“We have our own Religion”

What does that mean? Having heard it so many times at the doorways of homes in this neighbourhood, we have learnt to move on. Some do follow another religion and some are comfortable as they are. If you are confused or unhappy and you would like to know more about being a Christian, then read on.

According to a dictionary, a Christian is anyone who is a follower of Christ or a Church member. Others who don’t go to church feel they are better people for living by the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would them do unto you”

Is Religion National?

If ever there was one religion that God designed, it was the Jewish religion for Christ said “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). Through that we received the Ten Commandments.

However, Isaiah said “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). In the New Testament, we learn that Jews are under the same condemnation of sin as Gentiles, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself” (Romans 2:1) with the result that tribulation and anguish comes upon every soul that does evil, “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” (Romans 2:9).

As a favoured nation, Israel did not gain the expected advantage; “we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).

Further, salvation is personal, not national. To a Jewish religious leader, the Lord Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. What did the Lord Jesus mean by that statement? How can one be born again? He went on to explain that being born again was an act of faith. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

So if you are human you can be a Christian.

Is Religion Membership?

You believe in God, but which Church or religion saves? Salvation is not in a Place but a Person. Do you follow another faith? “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

In Act 8:26 we read about the Treasurer of Ethiopia returning from worshipping in the temple at Jerusalem. Although religious and attending a place of worship, he wasn’t saved or satisfied. No sooner had an evangelist explained how Christ bore away his sin than the Treasurer received Christ as his Saviour, asked to be baptised, then went on his way rejoicing (v39).

In Acts 10:1 we read of a Roman Centurion – “a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2) Here too was a religious man who believed in God but was not saved. Peter informed this soldier, “whosoever believeth in Christ shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). The soldier soon had the joy of knowing his sins forgiven.

What of that Golden Rule?

Respect people; Try your best; Follow good. All very commendable, but are we good enough? Consider this; for if all that works, why did Christ die? 1Corinthians 15:3 informs us, “Christ died for our sins”.

Isaiah describes our situation and God’s mercy; “all we like sheep have gone astray … but the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. God knew we couldn’t keep the golden rule, so He paid for our rescue and He provided the well executed plan of redemption “with the precious blood of Christ, … who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1Peter 1:18-20).

“We have our own Religion”

After all that has been said, some want to be left alone for they are not interested in Christianity. They do not care about sin, but they care that society is getting unsafe to go out at night. They do not care about heaven, but they care about our ravaged climate-changing world. They do not care about being saved, but they care about safety from intruders and robbers. They don’t care about the eternal reward, but they care about their salary, investments and superannuation.

Friend, I’m sure you are interested … but for which world? This world or the next? How sad and miserable we would be if we have hope in this life only.

The first Christians were so named in Antioch, Syria. Why were they called that? Because “a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord” (Acts 11:21). That is what you are asked to do. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Act 3:19). To repent is to make an about-turn from your current path of sin and change course toward God by putting your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).