WHY IS RELIGION A WASTE OF TIME?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).”
Way… Truth… Life. These are very ordinary words – simple, common-place, and universal. Yet they contain the most profound mystery of God and God’s most pertinent revelation to man – Jesus Christ – the meeting place of God and man.
There are many who would have us believe that Christ is but one way among many; all of which reach the same goal. God tells us differently: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” God makes available no other way to get to heaven.
How is Christ the WAY? By paying the purchase price for us which none of us could pay (our sin debt penalty). He died in the place of each one of us and by means of that death has provided us with the only means of access to God. The plan of salvation has been provided by God but the responsibility of either ACCEPTING or REJECTING His plan lies with each individual person. Man must come to God according to God’s terms.
The above verses clearly tell us that the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the way to heaven. He does not merely show the way; He is THE WAY. Salvation is in a Person (Jesus), not in a religion. Accept that Person as your own, and you have salvation. The Lord Jesus is not just one of many ways. He is the ONLY WAY. No one comes to the Father except through Him. The way to God is not by the Ten Commandments, the golden rule, sacraments, ordinances, baptism, confirmation, Mass, church member-ship or religious worship; it is through Christ and Christ alone.
Today there are some that say it does not matter what you believe as long you are sincere. They say that all religions have some good in them and that they can lead to heaven. But Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through ME.” Can it be any clearer than that? Why don’t people listen and take heed? You want to know how to get to heaven? Well, here is God telling you how. He is the Creator of all things. He created you and He should know how you can get to heaven. Do you think you know more than Jesus? Do you think your church or religion has a better way and knows more than God?
And yet you’ll get someone who will ask, “How can I prove to someone that Christianity is the only true religion?” Look, quit trying to prove it because Christianity (as a religion) doesn’t save anybody. You’re not saved by Christianity. Christianity didn’t die on the cross for you. Christianity was not raised from the dead for you. Today, Christianity is not sitting at the right hand of the Father for you. Christianity is a religion. And as far as a religion is concerned; Christianity isn’t any better than any other religion UNLESS what you call Christianity is a proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ Jesus, you’re okay.
You’re not okay if you’re in any religion. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a Buddhist religion, Muslim religion, Catholic religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, Mormon religion, or the Christian religion. It doesn’t make an ounce of difference. You’re not saved by being in a religion. The only way that a person is saved is being in Christ Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to earth to form a religion. He came to form a personal relationship with us – to reconcile us to God and you and I enter into a relationship with one MAN, and this is Christ Jesus. It is written: “There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved.”
Now, there are people who will say, “Well, I was baptized.” You know that’s wonderful, but it did not do one thing for you in regard to your salvation. A number of people believe that you have to be baptized in order to be saved. In other words, it’s the baptism that saves you. There are some denominations where that’s exactly what is taught. The only problem with that is this: that they themselves don’t believe that. What they believe is that you’ve got to be baptized in my church, in my waters by my pastor, in order to be saved. You see if they truly believed that baptism saves; then why wouldn’t a baptism in any other denomination work when you try to join their church? So, in essence it’s my water, my pastor, my church. I don’t want to pick on any one denomination but that is what some churches teach and believe, and it is totally wrong.
Then there are other people who believe that in order to be saved you have to be a Catholic because it’s the church. Why? Can’t you tell? It’s called Catholic Church and that means universal; so that’s us. No, it isn’t! That’s a religion made by man, not by God. So, there is no church that you have to join that’s going to save you; not one, including the one I go to.
Going back to the mid1950s, I remember my dad having to fill out some government forms and one of the questions they asked was, “what was his religion.” Dad put down Lutheran because he immigrated from Germany and that was the key religion in Germany. Now, my dad never went to church, nor did he ever read the Bible, but he would say that he was a Lutheran. The only time he stepped into a church was probably for a wedding or funeral, but he still had his religion (Lutheran) and would proudly announce that whenever people asked.
Before I retired, I remember calling on a customer of mine and in our conversation, I asked her if she was a Christian and she replied, “Oh yes, I was born in Canada.” Why that answer, because in her mind Canada was a Christian country and being born here made her a Christian. You see anybody can call themselves Christian, but they wouldn’t know God from a goose. Using the same logic: If you think going to a church makes you a Christian then going to a garage must make you a mechanic. Can you see what I’m getting at?
Another couple of examples of religion that come to mind is when God gave Moses His ten laws (commandments) to give to the Jewish people and then many centuries later when Jesus arrives on the scene, the Jewish people had approximately 615 laws to contend with. It stifled them but that’s religion for you. Then over in Rome at the beginning of the fourth century, Emperor Constantine saw an opportunity to use this formerly persecuted and politically alienated religious body who called themselves Christian to strengthen his hold on the empire and so he issued a decree making the whole Roman Empire Christian. This was the start of the Roman state religion known later as the Catholic or “universal” church. By the stroke of a pen, pagan worshipers became Christian. One minute they’re pagans and the next minute they’re decreed by Emperor Constantine to be Christians. What were these priests in these pagan temples going to do? Did they destroy their idols and turn to Christianity? No! Here is what they did. They chiseled out the names of pagan idols and chiseled in new names; those of Jesus and Mary. Pagan temples (idol worshiping) now embraced Jesus and Mary. Heathen temples were restored and re-established. What was the result? A state-dominated religion that became a bizarre synthesis of beliefs, sacraments, rituals, practices, and customs derived mainly from the pagan Babylonian cult. These new converts were content to dress up their paganism in a Christian cloak. Yes, these pagan worshipers had a new religion they called Christianity and still very religious – religious but LOST.
Can you see what I’m getting at? There is no church that died on the cross for you and me. There is no church that can save you. There is no church that was raised from the dead, only a MAN called Jesus; God Himself in the flesh. For it is written: “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things (created) were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us as the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:1-3, 14, 12).”
As you can see, no man will ever be saved by joining a church, or a religion including the Christian religion. Someone may ask, “What is the Christian religion?” Well, is it the Baptist religion? Is it the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Catholic or some other religion? Because if religion is a doctrine, doctrines are all over the place; are they not? Christian religion flies under the banner of all kinds of things, even cults call themselves a Christian religion. That’s why I want you to be very careful in your dealings with various Christian denominations. You need to be in a situation where you know the difference: the difference between religion and a right loving relationship with God.
Religions are based on man’s own effort to work for salvation. Religion can never change the hearts of people or give assurance of salvation. The best religion can do is give a false hope that good works will “balance the scales” against evil works on God’s judgment day. But those who personally trust Christ as their Lord and Savior have absolute assurance now of sins forgiven and of peace with God. Only Christ can offer the hope of eternal life. Those who die “IN CHRIST” are absent from the body and present with the Lord in heaven. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:8).
So, regarding salvation, when people ask you to convert to a Christian religion, it wouldn’t really make any more difference than converting to a Buddhist or Muslim religion. Why? Because you’re converting to a religion and that religion is not going to save you and take you to heaven. The only conversion that can save you is being converted to a Person and that Person is Christ Jesus. You must keep your focus on what Jesus came to do. Look, if you lift… what; the Christian religion up, I’ll draw all men unto Myself. No! If you go out and practice church growth principles, I’ll draw all men unto Myself. Is that what Jesus said? No! He said, “If you lift ME up, I will draw all men unto Myself (Jn. 12:32).” That’s Him (Jesus); not a religion.
You have to ask yourself this: have I been converted to Christ or was I converted to a religion? Are you a Christian religionist or are you a true child of the living God? Ask yourself this: if you die are the Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians or any other group going to send you to heaven. I don’t think so! Only Jesus is going to take you to heaven and that’s because you’re in Him and NOT in a religion.
SALVATION IS NOT A MATTER OF BEING RELIGIOUS, BUT IT IS A PERSONAL AQUAINTAINCE WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THROUGH FAITH UNTO REPENTANCE
Salvation is of the Lord 100%. Our salvation is based on the cross work of Christ. It is obtained only through the shedding of blood. As it is written: “And without shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22).” When the perfect Lamb of God (Jesus) shed His precious blood on Calvary’s cross, He paid the price of redemption and provided forgiveness of sins and eternal life. All who are sheltered by the blood of Christ are BORN AGAIN into the family of God. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).”
Would it surprise you to know that God, the Father is non-denominational? He’s not Jewish. He’s not Christian. He’s not even interested in religion. God is interested in personal relationships. Scripture clearly tells us that the reason God created you and I was for fellowship, so that we can have an intimate relationship with Him – it’s called love.
Let me explain. Religions are about following rules and regulations, trying to meet some sort of standard, in order, to receive a reward – peace, health, prosperity, place in heaven, etc. Contrary to popular belief, this system of “earned rewards” is of no interest to God. I know what you’re thinking. God has rules, right? Everyone has heard of the Ten Commandments! And you’re right! But almost all of God’s commands can be compared to parents’ rules for their children. Parents guide their children not so they can be good – but for their own good – for the benefits of their well-being. When a parent tells a child not to touch a hot stove, it is to protect the child from getting burned – not to enforce some kind of arbitrary set of rules.
Yes, God has instituted certain rules for our salvation, but they are useless when it comes to “being good.” Why? Because no one can obey each and every rule, every day, for their entire life when it came to God’s perfect standard. It is impossible.
In the book of Isaiah, the Scripture says, “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” to Him (see Isaiah 64:6). Why would our good deeds repel God? Doesn’t He command us to do good things? Doesn’t He want us to be good? It’s NOT possible to be good! A single bad deed, an impure thought, is enough to ruin an otherwise “good” life. No matter how hard you might try, you can never live the perfect life by God’s standards. Not one single, solitary person on the face of the earth is able to keep God’s perfect law. Jesus Christ is the only person who ever lived upon the face of this earth who kept the law. And He kept it for us and died for us because we couldn’t keep it.
FEELING PRETTY DISCOURAGED AT THIS POINT?
There is hope! While being good is impossible for us, there is something else that is possible: To have a personal relationship with our Creator. Just as the father loves his child in spite of bad behavior, God loves us in spite of our imperfect lives. And because of that love, He wants to be in an intimate relationship with us. This is the whole reason He created man in the first place so we can fellowship with Him. God created you and loves you so much, that He wants you to get to know Him and to spend eternity with Him.
Some people are so put off by a God whom they are unable to fit into their own image; that they refuse to believe one exists. God does exist, and He is who He is – not who we think He is or who we want Him to be. God is unlike anyone we can imagine. And, as I have mentioned earlier, He created us and He loves us so much that He has provided a WAY for the problem of sin to be overcome, and for us to be able to have an intimate relationship with Him – it’s called love. Notice: I said, “a way” and not “several ways.” Does God only have one way? Absolutely. It can’t be said any clearer than in these two verses: “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” The apostle Peter proclaims unequivocally that Jesus alone holds the key to salvation, and in fact is salvation.
Jesus said, “I am the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me [through who He is and what He has done] (John 14).” Pretty strong words but again He is God and only He knows what you need to do to be saved and to be in heaven with Him for all eternity.
In closing, just to go back for a moment, I wanted to make you aware that Jesus did give us to Two Commandments to live by today and He said, “His commandments were not burdensome (1 John 5:3).” The two are: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37, 39).” Jesus said, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (v.40). THAT’S IT!
RELIGION IS A WASTE OF TIME – SALVATION IS ALL ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST >
IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS. IT’S ALL ABOUT A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD – NOT A RELIGION
– The church that I attended years ago had over 2,200 congregations in Canada. Probably the third-largest denomination in Canada. However, when the vote came to decide on whether we should or should not ordain homosexual pastors only less than 25 congregations across Canada stood up for God’s word and voted against this proposal. Our church was one of them that voted against this.
Only 1.25% of the congregations in this particular denomination made a stand to follow God’s word and to say that it is not right to ordain practicing homosexual pastors. However, over 98% of the congregation countrywide decided to go the worldly way and not follow God’s teachings on this important subject. Just from this one example it goes to show you that there are so many individuals who go to churches, who are religious, but unfortunately lost and separated from God for all eternity.
F/B – Signs Of Our Times / Understanding The Signs Of Our Times.com