Is there a true religion? Is there a true faith? Is there any real way to know? It should be possible to know and it is possible to check. This is a simple guide to genuine Christianity.
10 Ways to know if you are looking at the true faith.
The Bible is the only reliable guide to God. The Bible contains the simple answer to the question of the true faith. For God to allow Truth to disappear is unthinkable. Clearly a God who inspired the writing of the Bible and who has infinite power and wisdom would not leave us in doubt as to truth. Happily the Bible directs us to the truth. In simple terms this discussion presents the answers that will help us shine a light on different faiths and arrive at a conclusion.
There are 10 major identifying features of a true faith. These are drawn from the Bible. [2 Timothy 3:16,17 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for evaluating, for correction, for training in doing right, in order that the man of God may be a complete, rounded out and fit for every fine work.]
Does your faith use God’s personal name Jehovah?
Does your faith represent Jehovah as the One True God?
Does your faith respect the Bible?
Does your faith avoid making false predictions and watch for Elijah and the greater works ahead?
Does your faith teach and preach that God’s Kingdom is Coming?
Does your faith express love for others regardless of different faiths and races?
Does your faith ask you to live an honest upright life?
Does your faith ask you to call on God’s Spirit to assist you to make changes in your life?
Do those taking the lead in your faith seek fame or maintain a low profile and humility?
Does your faith give freely not chasing financial support?
Use of God’s name
The word God is a title. The Bible shows that God did not simply use a title with mankind. He used His personal name. Originally found as the Tetragrammaton in ancient manuscripts [meaning 4 letters] the name is liberally used in the Bible. This name is translated into English as either Yahweh or Jehovah. The most common translation is Jehovah. Since God invites us to use His name in prayer to Him it is disrespectful not to do so. The use of God’s name in a respectful manner is one of the 10 major identifying features of the true faith. [Psalm 83:18 All must know it is you alone that are named Jehovah, are the one high over all the earth.] Use of God’s name alone is not the only identifying factor of the true faith as was illustrated in the first century when the Jews used God’s name and yet were an apostate nation. But it is one of the identifying features of genuine Christianity. When searching for a faith be sure to recognise the importance of using God’s name Jehovah.
Do not misrepresent God
The Bible tells us that God alone is eternal. He is not a creation. That God expresses so much love and understanding that He effectively ‘Is Love.’ Jesus by his words and actions revealed the ways and personality of God. God is not a trinity. God is not a vengeful personality. Jehovah perfectly balances His key qualities of Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power so that they are always kept in perfect balance and harmony. God is the Father, the Creator, The One alone who has always been and will always be. When a mother nurses a child we see qualities received from God in the loving tender protective care. Indeed, we can see many qualities of God in creation from His awesome power to His attention to detail. In turn the Bible is a written record of His dealings and His purpose. It reveals a Father separated from His creation by the choice of man’s spokesperson Adam and yet determined to re-connect with the human family and rescue them from the results of Adam’s choices. Jehovah is awesome in every way. [1 John 4:8 He who does not love never got to know God, because God is love.]
Respect for the Bible and the Bible’s teachings
The Bible is God’s Inspired word. It is God’s thoughts and purpose shared with man. It provides glimpses into accounts that are mostly incomplete as to detail and yet in many ways revealing about God. In broad brush strokes it paints a picture of many situations where Gods actions reveal aspects of His personality. In some accounts there is a lot of detail added showing that God wants us to focus on these accounts: for example, the Gospel accounts regarding Jesus where there are repeated accounts showing that these are especially important. Jesus expressed profound respect for God’s word. In like manner, where the Bible states clearly Jehovah’s view on a matter we show respect for the Bible and its teachings when we respect God’s view on the subject. While acknowledging the fact that there is some slight mistranslation as to some wording in some texts and some slight exaggeration has slipped into the occasional Bible verse, [such as Genesis chapter 7] genuine Christians have profound respect for God’s word. They do not suggest that portions of the Bible presented as history are in fact myths. They respect the fact that the Bible indicates whether the account is a parable, story, a myth or actual history. People of genuine faith allow God to set the standards for life.
No false prophecies. Simply press on in preaching and prepare for Elijah knowing a great work is about to begin
Both in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures, both under the law and in the words of Jesus, the Bible condemns false prophecy. False prophecies create misplaced hope or fear and misrepresent Jehovah. Jesus himself described the fact that false prophets would exist in the time period leading up to his return in Kingdom Power. Thus, when individuals or organizations make prophecies or promises that they simply cannot fulfill and that are proven to be inaccurate and false this should sound a clear warning to anyone genuinely searching for the true faith. Indeed, some religious organizations do adhere very closely to the Scripture while at the same time they have a history of making false prophecies, and yet some can change as is indicated in Malachi and the prophecy regarding Elijah. Malachi reveals that a modern day Elijah will herald the conclusion of the times of the end. Rather than make false predilections, the true religion or true congregation will prepare for the arrival of Elijah and embrace the direction at that time. Malachi 4;5 “Here, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the coming of Jehovah’s great and terrible day, And he will turn the hearts of fathers back toward sons, and the hearts of sons back toward fathers, so that I may not come and strike the earth, devoting it to destruction.”
Preaching the good news of the coming kingdom
Jesus repeatedly compared himself to a man setting off to secure a kingdom. That he would return in Kingdom Power and that all would see his return. When teaching the Lord’s Prayer, we are told that Jesus asked us to pray the words ‘let your kingdom come.’ Clearly, the message about the kingdom is that it is coming. The good new of the kingdom is the good news that the kingdom is coming. The ‘Good News’ that Jesus said must be proclaimed is the good news of the incoming kingdom that will replace human rule with God’s rule and restore this earth and its people to perfection. This message has been consistent through Scripture. The apostle Paul acknowledged that even Abraham looked forward to ‘the city having real foundations – or God’s kingdom’ and that this is the thing towards which all mankind is striving. The hope of Scripture is God’s incoming kingdom and this clear Bible message needs to be understood. God’s kingdom is coming and when it arrives will address all the faulty conditions and problems that exist on the earth today.
Express love for others regardless of different faiths and races
In the account of the good Samaritan Jesus highlighted the fact that the person proves themselves to be a good neighbor by showing love to others. The good Samaritan is the genuine neighbor to the Jew regardless of the fact that this Samaritan had one faith and the Jew had another. They were of different races. The Christian teaching involves love to others regardless of race or faith. There were a number of instances where Jesus extended his ministry to people of Roman birth and others despite the fact that he was primarily commissioned to preach to the Jews. Jesus did not withhold his love from people of other faiths. It is true that when Jesus saw rank hypocrisy, he did on occasion speak his mind and condemn deep-seated hypocrites but in general we see a picture of a man who expressed love for others regardless. In the original promise to Abraham God promised that people of all nations would gain a blessing as a result of his purpose. Therefore, love is not partial as far as race or religion is concerned and ultimately at Christ’s return this love will be demonstrated on a very complete scale.
Live wholesome honest lives
There are many examples in the gospel accounts that show that when people responded to Jesus teaching, they were willing to change their lives and become honest and upright citizens. For example, the tax collectors that listened to Jesus and accepted the Christian message were willing to change their way of life and even repay the monies that they had acquired dishonestly. A person who responds to the Christian teaching chooses to leave behind dishonest and unwholesome practices. At creation mankind was provided with a conscience or a sense of right and wrong that can excuse or condemn. When a person takes on the Christian faith they request God for a good conscience that helps them to avoid wrong and have a clear sense of right and wrong to help them to avoid faulty decisions and danger.
Allow God’s Spirit to make changes to their personalities
God’s Holy Spirit is a powerful force. It is the force behind creation and it is a force that can be demonstrated in a person’s life. A person who is baptized is baptized in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit thereby acknowledging the roles that each individual in the list fulfills. The Father being God Almighty, the Son being the son of God and the ruler of the kingdom and the Holy Spirit being God’s force in action. A person who submits to God’s Holy Spirit in their lives invites God to help them to adjust their view and outlook on life. Lives become happier when a person is willing to be guided into God’s word and into a relationship with God as a result of the active effect of God’s Holy Spirit. Jesus himself said that the Holy Spirit searches into deep things and is able to reveal to those who have the blessing of the spirit much beyond his own spoken words during his ministry. The first century Christians were willing to submit to the leading is of God’s spirit. When a person prays for God spirit to help them to accomplish God’s will in their lives and to be a friend of God then Jehovah will generously pour out the spirit upon a person and assist them to move beyond human thinking to godly thinking.
Do not claim special honors or privileges and titles
Jesus made it clear to the apostles that they were not to be like the religious leaders of the first century. The religious leaders of the first century created titles for themselves and special honors or privileges. They expected to be given special treatment. The apostles were encouraged to be humble. To teach the apostles this lesson, on the night that Jesus died, he washed their feet taking the role of the humblest servant. This was not mere play acting but rather an indication of what should genuinely exist among Christians. Rather than bestowing upon themselves any special honor or titles, genuine Christians avoid drawing attention to themselves. In the first century some Christians were appointed as overseers to care for organizational matters involving small groups of Christians in different cities. Overseers were not to be proud or haughty or to Lord themselves over other members of any Christian group.
Following this rule those who take the lead in dispensing spiritual food in the last days do not draw attention to themselves and their names are generally unknown. Thus, Bible students, though enjoying Jehovah’s blessing and having been given insight and understanding into Scripture are perfectly content to have a degree of anonymity. All honor and glory belong to Jehovah and if Bible students have shared with others the gleanings from the Scripture they have only done what they ought to have done as humble servants of God.
People of real faith freely share what they know
Jesus did not charge for his services. The first century apostles traveled from city to city and though they did receive some financial support in the form of donations they did not put any financial burden upon their fellow believers. The fact is that people of genuine faith are often moved to provide financial support to the Bible students, and this is deeply appreciated. At the same time however the Bible students make no petition or request for support. On this site for example there is an option to donate if you wish to do so but absolutely no pressure whatsoever to do so. The Bible students share what they know free and you can have access to this website at any time free of charge.
What is the True Religion?
So what is the true faith? It is Christianity practiced at home and free of the religious customs and ideologies found in organized religions. It inspires people to want to share the good news with others. Following the pattern of the Christ people live upright honest lives. As we await the incoming Kingdom under Christ in which all things will be made right we draw close to our God Jehovah and respectfully worship him.