Are you religious or are you a Christian?

There are thousands of religions in the world, but there is only one Christianity. Religion from a Christian perspective and viewpoint depends upon the doctrine that you hold to, whether it is Mormon, Baptist, Methodist, Protestant, Episcopal, or Catholic or any number of other doctrines in the world. Religion can be anything that you might want to worship and there are enough religions in the world to prove that, and yet other than Christianity none of them have a living Savior! Their founders are dead or imagined, made up in the minds of men, and yet each of those religions may have thousands or millions of followers, some may have billions of followers. The point that I am making is this…has anyone thought about which way, which path or road should you be following?

I am not trying to cause any more divisions between churches or denominations. What I am trying to point out is that true Christians exist in all denominations but there are also many who think that they are believers when they are not.

There are many around the world who claim to be Christians and there are more of them in some areas than there were one hundred years ago according to this graphic:

christianity-graphic-01This graphic is seen more clearly if you open it in a new tab of your browser. Many things have happened in our world to cause this such as airline travel and other technological advances. The point is that there are more people claiming to be Christians but there are also more people who claim to adhere to other religions or even no religion at all.

What, if anything, can we do to help others see that they need Jesus? If people have made up their minds, there is little that you and I can do. It wouldn’t matter if you were the greatest evangelist in the world for some people, they have their minds made up and nobody is going to change their view except God Himself! If God has determined that they are going to be used by Him for some purpose, then He will get their attention eventually.

What about those who are modern day Pharisees? They see themselves as Christians and don’t believe that they need salvation but are not followers of Jesus. I am not trying to be a judge of their faith, but if the fruit is not visible in their lives, then what are they? Usually their reasons go something like this: “I have always been a member of this church, since my youth. I have served as a teacher in Sunday school and on various committees in the church as well as giving my tithes on a regular basis. How dare you question my faith!” Well, as a comical story I heard once went, “I could live in a garage all of my life but I still wouldn’t have four wheels and an engine!” You cannot absorb a faith and live it out for others to see just because you have been in a church and exposed to preaching for years. You have heard the message, but the message has not penetrated your heart!

We are accountable to God for the light that we have heard and read and lived by whether we have taken it into our heart and our life or not. Because of this there will be many who will be astonished on that day when Christ says, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Don’t let that day be the day that you hear those words, give your heart to Jesus while there is life in your body so that you can serve Him until He calls you home! Then you will hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

Do you know your Redeemer?

We live our lives in a world full of technology. People are connected today in ways that only thirty years ago was not possible. What about being connected to your Redeemer? The signal clarity never goes away and it is always a clear signal because He hears our every prayer. So why do we not hear Him when He calls? Maybe because we are not listening? Or it might be possible that we just can’t hear that small voice for all of the electronic stuff that we have ringing in our ears and Him.

When we have come to know Jesus, do we decide or does our heart feel the pull of the Holy Spirit? Your only decision is whether or not to answer His call on your life, we don’t decide to get saved just on our decision alone. Unless your heart feels the pull of the Holy Spirit, you won’t feel the conviction to ask Jesus into your heart, that is why we can’t just decide to be saved on our own.

Jesus said that the only way to come to the Father is through Him and the only way that you will know that you need Him is by the conviction of your soul and your heart. Just as Peter was broken after he denied the Lord, we have to be convicted and broken to know that we need Him. We cannot save ourselves and through no action on our part can we be justified before God. Our justification comes through Jesus and faith in Him alone.

“Is it possible that you can lose your salvation?” is a question which gets asked many times. The answer is no, you can’t lose your salvationĀ if you truly have it. If you were “saved” during an emotional event and your life didn’t change afterward, then you may not have been saved. If your character, the person that you truly are, didn’t change and your habits didn’t change then you likely didn’t truly ask Jesus into your heart. Yet, many people think that they are saved because of these things and in many instances they will not listen to anyone from that point on regarding their salvation.

This is a deception that Satan has used for many thousands of years. People think that they have their salvation, their so-called “fire insurance” and no amount of preaching or prayer will get their attention unless God does. They remind me of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. So wrapped up in their religiousness until they didn’t recognize the Messiah when He came.

Why do we do this? We make up our own worldview, our own comfortable spot that makes us feel all fuzzy and safe, and yet we are deceiving ourselves. Still being taken in by Satan’s schemes, we walk in our comfortable religious “feeling”, and fool ourselves right into hell itself.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I am judging anyone, all I am doing is pointing out what some people do. The only One who judges is Jesus and He knows the condition of your heart, regardless of how well you may hide it from others.

God’s Word is the only text that we need in order to know how to be saved and then how to follow Jesus afterwards. It is our instruction book for life everlasting and for life here while we can make a difference in other people’s lives.

We have pushed God’s Word from our lives and from the education system that our children are indoctrinated in and yet we want them to grown up into moral, law abiding citizens. How can they when we have removed the teaching and the influence of God in their lives? Many people don’t go to church regularly anymore so their children are not brought up hearing God’s Word! We are creating a culture that has no fear of God because they don’t know Him or even know about Him.

This fact alone is shown in our culture today because of a small group of people who want freedomĀ from religion, of any type. They don’t want to be told that anything that they may say or do is morally wrong, and yet they will have to account for every word and deed when they face God one day.

The answer to all of life’s questions is found in God’s Word and yet there are many who don’t even have a copy of it in their home. I have read through its pages many times and each time I get a sense of peace and security that I can get nowhere else, because it is a living Word and each of us gets a different message each time we read it or hear it.

Pick up a copy of it at the library or at a book store. Ask God to show you His wisdom for your life through His Word. You won’t be disappointed with the answers to many questions that you have had and you may be surprised about the answers that you never thought would be there. May God richly bless each of you!