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?
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?
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.[We suggest that you use THE MESSAGE version of Bible for this study]
1. Read Acts 17:16-21. What was bothering Paul, and how did he respond (see verses 16)?
2. What was the focus of Paul’s preaching (verse 18)?
3. When talking with someone who has different religious views, it’s important to respect them even if you don’t agree with their views. Read Acts 17:22-23. How does Paul affirm the people?
4. What does Paul teach about God in verses 24-31 to give them a better understanding of the one true God?
6. 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?”
7. 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?
8. 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?
9. Why is it important to overcome the fear and awkwardness of talking with someone with different beliefs than yours about God?
10. 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?
11. As a result of this story, who do you think God might want you to talk with about Him?
For more on this topic:
Article by Keith Johnson
Every Student.com – Do all religions lead to the same God?
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