How can I explain the words of Jesus in John 7:17? All religions work
don’t they? And, How can I know that the Bible is the inspired word of
god, there are a lot of things that we just take for right which are not
that logical. For instance the flood, Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale,
all of which appear to be contradictions? . Why did God report these
events and seeming faults in the Bible while he knew that it would be so
hard to believe them ? How can I explain to others how they should examine
test there sacred writings and beliefs to come to faith in Jesus?”

In John 7:17 Jesus is challenging those who are not completely convinced
that he is who he says he is. “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will
find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
His challenge to them (and to you) is to give his teaching a try. If you
do what Jesus said, you will learn soon enough that his message works. If
you follow the teachings of Jesus your life will be changed for the
better. Jesus’ message of loving others, submitting to God, giving up sin
and so forth will work for anyone who will accept it. Do all religions
work? You must decide for yourself. Give Christianity a try, give Buddhism
a try, give Hinduism a try, or Islam or Sikkhism or whatever. One thing
you can be sure of, these different teachings cannot all be true. They
certainly are not “different paths to the same goal,” as their teachings
are in dramatic opposition. The New Testament teaches that one comes to
God through faith, repentance and through the forgiveness offered through
the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said that “no one comes to the
Father except through me.” If one can come to God through Mohammed or
through following the teachings of Buddha, then Jesus was either a liar or
mistaken to say that no one comes to the father through him. Muhammad
taught that one comes to God through following a set of rules and
teachings. This is salvation through one’s own works. Buddha taught that
one reaches communion with a pantheistic “god” through living a life
according to the eightfold path of righteousness. These teaching are
definitely not complementary, but are contradictory. You should examine
the life taught by these religions as well as the scriptures of these
religions. Do they show the signs of inspiration that the Bible does? A
very brief outline giving an extremely introductory amount of information
on the major world religions is found in the article Other Religions.

Ultimately, you will have to decide for yourself what the truth is. Jesus
claimed to be the Way the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). You will need to
decide if you believe his claims or not. This web site is dedicated to
providing you with sufficient evidence to accept that Jesus was who he
said he was. I suggest you look at an article at the web site titled Lord,
Liar or Lunatic.

You raise a number of other questions, which I believe are answered
already if you will scan the questions page at this web site. Let me say
that I do not believe that these are contradictions or reasons to be
embarrassed about the Bible at all. Perhaps the story of the flood is hard
to believe, especially to a person who is predisposed not to accept that
God could work such a miracle, but to one who accepts who God says he is
in the Bible, God certainly can judge the earth by water. An article which
may be helpful is Will it be Fire Next Time? If these articles are still
not answering your question, please send me another!

John Oakes, PhD

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