When your math teacher gives you a problem to work and tells you to do it a certain way, how do you feel about that? Why do you feel that way?
Allow the group to discuss. Some may like having a certain way to do something, but others may not like this because they want the freedom to do it their own way.
It’s one thing for someone to tell you there’s one way to do a math problem. It’s another thing for someone to tell you there’s just one way to God, especially because many people believe all religions lead to the same place. Why is it so difficult to believe there is only one way to God?
Pass out copies of the maze at http://www.printactivities.com/Mazes/Shape_Mazes/Basketball-net-maze.html. After students complete the maze, ask the following:
What are some of the understood rules that you use when you complete a maze like this? (You can’t go through the lines. You have to only follow the open path. If you come to a dead end, you back up and go another direction.)
How many ways are there to complete this maze? (Only one. There are a lot of dead ends. But only one path that leads to the end of the maze.)
People often say there are many paths to God. Much like this maze, Christianity says there is one way. Who’s right? Let’s take a look at the following passage from the Bible to find out what it says about this question.
READ TOGETHER: Paul is a Christian that was visiting a town called Athens where they worshiped a lot of different gods. As Paul was walking through the town, he saw statues to these gods all over the place.
2. How did people respond to Paul as he shared about Jesus? (see verses 17-21)
3. What are some things that Paul noticed about the Athenians in verses 22-23?
4. What new thought did Paul present to the Athenians?
That their idol represented the One True God. However, the One True God doesn’t live in an idol and cannot be represented by an idol made by human hands.
5. How did Paul describe God to them? How does this description line up with what you believe about God?
6. In verses 30-31, Paul refers to an “appointed judge.” Who is this judge? Who is he judging? How does the idea of Jesus judging the world sit with you?
7. Read John 14:6. What does Jesus claim? What do you think of this claim?
8. Based on this story, how do you think Paul would respond to someone who says, “It doesn’t matter what you believe since all religions lead to the same place?”
9. Why do you think it’s so attractive to believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe and that all religions lead to the same place?
10. What from this story strengthens your trust in God and his Son Jesus Christ? What questions or doubts remain about Jesus and how Christianity relates to other religions?
11. Why is it important to overcome the fear and awkwardness of talking with someone with different beliefs than yours about God?
12. As you have conversations, you might find people to be receptive, resistant, or open to further conversation, just like Paul did in verses 32-34? How might you handle these different responses?
For more on this topic:
Article by Keith Johnson
Every Student.com – Do all religions lead to the same God?
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.