I think it is interesting that many people think of God as just one of many religions. Many think that because there are so many religions in the world, no one can know which one is right, if there is only one that is right.
A few of the religions are Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Do we have to take those and try to figure out which one is the right one? Do all of them have a road that leads to heaven? What if there is something that can lead us to God, but it is not a religion? Would we be open to it?
God is not a religion. He is a supernatural being. He is the One who created us. Today people believe that man is the measure of all things. In other words, man is the highest being that exists. We got that way because through the evolution process, we gradually became what we are today. We didn't stay like monkeys. We developed into highly intelligent beings that can make all kinds of decisions and create many things.
I saw something the other days indicating that man was on the upward progress of things. It made a statement of how bad we used to be, with wars, fighting, etc. and they showed pictures of how mankind was making progress toward peace, indicating that man is continuing to become better perfected through the continual process of evolution. I guess whoever did the video isn't seeing the whole picture though. If you look around the world today, it is not getting more and more peaceful and civilized. It is beginning to crumble because of the corruption of our sin. We are again going toward the type of beings we were in Genesis 6 when people were so corrupt that God destroyed the earth.
Man is not becoming better. Civilizations are not getting better. If we are not careful, our civilization will crumble right under our feet.
But, man wants to think he is the top of the pack. In spite of that, many are trying to find peace and fulfillment through a religion. But, the outcome is always the same. Religion doesn't change a person's heart. It just gives people something constructive to do while they think they are earning a way to get to heaven, if heaven really does exist.
If man thinks he is at the top of the pole, then there is no God over him. Because God has set eternity in our hearts, there is something deep down in us that wants more than just what is offered by mankind. But we can't quite figure out what that is. Religions are devised. Sometimes, authority is abused in these religions, and people want to stay away from anything 'religious'. Manipulation comes into play (think about Jehovah's Witnesses banging on your door). Leaders of religious groups tell people that they can't leave their group, and if they do, or if they try, there will be serious consequences. Some leaders end up getting arrested for fraudulent activity, while others are never caught, but people are victimized because of their actions.
So, when you talk to people about the Gospel and they accuse you of shoving religion down their throats, the reasons above could be the reason why they are opposing you and falsely accusing you. I recently had such a discussion with a group of people on the Internet. Someone put out a post that had to do with Planned Parenthood. A few people commented. I mentioned that the post and the problems that were being brought about because of abortion was really a heart issue. Well, I was suddenly accused of pushing religion down the throats of the people. Interesting how just making a statement ends up being an action of 'shoving God down our throats'.
Anyway, the point is, religion is dead works. It is a group with a set of religious beliefs and probably beliefs in a higher power of some sort and how we are to relate to this higher power. Some religions use the Bible. Many use it out of context to fit their belief system, and possibly to take advantage of other people who are in ignorance. Even nominal Christianity is dead. It is like a person belongs to a group with other people who hold a religious belief, but that belief system does not change their heart or give them the power to live a life that glorifies God. Religion keeps us in bondage to ourselves. It does not set us free to love God and to know Him more.
But knowing God is a different story. We were made to have a relationship with God, not a membership in a religious group. No matter how well we keep the standard of the doctrines of the religious group, we can never please God on our own. We have to have a Savior from sin. We need a new heart. Religion can't do that. Religion cannot give us the power to say 'no' to sin and 'yes' to righteousness. Only a right relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, can provide us with the way to know God.
There is only one way to heaven. There is no religion that is right. Only God is right. He has revealed Himself to us through His word. We can debate about the Scriptures all we want to, but they either truly are God's word or they aren't. People argue about the Bible not being authentic. I would like to know if they have actually sat down and studied what it says, or if it is just wishful thinking on their parts because they do not like what it says.
Either Jesus really spoke the words of life or He didn't. What kind of harm can it do if we actually read what the Scriptures say and let it apply to our hearts? If a person is so convinced that the Bible is a fraud, then why is he reluctant to actually sit down and look at what it says?
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." It is either true or false. If it is true, then we need to listen to the rest of what Jesus says. If it is not true, then we can still be free to read the Scriptures and at least know what we are talking about if we are trying to disprove the Bible as being God's word.