Do you believe in a religion?

As it is noted in news media these days, religion is everywhere even where some people don’t want it to be! Let’s face it, you can truly be religious about anything from the ritual of putting on your jeans a certain way to following a certain team. Anything that you are passionate about, that you believe in in some way can be a religion or you can be religious about it.

Even atheists are religious in their belief that there is nothing to believe in and most are really passionate about that belief. There are those in society who don’t attend any religious service and yet they know right from wrong and are basically good people who call themselves “none’s”. When asked what religion they are they prefer none. Is that a slight on our society? No, I don’t think so. But, what will these people do when they die and find out that they will face God Himself as their judge?

The very being and person that they have chosen not to believe in and place their faith in during their lifetime is going to be the judge of their lives and what they did with it. The problem is that, regardless how much money you give to charity or how many times you have fed the homeless or visited sick people in the hospital, all good and admirable things, they will not get you into eternity with God.

Religion and doing things, good or bad, in the name of religion is the very thing that has given religion a very bad reputation. People have begun wars, put people to death, imprisoned people and other truly heinous crimes against people whose religion or belief did not fit in with the “accepted” one of the day or country in which you live.

Religion and the practice of it can be a true force for good or bad and it has been both in the thousands of years that we have had civilization or something like it on this planet. But, religion cannot save your soul from hell! There will be billions of religious people in hell, people who thought that they were doing God’s work. The problem with doing God’s work that way is that He is not in it!

There are many beliefs in our world that are called religions, even Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to name just three. These three are the “mono-theistic” religions and are based on texts from the Torah to the Koran and the Bible itself. Yet, people disagree between the three as to the identity of their Savior and the way to eternal life.

I know that we cannot change the viewpoints of those who are adamant about not believing in God or Jesus, because until they can see the error of their ways and beliefs it is useless. It is like hitting your head against a brick wall, the only thing that gets hurt is you and your feelings.

Christianity has had its dark times just as any other religion has, but most of that was caused by doctrines that either did not line up with Scripture or churches and their leaders who were so inflexible as to try to deny the Word of God to people in their own language. When Tyndale was translating the Word into English from Latin so that the common man could understand it, he was persecuted and eventually burned at the stake for his so-called crime.

The example above is only one of the black spots on Christianity, but the point of this article is that Jesus really is the only Truth and the only way to come to God. Belief in Him and the sacrifice that He became in order for us to have His righteousness and forgiveness for our sins is the only way to get a pardon that is eternal and will allow us to go to Heaven. Nothing else that we can do will add to our righteousness, because we have none apart from Jesus!

The work that we can accomplish here is nothing unless it is done in love through Jesus and the changes that He has done in our lives so that we might take Him wherever we go! Some people might never see anything that is good and right in this world if you are not the bearer of His wonderful message to them.

Did you know that most religions in our world were created or brought to life by Satan. He is religious too yet he knows Who is on the throne, he knows that the Creator is the One who is over all things, yet he won’t worship Him. Think about it before you decide to mark “none” or some other religion.

Are there any “nots” in your life?

Have you ever wondered whether you are good enough for God? Have you asked Him if you are good enough to get into Heaven? The answers to these questions are simple: yes, you are good enough for God and no, you are not good enough to get into Heaven!

Well, why not? Why am I not worthy to get into Heaven? It is because of our human nature and the fact that we are sinners from the time that we know right from wrong.

Can we change? Yes, but not on our own. Only by accepting Jesus into our lives and allowing Him to change us from our heart outward can there be any lasting change. This kind of change makes a difference not only in our lives but through our lives we are able to touch others because of it.

The change in us will be evident to others and they will want what we have because it gives us hope and peace. A peace that those in the world cannot understand.

Your life can be so much more than it is with Christ in it and yet, many people don’t want Him in their lives. To me, that doesn’t make sense but that is how life with Jesus is. If you have Him you can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want Him. If you don’t know Him, you can’t understand why anyone would want to.

Inconvenient Christianity

There are many in this new year who have turned their backs on what they view as old-fashioned faith-based Christian values. Why is that? Mainly due to the media and their portrayal of Christians as intolerant hypocrites, but it also has to do with many other indoctrination efforts in our educational system as well as our culture.

People seem to want a personal faith, one that is based on what they want to believe and not on what their parents or grand-parents may have believed. This is especially true of younger people, those under forty years old. They have been shocked into the culture of college and the beliefs or lack thereof of the educational system. What can be shown to them about Christ and following Him that will draw them back? The only possible thing is Truth and Christians who are modelling their faith genuinely. Other than those two things, being genuine and not pushy would be other ways to not alienate people from the Truth.

I know that Christianity is considered a “narrow-minded” faith but so are other faiths such as Islam. In many ways we may need to get away from being labelled as Christians altogether and be followers of Jesus. Since Christianity has been around for a long time it seems to have become so plain until it is hard to distinguish it from other religions except in name.

Of course, this is fine with Satan who is the ruler of this world only because God allows it. As long as we are doing the same things day in and day out and nothing changes, then he is fine with it. It is only when true followers of Christ begin to make a difference in their community and in the world that he will take notice. Regarding Satan, he will take notice of any movement that is bringing God more glory which is exactly what is needed in this world today.

I know that there are many who think that those of us who follow Jesus are narrow minded but there just happens to be only one way of having eternal life whether you choose to believe it or not.

Organized Religion and Jesus

It seems that there has been a lot of shouting, screaming and gnashing of teeth lately over organized religion. I am not sure what this term means exactly, “organized religion”. Is it referring to all Christians, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists, or is it directed at Catholics, Jewish Temples, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. ?

The latter are more doctrine than “organized religion”. Granted, the Catholic church has been around nearly as long as Christianity itself, and the Jewish religion has been around for far longer than most any other out there, but that doesn’t mean that the religion itself is bad. It just happens to be an old religion. Religions are not bad but some of the people who claim that they practice those religions may be. You can be religious at doing anything that you like, such as fishing or hunting. That doesn’t make it a religion but you get the idea.

Christianity and following Jesus is a different matter from “religion”. Christianity is a state of mind that you have after accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior that you practice religiously. So, in a sense, it is a religion. There have been many “doctrines” applied to it over the past few hundred years but the basics of being a Christian, as outlined in the Bible, are the same. I know that many terrible acts have been done in the name of religion and in the name of Christ too, but that doesn’t mean that Jesus was behind any of it. It just means that His name was used in the commission of the act itself by someone who wanted to stand behind that name.

There have been horrendous acts done by other religions as well but it seems that everyone wants to pounce on Christians these days. Maybe because we are nearing the time of Christ’s return? I am not sure what the reason for the animosity except that it was predicted by Jesus Himself nearly two thousand years ago. Our lives, in service to Him, are forfeit in the grand scheme of His plans. Our spiritual lives will go on no matter what happens to us here. We will serve Him and the blotting out of God or religion will not have any effect on the world or its condition into eternity.

Please, read Romans chapter 8. Pray that you will accept Jesus and I will be praying for all who visit here and read these pages. He is knocking, won’t you let Him in?