I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all of you, have a friend or family member who is actively involved in a religion other than Christianity. We live in a very religious world. Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study concluded that atheists make up only 3.1% of the U.S. population; agnostics 4%. (Source)
Most people believe in some sort of god or "higher power." And of course, this is not just true of the day and age in which we live. Whenever and wherever people have lived, they have been found giving some recognition to a power or powers beyond themselves. As far back in time as anthropologists have been able to discover, religion has existed in every society. From the most primitive societies to the most culturally advanced, humans have been found to be worshipping creatures.
And so today, on every continent, the world is filled with different religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, etc.)
Now, one of the popularly held beliefs today regarding the religions of the world is that all religions basically teach the same thing.
George Lucas, in an interview in Time magazine, said, "I remember when I was ten years old, I asked my mother, ‘If there’s only one God, why are there so many religions?’ I’ve been pondering that question ever since, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that all religions are true." (Time, April 26, 1999)
Madonna concurs. She said, "I do believe that all paths lead to God. It’s a shame that we end up having religious wars, because so many of the messages are the same." (Q Magazine, March 1998)
That is what a lot of people believe today. Yet, when one takes the time to study the religions of the world, you learn that this is not the case. Yes, there are some superficial similarities. But when you look into the foundational, core teachings of the religions, it doesn’t take long to see that many of them are vastly different from one another, and that many of them flat out contradict one another regardin the nature of God, humanity, the problem of evil, the afterlife, etc.