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The Religious Problem

The Religious Problem

For the past few posts we’ve been looking at the advantage of religion.  That is, the advantage of having a basic knowledge of what the Bible says.  But is that enough?

Are you a better person in God’s eyes by being religious?

What shall we conclude then?  Are we any better?  Not at all!  We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.  As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

Romans 3:9-11

Here’s the problem.  Even though a religious person may appear to be better on the outside, without a relationship with Christ, they’re still lost.  Unfortunately, because they’re doing good things, they think that everything’s okay.

The fact remains that even though they may read the Bible, they have no understanding of God’s plan of salvation.  They’ve never laid hold of Christ’s forgiveness.  They think they’re headed in the right direction, but they’re outside the family of God.

Paul has some strong words for these people.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:12-18

In my experience, I’ve found that religious people are the hardest ones to witness to.  They see all of their good works and think that’s enough to save them.

What they fail to understand is that sin is not an external problem.  It needs to be dealt with on the inside of all of us.

When we stand before God’s Judgment Seat, there’s no set of scales.  He will not see if our good works outweigh our evil deeds.  The only question at that time will be; did you bow your knees to Christ as Lord and Savior?

That being said, there’s another thing that we need to realize.  Not all religious people are unsaved.  I know this may come as a shock to some Christians.

There are many believers in so called religious denominations.  Yes, I’m talking about Roman Catholic and Orthodox type denominations.

Those of us in less religious groups should spend more time talking with them instead of judging them.  I have personally shared with hundreds in these religions.  I’ve found that many have the same precious faith that I do.

Please understand, they don’t have the same religious vocabulary that I have.  In spite of that, I’ve found that during their lives, they’ve prayed for Jesus Christ to enter their lives and change them.  They pray, in Jesus’ name, for God’s blessing upon their lives.

No, they may not use terms like “sinner’s prayer”, “born again”, or “getting saved.”  But I could tell by their heart-felt words that they have a deep rooted faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We can’t just assume that because someone doesn’t worship like us, they’re not saved.  We need to evangelize those who are truly lost, without Christ.

Question: How did you first come to know about Christ?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2020 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Have You Heard the Good News?

SharingFor the last few posts I’ve been talking about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  What exactly is that Good News?  I think you’ll be surprised at how the modern church has turned the message around, making it empty of its power.

If I were to ask people “What is the Gospel?”, I would probably receive many answers.  There are a host of believers who are actively trying to “win the lost.”  They would most likely give me very Biblical answers.

What I want to know are the perceptions of those who hear the Gospel.  From talking with unbelievers who have been “witnessed to” I could boil it down to the following: “You’re an evil sinner going to hell, but if you repeat a special prayer you can go to Heaven.”

If that’s what they got out of an encounter with a Christian, then something’s wrong with our approach.  There is no way to demonstrate a statement like that.  That’s why so many unbelievers are bitter toward those who have tried and failed to convert them.

We need to return to a true understanding of what the Good News is all about.

Here is an example of Jesus’ ministry.

“The time has come,” he said.  “The kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news!”
Mark 1:15

Jesus made two statements.  The kingdom of God is near was the Good News.  The Lord then told the people how to respond to this Good News.

Repent and believe is not the Good News, it’s the response that’s needed.  We must learn that the power is in the Good News, not in the response to the Good News.  In many cases, we have started calling the response, the Gospel.  You cannot go out preaching “repent and believe” and assume you’re bringing the Gospel to the world.

When it comes to the Good News, one size doesn’t fit all.  There are gang members and single moms, Wall St. executives and the homeless.  Is the Good News the same for all of them?

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that the response to the Good News must be the same for all people.  But the message itself will be different depending upon who you’re talking to.  This is how God established it in His Word.

God, Himself, gave us four Gospels.  Matthew was written for the Jews and Mark for the Romans.  Luke was for the Greeks and John contained Good News for the Christian.

It’s a fact that religious people need to hear something different than the unchurched.  The Bible itself describes the Good News in many ways.  It’s called the Gospel of the Kingdom, of God, of Christ, of God’s grace, of your salvation, and the Gospel of peace.

Of course, no matter how the Gospel message is tailored to an audience, Jesus Christ is central.  Furthermore, it all must be demonstrated by the power of the Holy Spirit in order for the world to see the full picture.

Question: How can you bring the Good News to those in you sphere of influence?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in The Church, The Gospel

 

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