Of God Or Religion

So many in churches these days claim the title “Christian.” Knowing what the beliefs and traditions they follow are correct. They confidently teach others the same thing. But the question is, “is what they follow of God or Religion?”

After all the doctrines, teachings, philosophies, ideals, and traditions that they hold to, rely upon, practice, follow, and teach were taught to them by their respected peers, highly educated teachers, and admired pastors that were taught in esteemed biblical institutions.

Most of the time there is no doubt in their minds that they have most everything correct, or at least the most important aspects of Christianity. Their professors of doctrine, theology, and eschatology could not have been mistaken, could they?

Yet, did you know that since Jesus walked on the earth Christianity has been divided time and time again? Until now there are over 40,000 different Christian denominations worldwide. 

What is even more surprising, is that many of these denominations hold firmly to different doctrines and beliefs about what the Bible teaches. To put it into simple terms, they declare, “I am right and everyone else is wrong.” They have chosen the “right way” according to their own understanding, everyone else needs to repent, and become part of their particular sprinter of Christianity.

Repentance is good and necessary, but only to God and only when you have broken God’s Law, not the dogma of man-made religion.

These vast religious entities go even to the point that many deny the very essence of the faith, such as Creation, the Flood, God’s Sovereignty, His prophets, Jesus’ virgin birth, His death, His resurrection, the Holy Spirit, and many more fundamental truths of God’s Word.

Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:3-7

Sadly, this is true, most who occupy church buildings deny God Himself by closing their ears and their eyes to His instruction through the Holy Spirit. They would rather listen to biblically educated men and women who have been educated by other biblically educated men and women. 

Whatever happened to listening to the Lord? Seeking the guidance, instruction, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit? But instead, they desire to be teachers of the Law, teachers of doctrine, and theologians. 

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?

These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:20-23

They have puffed themselves up in their own minds with biblical comprehension. In some cases, for the reason that they may know more than the next person. That they may be praised by man and glorified before everyone in the churches. 

Yet they have no wisdom or understanding given to them by God. In essence, they do not know what they are even talking about and leading many astray knowingly or unknowingly.

Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. 1 Timothy 1:6-7

No wonder there are so many divisions and denominations. 

Because every man believes that in his own mind, his own understanding, and in his own opinion that he is absolutely correct. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. What this really is, is an act of pride.

He says, “I am right and you are wrong.” Instead of, “what does God say, how can we be instructed by the Holy Spirit.”

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2

Listen, if there are so many divisions in Christianity, then most of them must be wrong. You are not to look up to your leaders and instructors with holy faith in what they teach. 

As the Bereans that were commended by Paul searched the scriptures daily and sought to be taught by the Holy Spirit. If there’s any doubt God will show you what is true and what is false. 

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. 1 John 2:27

The true believer in Jesus Christ does not follow man, he or she does not raise up anyone else and say I follow this person or that person believing every word they say. But they test the word and they follow God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit with complete devotion and trust. 

There is no Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Protestant, Reformed, Arminian, Calvinist, or Lutheran just to name a very few. Those who are true, who has the Spirit of God within them are simply servants of the Lord, followers of Jesus Christ, and soldiers in the army of God. 

All that other stuff is fluff and worthless. Names, titles, man made doctrines, traditions, and rituals. It is of absolutely no use and vanity. 

And Jesus said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:6-8

Leave the religions, traditions, and rituals taught and practiced by man and follow the Lord only. Seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in everything you do and say. 

Men will fail time and time again. Do you really want to trust completely the faltering ways of man? The Lord will never fail, never falters, and will never lead you astray. 

Even the Apostle Paul went away into Arabia for 3 years to be instructed only by the Holy Spirit. Why? Because He could not trust the teachers of the Law in those days to teach Him the Truth. Why would you think that teachers in these last days could do better when their teachings are more diverse than ever before?

Do you really think you could pick the right teacher out of 40,000 denominations? You can not take that chance. Your very eternity and the eternity of others may be at stake. But the Lord will always teach you what is right.

The bottom line of all of this is that you must follow and obey the ways, precepts, and the word of the Lord God Almighty. Any other belief, any other teaching, and any other instruction is actually coming from the devil. 

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

This day you must determine in your heart and mind to follow the Lord only. To let Him teach you even if at first you do not understand, He will give you the wisdom and insight that you may understand. 

Determine to seek good and not evil, to walk in the Spirit of the Lord and not in your flesh, and to walk away from the religious if need be. It is hard, I know, but God’s understanding is much better and much higher than man’s. 

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord,

choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

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