Question: “Why are there so many religions? Do all religions lead to God?”
Answer: The existence of so many religions and the claim that all religions lead to God without question confuses many who are earnestly seeking the truth about God, with the end result sometimes being that people throw up their hands in defeat at the challenge of really reaching the absolute truth on the subject. Or they end up embracing the universalist claim that all religions lead to God. Of course, skeptics also point to the existence of so many religions as proof that either you cannot know God or that God simply does not exist.
Romans 1:19-21 contains the biblical explanation for why there are so many religions: “…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” The meaning of these Scriptures is clear. The truth of God is seen and known by every human being because God has made it so. Instead of accepting the truth about God and submitting to it, most human beings reject it and seek their own way to understand God instead. But this leads not to enlightenment regarding God, but to futility of thinking. Here is where we find the basis of the “many religions.”
Many people do not want to believe in a God that demands righteousness and morality, so they invent a God who makes no such requirements. Many people do not want to believe in a God that declares it impossible for people to earn their own way to heaven by their own good deeds. So they invent a God who accepts people into heaven if they have completed certain steps, followed certain rules, and/or obeyed certain laws, as least to the best of their ability. Many people do not want a relationship with a God who is sovereign and omnipotent. So they imagine God as being more of a mystical force than a personal and sovereign ruler.
The existence of so many religions is not an argument against God’s existence or an argument that truth about God is not clear. Rather, the existence of so many religions is demonstration of humanity’s rejection of the one true God and their replacement of Him with gods that are more to their liking. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).
Do all religions lead to God? Actually they do. All but one leads to His judgment, and only one leads to His forgiveness and eternal life—Christianity. No matter what religion one adheres to, everyone will meet God after death (Hebrews 9:27). All religions lead to God, but only one religion will result in God’s acceptance, because only through His divine plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ can anyone approach Him with confidence. The decision to embrace the truth about God is an important one for a simple reason: eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong. This is why right thinking about God is so critical.