by Dick Ward
Did you know just being RELIGIOUS is not enough? Although the theme of many preachers is, "it does not matter, just be religious; choose the church of your choice; one faith is as good as another; etc..", the Bible offers no comfort to such religious propaganda. The Lord demands unity and gives the plan for obtaining it. Denominationalism is division and by its very nature condemns its own existance. Yes, it is true - the very ones (religious people) we expect to uphold truth are often its most zealous opponents. This fact can educate us if we will let it.
RELIGIOUS BUT RELIGIOUSLY WRONG
Just being religious is not enough to satisfy God. Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom, set up "religious" activity in his kingdom. He had appointed Dan and Bethel as places for his citizens to worship God; he ordained priests from among the lowest of the people; set up the 15th day of the 8th month as a religious feast (I Kings 12:25-33). Was Jeroboam very religious? Yes, he was religious. But he was obviously religiously wrong! What made his religion wrong? Well, we might sum it up by saying Jeroboam practiced the unauthorized. God had set up Jerusalem, not Dan and Bethel, as the place of special worship. The Lord specified priests to be from the sons of Levi not from other tribes much less the loweest of the people. The feast was appointed to be the 15th day of the 7th month and not the 8th month. Friends, it becomes clear to all Bible believers - one may be religious but religiously wrong!
Jesus spoke of those who were active, religiously, but who were spiritual rejects. These religious zealots claimed to have "prophesied, cast out devils and done many wonderful works" IN HIS NAME. Surely, if just being religious is sufficient, these folks would have had God's approval. Well, Jesus said of them and their religion, "I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23, see :23). Friends and good neighbors, if you are seriously seeking to enter the kingdom of heaven you must take the Lord at His word when He said, "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN." (Matthew 7:21).
Religion is not something you GET but it is something you DO. Keep in mind, though, it is important WHAT you do! Doing the will of God with the proper attitude is the only way to make your religion worthwhile.
[Editor's Note: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 Eldorado East, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405, (205) 556-2407]
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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