Religion Today…

I find it almost humorous that today people see God as this Old Testament old man who sits on a cloud and dispenses judgment at His whim, while they see Jesus as the New Testament hippy that goes around teaching love and forgiveness. What people do not seem to understand is that they are one in the same. I had a member of my Sunday school class ask me one day to try to explain the trinity to him, you know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I explained it like this: The sun is the big ball of fire in the solar system, and we will call this the Father. The sun gives off light, that we will call the Son. Finally, if you stand in your yard in the sunlight you can feel the warm heat coming from the sun, and we will use this as the Holy Spirit. You cannot have the light without the sun, just like you cannot have the Son without the Father, and the same goes with the warmth. They come in a specific order just like God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are all apart of the same thing but different in nature, and the trinity is no different. We can feel the warmth from the sun and know that it comes from the sun in the same way that Christians can feel the Holy Spirit and know where it comes from too. You see, God the Father in the Old Testament is the same as God the Son in the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit is a part of that as well. This answer seemed to please the class and when asked where I came up with that explanation, I could not give an answer except that it had to come from the Holy Spirit.

Today however, people are quick to ask what religion you are and if you answer, “Christian” that doesn’t seem to be good enough. They want to know are you Catholic, Baptist, Church of God, Church of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. When I am asked that I simply say, “I believe in the Bible and that Jesus Christ was in fact the Son of God, and was God in the flesh, He was born of from a virgin birth, died on the cross for my sins, and rose three days later.” I honestly do not put a label on it. It is usually at this point when people ask me all sorts of questions, some I can answer and most I can not. The fact is religion is based on faith, and while yes I can prove a great majority of the Bible as true, there are other parts I take on faith. Organized religion is something that I have an issue with because so many churches want to get people “saved” that this is the only thing they focus on, and when someone is “saved” the ball gets dropped on the question of “what now?” and the new Christian finds themselves struggling to be something that the church has set as a standard. Matthew 16:24-26, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for is soul?” (NASB) See Jesus tells us that it will not be an easy road being a Christian. Yes, when you are saved you will get to go to heaven and be with Him, however, you will have a hard time following in His footsteps along the way in life. We have to deny ourselves, our sin nature of the things we want to do but know are wrong. In a way we make it harder on ourselves being a Christian but the reward is worth it. We can remain in our sin nature and do well, even being good people but in the end we all die, and it is where our soul will spend eternity that matters. We have to understand that the God of the Old Testament who judged Sodom and Gomorrah with destruction is the same God of the New Testament that showed love and forgiveness. It is that same God that offers you a chance at eternity with Him because He wants to forgive you and show you love, but make no mistake if you deny Him, you will be judged. John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” He is the only way into heaven, and to get there you have to have Jesus in your heart. The big question is, do you?

 

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