Salvation According to the Major Faiths of the World

 

In the following descriptions, there has been listed below, the salvation offered according to the major faiths 0f the world:

Hinduism: A polytheistic faith that promotes the notion that a persons station in this life was determined by how that person conducted themselves in a previous life.  Therefore, people who are perceived as being in the lower social strata are judged as having done misdeeds in their past life. Conversely, the more privileged earned their position by being good in the past life. These series of reincarnations, determined by ones karma, have a purpose. If a person can live a series of good lifetimes they will eventually become one with the creator deity Brahma. The other two major Hindu deities Vishnu and Siva also play a part in this process. Vishnu the preserver comes to earth in human form through the ages to inspire the faithful where Siva the destroyer ensures that souls continue to enter the cycle of reincarnation. Therefore, good works allows one to climb the caste system until a Hindu gets off the wheel of rebirth and becomes one with Brahma.

 
Buddhism: Sidartha Gatama was born into a high caste Hindu family. He perceived injustices in the Hindu caste system especially where the non-caste, or untouchables, were concerned.  According to his reckoning, many of the higher caste Brahmans did not deserve their status and the lower caste untouchables were withheld basic services and kindnesses which could have made their life more bearable. With this in mind, Sidartha went out to contemplate life. While under a bo tree he received enlightenment in the form of an eight-fold path. Through this path, Sidartha Gatama became the enlightened one or Buddha. He believed that life itself was pain. Existence meant that people would suffer; therefore, the goal of life was to reach nirvana or a state of non-existence. The Buddha rejected the Hindu caste system.  His followers strove to abruptly end the endless cycle of reincarnation and reach nirvana. This could only occur by strict adherence to the eight fold path. Consequently, in Buddhism, one must earn the right not to exist and enter nirvana.
 
Judaism: In this faith, Elohim (“Almighty God”) picks a specific people through the patriarch Abraham,  Abraham’s son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob.  They, and their descendants, have an everlasting covenant with Adonai (“Lord”).  Although bound by the covenant, the patriarchs who have righteous faith still sin. The grave sin of the sons of Jacob (Israel) eventually placed the Israelities in Egypt where they suffered 400 years of hard bondage. Specifically, this sin was conspiring against their brother Joseph, selling him to slave traders, and lying to their father Jacob by telling him that Joseph had died. It was in this atmosphere that Elohim revealed Himself to Moses who was a Hebrew but was raised into the Egyptian royal family. Eventually, he felt compassion for his people and was cast out into the wilderness by the Egyptians. While in the wilderness, Moses encountered the Angel (“Messenger”) of the Lord who claimed to be YHVH (“Yahveh”, lit. “I am that I am”). Yahveh sent Moses to Pharaoh, and through a series of miracles—in this instance plagues, culminating in the Passover—the Israelites were freed. Once in the desert, Yahveh gave a series of laws (“the Torah”) to the Israelites through Moses. 613 laws were revealed in the Torah. God promised if they were obedient they would be blessed and if they were disobedient and unrepentant they would suffer until they eventually lost the land they were about to acquire. However, the Torah said nothing about eternal life. The prophet Daniel mentioned in the Tenakh that some would be resurrected to eternal life and others to everlasting contempt.  God explained in the Torah how priests were to make intercession for the people. Although a Day of Atonement was established, the Torah stated that sin could only be removed through the shedding of blood. Jewish history reveals times of disobedience, including: (1) the abuse and killing of its prophets, which led to the Assyrian captivity of the northern 10 tribes; (2) the Babylonian captivity of the southern tribes; (3) the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus; (4) the occupation of Israel by Pompey the Great; (5) the destruction of Jerusalem by Roman General Titus; and (6) the failure of the Bar Kochba rebellion, which led to almost 2000 years of diaspora. With the Temple destroyed, Jews were unable to perform what God commanded in the Torah for the remission of sins. The rabbis who survived the Roman wars were the Pharisees. They believed that an oral Torah was also revealed at Sinai. This oral tradition came to be known as Mishneh, and Gamara which are included in the Talmud. The Talmud came to be the vehicle by which Jews could interpret the Torah. Adherence to rabbinical opinions in the Talmud and in the Mishneh Torah of Moses Maimonides became more important than the Psalms and Prophets who spoke of a coming Mashiach, i.e., Messiah. The revealed words of Moses concerning the remission of sin were replaced by prayer, fasting, and good deeds. According to the rabbis, Jews are to perform what the Talmud commands. Emphasis is not placed on a future life but rather on this life. Only obeying God and performing good deeds could lead to God’s favor.
 

IslamIn this ideology, Judaism and Christianity are seen as perversions of Abraham’s original religion Islam. The Qur’an teaches that Allah and His prophet Muhammad were revealed in the Bible. Although born to a polytheistic mother, Muhammad comes to the realization through visitations from the Angel Gabriel that Allah was present at the Kabbah and that the Kabbah was built by Abraham and his firstborn son Ishmael. The will of Allah is made known in the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet was revealed in the Sira, Hadith, and in the volumes written by Al-Tabari. Jewish disobedience revoked Allah’s previous agreements with them and Christians are guilty of the worst sin in Islam, “Shirk”, because they confess that Jesus is the Son of God. Muhammad’s words and deeds fullful the will of Allah, and in Surah 33, Muslims are told to model his behavior. Therefore, when Muslims behave like Muhammad they accumulate good deeds. Good deeds must outweigh bad deeds at the judgement. The only way a Muslim can escape the balancing of these scales at the judgment is if they die a martyrs death in Jihad.  They must be slain while they are slaying. Therefore, a Muslim gains entry into Allah’s sensual paradise if they spill their blood for the expansion of Allah’s law or Shari’ah. Numerous good deeds, or forfeiting ones life for Allah, are required for Islamic salvation.

 
Christianity: Yeshua, known as Jesus (lit., “Yahveh’s Salvation”), lived among the people of Israel after the Roman invasion led by Pompey the Great but before the Roman destruction of the second Jewish Temple by General Titus. He claimed fulfillment of the prophesies found in the Tenakh which spoke of a suffering messiah. Born of a young virgin (Isa. 7:14); Born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:1-2); Came from God (Isa. 9:6-7); Claimed to be one with God as His son (Gen. 1:26, 3:8,22, 11:6-7, 18;1-2, 13, 16-17, 20-21. 33; Ps. 2:2, 7, 110:1; Isa. 48:16-17; Dan. 7:13-14); Rejected by his own people (Ps. 118:22, Isa. 53:3); Will visit the second Temple and be killed before it is destroyed (Mal. 3:1-5, Dan. 9:26); Crucified and killed (Deut. 21:22-23, Ps. 22: 1, 13-18; Isa. 53: 6-10); Redemptive death (Isa. 53:11); Rose from the dead (Ps. 16:10, Isa 53: 12); Future King of Israel (Mic. 5:1-2, Zech. 9:9, 14:3-4, 9). The Tenakh states that no one is righteous before God, not one. Our good deeds are like dirty rags. This is because God is holy and that which is not holy cannot stand in his presence. Therefore, God became man to fulfill the Torah and to make Himself a sacrifice for us. Yeshua paid a debt he did not owe and we owe a debt that we cannot pay. There is justification by faith in the Messiah for the Jew first and then for the Gentile because Jews and Gentiles are both sinners who can find redemption and salvation in the redeeming sacrifice of the Messiah. Only in Yeshua does God do all the work for our salvation. Our works cannot earn salvation, but our works can help bring others to the knowledge and faith in Yeshua, Lord, God, savior of the Gentiles and Messiah of God’s people Israel.

 

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