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or Christ?. . . What’s
What is religion? It is any specific
system of belief, worship or conduct. There are
thousands of beliefs in the world today. There
are thousands of gods being worshipped in the
world today. There are thousands of different
conducts representing religion today. They follow
their rituals, ceremonies and rites. Some of Jesus’
most severe warnings were NOT given to unbelievers
or athiests, but instead to very ‘religious’ people.
The most hard to reach people are those who are
‘religious.’ Because of their religion, they think
they have no need for a Saviour.
IS SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE AND DO.
IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW
Someone who is always near, no matter what. (Heb.13:5)
Someone who has power to help us. (Mat.28:18; Ep.1:22)
Someone who can forgive us. (Acts 5:31)
Someone who can justify us before God. (Rom.5:1)
Someone who can sanctify us. (John 1:12-13; 3:3, 15-18)
Someone who can bring God to us. (Rom.5:1-10)
Someone who can bring us to God. (Rom.5:1-10)
Someone who can make us God’s friend. (Rom.5:1, 10)
Someone who can make us God’s heirs. (Rom.8:17)
Someone who can show us God’s will for us. (Mat.22:37-40; John 15:12)
Someone who can guide us even in the deepest darkness. (John 8:12)
Someone who can teach us what God expects of us. (1 Thes.3:12)
Someone who can be our example, our pattern. (John 15:12)
Someone who never leaves us alone, ever. (Heb.13:5)
Someone who can be completely trusted in all things. (John 1:14)
Someone who will defend us against even our worst enemy. (Jam.4:7)
Someone who intercedes for us before God. (1 John 2:1)
Someone who can empower and equip us to serve Him. (Mat.10:19; Luke 21:15)
Someone who can respond to our emotions, because He understands. (Luke 2:40; 4:2; 8:23; 9:58; 24:39; John 4:6)
Someone who can feel our pain, because He knows what pain is. (Luke 22:44; Heb.2:10; 13:12; 1 Pet.3:18)
Someone who can give us joy. (John 15:11; 16:24)
Someone who can give us peace. (John 14:27)
Someone who can give us comfort. (John 14:16-18)
Someone who can give us hope. (Heb.12:2)
Someone who never fails to love us. (John 3:16)
Someone who has proven His love for us. (John 15:13; Gal.1:4; 1 John 3:16)
Someone who died that we might live. (John 10:11; 15:13; Rom.5:6)
Someone who rose from the dead that we might be raised one day. (Acts 4:33; 10:39-41; 1 Cor.15:4)
Someone who can live through us. (John 15:1-5)
Someone who can and will take us home to Heaven. (John 14:2-3)
Someone who assures us of Heaven. (2 Tim.1:12; Tit.1:2; Heb.13:20-21)
ABOUT MAN-MADE RELIGIONS?
religions are cults. They do NOT teach
the Truth about Jesus and His Gospel. Cults teach "another Jesus" and bring "another gospel" (2 Cor.11:4). How can
people realize these groups are wrong? Ask yourself
(1) Does it emphasize man-made rules and no-no’s rather than God’s grace?
(2) Does it encourage faultfinding toward others, or does it exercise discipline carefully and lovingly?
(3) Does it emphasize exact methods, special rites and ceremonies, secret knowledge, and/or special visions more than the Word of God?
(4) Does it elevate and promote self-righteousness, honoring with pride those who keep the rules, rather than elevating Christ?
(5) Does it disregard Christ’s universal church, claiming to be an elite group, and that their way is the only way?
(6) Does it teach humility as a means to spiritual growth rather than focusing on pride?
(7) Does it honor another person as much or more than Christ?
(8) Does it teach that another has the saving power that only Christ has?
(9) Do they pray to a person or so-called "saint" rather than Almighty God Himself?
(10) Do they teach that after death there is a second chance?
IF any "church" teaches or preaches any of the above . . . BEWARE! Run away as fast as you can! They endanger your soul!
Our Lord Jesus certainly knew the dangers of so-called religions. It seemed that vile sinners and outcasts were captivated by Him, but those who considered themselves "religious" hated Him. It is the same today. The vast majority of the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees and priests were His enemies.
PHARISEES were a religious group that adhered to Scriptures and applied the laws of God to their lives.
SCRIBES were lawyers, and the Pharisees depended on them for acurate interpretation of Scriptures.
SADDUCEES were an upper class Jewish religious group who insisted on strict adherence to the Mosiac law. They did not believe in resurrection as did the Pharisees.
PRIESTS were descendants of Aaron who inherited the responsibility of performing to the rituals in the temple.
Jesus did NOT compliment these religious leaders, nor leave room for any thought that they were godly men. He knew their hearts, and He plainly told them all that IF they had known the Father, they would have known Him (John 8:19). Jesus boldly stated to their faces that they were hypocrites, blind leaders of the blind, fools, a generation of vipers, whited sepulchers, etc. (Mat.23:13-33).
A person would think these "hypocrites" would have emerged from athiests, secular thinkers, or criminals, but that was not the case. Jesus' worst enemies were those religious leaders! Even the pagan Roman government of Judea gave Jesus more consideration than these so-called religious ones. The Pharisees were constantly trying to discredit Jesus. They were convinced the world would be a better place without Him. Is it really any different today?
On the other hand, sinners and so-called outcasts of society were attracted to Jesus and were among His friends. They flocked to Him like a fly to honey. They saw in Him something they wanted, something better than what they had.
The religious people considered Jesus to be dangerous. Unexplainable things happened when He was around. When He taught, His wisdom was indisputable. He taught completely opposite to what the religious leaders taught, and what the world thinks.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, meaning those who recognized their utter worthlessness and knew they must depend on God for all things.
Blessed are those who mourn, meaning we must grieve over our sin.
Blessed are the meek, meaning God hates pride and wants us to be humble before Him, and willing to be under His authority.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, meaning if we hunger for the good things of God, we shall be filled.
Blessed are the pure in heart, meaning those who are cleansed within by accepting what Jesus has done for us.
Blessed are the peacemakers, meaning those who are trying to reconcile the lost souls to Jesus.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because they live for God, meaning the eternal rewards are tremendous. (Mat.5:10).
Jesus was extremely responsive those who were brokenhearted and lost in sin rather than those who proudly stood by their religion. Religion states strict obedience to their laws whereas Jesus taught that God could and would forgive even the most vile sinner IF they accepted God’s Plan of Salvation, Jesus (John 14:6).
Deut. 32:31-33 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.  For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:  Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. [KJV] The Lord will in due time bring down the enemies of the church, that is certain, for He has great displeasure in their wickedness. Those who trust any rock (idol, a god other than Almighty God) but God, will find it will certainly fail them when they need it most.
Romans 10:16-18 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. [KJV]
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: [KJV]
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