How Do We Know Christianity Is True?
With all the religions and beliefs in the world today, how do we know that Christianity is really the truth?
To some degree, this is a fair question to ask.
It is fair when we are looking at it within view of not wanting to be led astray, and it is fair when we question whether one group of people/religion is trying to be superior to another.
I also say “to some degree” because a great portion of this question can be rooted within unbelief and the hardness of heart in which man walks against God. Rather than face the truth of our unbelieving hearts, we choose to deny the truth about God, and seek any means for this denial, rather than against it. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Rom 1:18)
In asking this question, the motivations in a person’s heart can be mixed at best, and at worst, people ask this question with a desire to deny the truth of the Bible and Christianity, and thereby the right claim that God has upon our lives. And it is often this motivation, this hard-heartedness, that is trying to make some accusation against God.
So, firstly, let’s examine our hearts about why we are asking this question, and what we hope would be the answer. Is there ever really a point at which we will believe the truth and obey it? Or are all our questions springing from a motivation of passive curiosity, a delight in pointless arguments, or to fight for unbelief? The motivation in our questions is what we must look at firstly.
But let’s go back to the question at hand, and the answer to consider. When we ask how one religion could claim to be exclusively true, we are often looking at the differences between people and saying, “Well how can one person claim to be better than another? How can one religion or group of people claim superiority over another?”
When we say this, we are understanding something that is partially true, even if we don’t fully know what we are understanding: That there is injustice and oppression when man tries to lord over another, and there is only goodness, health, and peace when there is equality between all people. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28) There is great evil when a person tries to have conceit over another person. This is true.
The problem is that we are putting something that is true, in the wrong place. We are mixing something that is true with a lie. For while this is true about man and man, this is not the same as God and man. The relationship of man and man must be equal: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) Yet we are meant to relate to God within the different framework of God and man, Creator and created, Lord and servant, Father and child. Where our fellow man is beside us, the Lord is before us and above us; He is first: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29-30)
This point is essential to understanding why we can know that Christianity is true while other religions are not, because we must realize that God has the right to reveal Himself plainly to us, and to reveal Himself as He chooses. Our duty as man is to obey what God has revealed. Rather than preaching ideas that are a product of our own minds and expecting others to obey our wills, Christianity is of God’s will, from God’s own mouth about who He is, what is true, and what is required of man. The Lord has spoken to us through His Word, and He has spoken to us by sending His Son to us.
Therefore in the claim of Christianity being the one true religion, we must see that this is not a claim of man but of God Himself. When people walk in response to this Word of God, they are not doing so from some sort of self authority, but in submission to God’s authority. We are simply following God, who makes these claims, the God who alone has the right to tell man what is true/false, right and wrong. Again, God has the right to this authority. It is only the sinful mind within man that tries to deny God His right in this.
The reason we can know and believe that the Bible is true and Christianity is the one true religion, is because God, not man, has said so. “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thess 2:13) “Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)
It is true that when man tries to force some authority upon others out of his own mind and heart, this is evil, and sadly at times there have been those who have tried to carry out their own wills in the abuse of God’s name. It is not wrong to hate this self in the middle of such people’s claims. But it is still great sin to try and reject the authority of God because of the sins of such people. If we think about it, we are so indignant at such people because we know that they are abusing God’s name for their own ends, yet many of us never complete the circle on this thought. Does it not lead us to see that people do not deserve the right to command us in how to live, but that God, being untouched by the corruption of man, does have this right? That, as we reject evil, we should then turn to cling to what is good? Sadly, what man does today instead is entirely hypocritical. He says that no “person” has the right to command him in how to live, and then he just runs out in his own ideas of how to live, making his own grab at authority.
The world sets itself up against God. It claims to care for tolerance of all people, when in reality, it is continuing to set up its own “authority of man” to be obeyed, the very thing they claim to hate and reject.
Christians, however, believe in the authority of God. And those who are sincere, pure, and humble in their faith are not following their own ideas about things, but are daily seeking to conform themselves to the will of God. They live after God’s will rather than their own will. And we believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of God because… He has said that it is, and we believe Him. The Lord has sworn by Himself. And His authority, behind the Scriptures, is the proof that they are truly the Word of God (John 5:24)
The challenge for all of mankind is to look at the Word of God, setting aside all our biases, frustrations, fears, and ideas, and to honestly ask if this is God’s authority. Many people say they examine the Word of God to see if it’s true, but they do so from pride (Job 35:12), from a desire for unbelief, and such a person will never glean anything from God’s Word. But if we are willing to set down what we like/don’t like, want/don’t want, and will truly humble ourselves before God and say, “Lord, if this is truly Your Word, please help me to see it and believe it. If this is Your Word, then I must obey You, please help me to do so.” Then that humble, honest, and seeking prayer will lead a person to discover God’s authority for themselves.
These questions about God’s Word can only be answered if we begin to have integrity before God. How many lay out these accusations about the Bible and refuse to believe, when they have never honestly searched it? How many have neglected so great a salvation because they refuse to apply themselves? (Heb 2:3) If there is even a chance that this is truly the Word of God, and all of God’s warnings are as true as Scripture reveals, then what sort of concern should we all have for our own souls! Are you really so eager to gamble your own soul?
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
August 31, 2021