Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Truth versus Religion - January 8, 2014

John 10:9-11 (New International Version)
9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Don't you get confused about "religion" these days? In today's thoroughly modern world we have been told so many things concerning "religion". "In a relative sense, they are all the same." "All religions lead to the same place; they all lead to God." "Religion is okay, as longs as you keep it to yourself." "You really don't want to be one of those fundamentalists, because we know how bad they are." "Religion has led to more conflict and death than anything else in the history of mankind!"

Truth is, all religions are not the same. They all don't lead to the same place, and they all don't lead to God. Yes, some have even led to more conflict and death in the history of mankind, and they continue to do so. The confusion is what is meant by religion, which can be defined as " a belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe, and the expression of such a belief in conduct and ritual".

And that is where the problem lies. Many of us get stuck on following the definition, without bothering to get to the heart of it. Too often we believe that if we will just act right and go through the rituals, we will be religious, and because of that, God will like us. In that sense of the word, all religions would be equal, if all that mattered was whether or not we believed in a higher power, and acted a certain way, or followed a particular ritual.

Here is the TRUTH of the matter: Christianity is not just another religion. In what other religion does the leader of it claim to be God, and that by coming to earth as a human being and dying for you, you will be made right with God? And because of that, you can know for sure you will be accepted by God and spend forever in His eternal presence? In what other religion can you say with utmost conviction that 100 years from now you will not be just another pile of bones? In what other religion does your work (what you do)count for nothing, because your "salvation" doesn't depend on you?

Jesus is saying that He is the only way to God. By believing in Him, we can come and go through this life and not have to be concerned. Although Satan might try to trip us up, God will give us a fulfilled life. He is our caretaker and He has given up his life for us, but because he is God, we can enjoy eternity with Him. Now that is a religion we all need to believe in!

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