9? All that is required is that “you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, [and] you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). If you believe in Jesus, you can confess this to Him through prayer. The following is a sample of how you might pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior:

“Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son who died in my place and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life.”

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please click on the “I have accepted Christ today” button below.

What do Hindus believe? What is Hinduism?

Does the Bible say anything about karma?

Is reincarnation biblical?

Why won’t being a good person get me to heaven?

Is it true that Jesus is the only way to heaven?

My Picture in Seventh Grade at St. Xavier’s High School in Mumbai (Bombay)

This is my picture from Seventh Grade in St. Xavier’s High School in Bombay. Can you tell where I am in that Picture? Wow isn’t God totally awesome!!

The Video below is surreal, and gives me goosebumps. I was 11 years old then and did not know Jesus. But he still had his hand on me even then! Jesus saves to the Uttermost!This brings tears to my eyes!! “Oh what a Saviour!”

Please watch this video below:
150 Year Celebration of St. Xavier’s High School

I Raise a Hallelujah, my weapon is a Melody! Sung in Hindi!!

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (Sing a little louder)
Let’s sing a little louder (Let’s sing a little louder)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder (In the presence of my enemies)
Sing a little louder (Louder than the unbelief)
Sing a little louder (My weapon is a melody)
Let’s sing a little louder (Heaven comes to fight for me)
Sing a little louder!!

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!
Oh, I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah!

Just begin to raise your own hallelujah
I can’t do it for you
There’s a song written on your heart only you can sing
And when you sing enemies flee
When you sing prison walls come falling down
When you sing heaven invades the earth
So just begin to lift up your hallelujah
Raise it like a banner
Raise it like a flag
Raise it in the middle of the storm
Let it rise, let it rise
Like a symphony to the King
Everything to You, Jesus
We raise it all
Sing a little louder!

I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah
I raise a hallelujah (In the presence of my enemies)
I raise a hallelujah (Louder than the unbelief)
I raise a hallelujah (My weapon is a melody)
I raise a hallelujah (Heaven comes to fight for me)

I Raise a Hallelujah My Weapon is a Melody (English)

If Reincarnation is not true, why do some people remember their past lives?

Question: “If reincar-nation is not true, why do some people re-member their past lives?”

Answer: While the Bible never addresses reincarnation specifically, it is clear that the biblical model of life, death, and afterlife is incompatible with any form of reincarnation as posited in religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and certain New Age or Neo-Pagan belief systems.

In Hebrews 9:27-28, we are told that “just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” This passage alone appears to eliminate the possibility of remembering past lives/reincarnation.

Along the same lines, in Luke 23:43 Jesus tells the thief on the cross that he will be with Christ in paradise that very day, which assumes that the man will not be reincarnated back into earthly life. Similarly, passages such as James 4:14, which discuss the temporal nature of human life, are inconsistent with a reincarnationist idea of living earthly lives over and over for centuries, millennia, or all eternity.

On top of all this, if human souls were reincarnated over and over, then how could some people in the Bible see the spirits of long-dead people, like Moses being seen by the apostles in Matthew 17:3 during the transfiguration of Christ?

But what are we to do with those who claim they have memories of their past lives/reincarnation experience? The first and perhaps most important question we should ask is whether or not these “memories” are genuine. Human memory is notoriously unreliable (just ask any lawyer or detective), and people frequently misremember things, believing they remember things that never actually happened or not remembering things that did happen.

In the case of those claiming to remember their past lives, one can easily imagine them mis-remembering images from TV shows or movies, mental fantasies from books they read years earlier, or mistaking dreams for genuine memories. How can we know with any certainty that their past-life memories are not one of these things?

Is it really more logical to assume that their memories are genuinely from past lives rather than one of these other things? While some modern “past-life experts” claim to find evidence for reincarnation by connecting things like phobias and physical ailments in currently living people with traumatic events in past lives, the past-life “experts” are assuming the existence of a past-life (or past-lives) in explaining current health problems, not showing that those past lives actually happened.

The fact of the matter is that there is simply no solid, scientifically acceptable evidence that the memories of past lives claimed by some people are genuine, rather than mis-remembered events or simply make-believe.

Ultimately, the question comes down to whether we will find truth in the unreliable minds and memories of fallen and fallible human beings or from the timeless, holy Word of God. Christians can confidently assert that reincarnation is not a possibility for the human soul; when this life ends, our eternity in the afterlife begins.

Remembering Past Lives

Is Jesus the Only way? Isn’t this the height of arrogance?


One of the most common accusations flung at Christians is that they are arrogant. “How can you believe that you’re right and Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims—all the thousands of other religions—are wrong?” Isn’t it the height of arrogance to claim that Jesus is the way to God? A way, possibly. But the way?

This issue haunts many Christians and makes us reluctant to talk about our faith. We don’t want to appear arrogant, bigoted, or intolerant. This pluralistic view of religions thrives very easily in places like Canada or Europe where tolerance is valued above everything else. It’s very easy slip from the true claim—”all people have equal value”—to the false claim that “all ideas have equal merit.” But those are two very different ideas indeed.

Let’s take a brief look at the “all religions are essentially the same” idea. Suppose I say that I’ve just got into literature in a big way. This last year, I’ve read William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and Tolkien, but also Harry Potter and The Very Hungry Caterpillar—and I’ve concluded that every author is identical.

Would you conclude that: (a) this is the most profound statement on literature you’ve ever heard? Or would you conclude (b) that I don’t have the first clue what I’m talking about? I suggest that you’d probably choose (b). Now, what about the statement “all religions are the same”? Doesn’t it likewise suggest that the person making it hasn’t actually looked into any of them?

Because once you do, you realize it’s not that most religions are fundamentally the same with superficial differences but the reverse is the case: most religions have superficial similarities with fundamental differences.

A further problem with the idea that all religions are essentially the same is that it ignores a fundamental truth about reality: ideas have consequences. What you believe matters, because it will effect what you do.

To claim that all religions are essentially the same is to say that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere—and this neglects the fact that you can believe something sincerely and be sincerely wrong. Hitler held his beliefs with sincerity—that doesn’t make them true.

However, truth, by its very nature, is exclusive. If it is true, as Christianity claims, that Jesus was crucified, died, and rose from the dead, then it is not true, as Islam claims, that Jesus never died in the first place and that somebody else was killed in His place. Both claims cannot be true. Truth is exclusive.

But just because truth is exclusive, that doesn’t make truth cold and uncaring. Truth for the Christian is personal. The Jesus who said “I am the only way” also said “I am the truth.” In other words, ultimate truth is not a set of propositions but a person. As the Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:12, “I know whom I have believed.” Not what I have believed or experienced but whom. Jesus Christ.

To ask why we think that Jesus Christ is the only way is to miss the point entirely. Jesus does not compete with anybody. Nobody else in history made the claims He did; nobody else in history claimed to be able to deal with the problems of the human heart like He did. Nobody else in history claimed, as He did, to be God with us. To say that we believe Jesus is the only way should have nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with introducing people to Him.

—Andy Bannister
(Andy is a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Toronto, Canada.)

What does the Bible say about Re-incarnation?

Question: “What does the Bible say about reincarnation?”

The concept of reincarnation is completely without foundation in the Bible, which clearly tells us that we die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The Bible never mentions people having a second chance at life or coming back as different people or animals.

Jesus told the criminal on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), not “You will have another chance to live a life on this earth.” Matthew 25:46 specifically tells us that believers go on to eternal life while unbelievers go onto eternal punishment. Reincarnation has been a popular belief for thousands of years, but it has never been accepted by Christians or followers of Judaism because it is contradictory to Scripture.

The one passage that some point to as evidence for reincarnation is Matthew 17:10-12 which links John the Baptist with Elijah. However, the passage does not say that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated but that he would have fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah’s coming if the people had believed his words and thereby believed in Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 17:12). The people specifically asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah, and he said, “No, I am not” (John 1:21).

Belief in reincarnation is an ancient phenomenon and is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as HinduismSikhism, and Jainism. Many modern pagans also believe in reincarnation as do some New Age movements, along with followers of spiritism. For the Christian, however, there can be no doubt: reincarnation is unbiblical and must be rejected as false.

What does the Bible say about Re-incarnation?

What does the Bible say about Transmigration of Souls?