While doing some mission work on the Island of Grenada some years back, I was asked by a gentleman, "Why there are so many different beliefs in the world?" That was and is a good question.
God would have all men to be saved. (I Tim. 2:4) Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). If we are going to be judged by the word, then we must all follow the same word. There will not be a book for each "religious group." In all the teaching found in the New Testament one does not find people being taught different ideas. They were simply told to follow and obey the Law of Christ.
Men understands the need for standards in everyday life, the mechanic knows there are standard size parts, the seamstress knows the number of inches in a yard and understands the need for a standard of measure. Why then is it not readily seen that there must be a standard in religion?
Some say that with the population of the world being so great, surely not everyone can follow the same way. We must remember, God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:10,11; Acts 10:34,35). Every person who is saved will be saved by following the standard God has given to man - His word.
Man left to himself will and has developed his own plan for salvation. This is not right for several reasons.
First, it is not necessary; God has already provided the plan to follow and has given us examples of those who followed it. Read the book of Acts. The people heard the word; they believed, were willing to repent of their sins, confessed that Jesus is the Son of God and were baptized for the remission of their sins.
Second, God has told us that His will must be obeyed. "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21).
Third, God has provided the only sacrifice that can remove sin - Christ. Fourth, the ideas of men vary and one man’s idea is as good as the next. However since we will be judged according to the words of the Lord and not man’s ideas or notions, we must see the need for a true standard in religion.
That standard must be and is the inspired word of God.