Author Alan Shlemon
Published on 11/06/2017
Other Worldviews

Why Do Other Religions Emphasize Works for Salvation?

In Christianity, salvation is a gift rather than a reward for works. Alan shares why Christianity is different from many other religions in this way.


I’ve been asked, why do you think there’s an emphasis on human works as a key to salvation in other religions? And the answer seems to me straight forward, and that is, there’s an emphasis on human works because all other religions are human made.

You see, I think human beings by nature think that good work qualifies you for rewards. That’s how many systems in society operate today. For example, you do good work at school, and you’re rewarded with good grades, which of course helps you get a good job. You work hard at your job, and you get a good payoff. You work hard in your marriage or in your friendships, and of course your relationships will improve.

So if all other religions are man made, then I’m not surprised that this works-reward system would find itself in religions and specifically in the requirements for salvation. And I think this is actually an indication for how we know that Christianity isn’t man made. Because if someone was going to invent their own religion, they wouldn’t think of making God do the work to save people. It wouldn’t make sense for them to invent a God who pursues the very people who are his enemy. They wouldn’t think of making God sacrifice himself to save sinful humans.

But that’s what Christianity says, and that to me is at least an indication that we’re not talking about a man made system.