Religious or Rescued?
The world is packed full of religion, it is also packed full of sin, evil, immorality, hatred and war. Is religion the answer? Can religion fit people for heaven after life? The answer from the Bible is clearly "No"!
If you were to speak to people who are religious (whatever religion it is), generally, they have much the same idea. Their religion is their hope of being in heaven or finding favour with God. It usually consists of good works, ceremonies, attendance at a place of worship. If these all go right, they assume that they might get into heaven at the end.
What does God in the Bible say about getting to heaven? Can we earn a place in heaven by good works?
"By the deeds of the law (i.e. keeping commandments and rules) no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3v23)
In other words, we can never get into heaven by trying to keep the law of God, it only condemns us for we can’t keep it, and it shows that we are sinners. The standard is too high for us to attain by our own efforts.
Outward ceremony cannot get us to heaven either, for the Bible says "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16v7) an outward baptism or ritual of any kind cannot bring favour with God.
God deals in realities,it is easy for us to be content with an outward ceremony but it never was good enough for God.
When the Lord Jesus was here in this world there were men called Pharisees and they prided themselves in religion and ceremony, they were looked up to and respected but the Lord Himself spoke of them as "blind leaders of the blind, and if the blind lead the blind both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15v14). He also said that they were just like whitewashed graves, that looked great on the outside but within are full of dead men's bones.
God's verdict on humanity finds all of us, religious or irreligious, guilty in His courtroom (Read Romans 3).
How then can we get to heaven?
We must be rescued. That means we can't help ourselves and also that we are in danger of God's righteous judgment because of our sins. But God, in His kindness and love, has a rescue plan for us!
God explains that the only way this is possible is by depending alone in Christ for safety and salvation.
God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners like us. We read that “the Father has sent the Son as the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4v14) . He came to search for and rescue us, he said about himself "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19v10).
Why would God send His Son, who He dearly loved, to die in shame on a cross, bearing the punishment for sins, if we could get to heaven any other way?
God did this because He loves us and wants us to be rescued. We cannot rescue ourselves.
If a man, having fallen off a pier is actually drowning, it is no good for me to tell him to help himself, he needs someone to save him! So with us, humankind is actually perishing, so God sent a Saviour.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3v16)
The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross that our sins might be forgiven, He rose again from the dead in triumph and he now wants people to trust Him for salvation. If they do they will have everlasting life and thus will be in heaven after life.
I ask you again, in all sincerity, are you religious or rescued?
Differences between Religion and Salvation
Religion says "I must DO..., Salvation says "the work is DONE by Christ"
Religion says "If I work hard enough, I might be in heaven," Salvation says "if I trust Christ, I will be in heaven"
Religion brings dread and uncertainty. Salvation brings hope and security.
Religion says "I trust (believe) in myself and my works". Salvation says "I trust (believe) in Christ and His work"
Religion never worked. Salvation always works.
"What must I do to be saved?...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16v30-31)
"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10v9).
Interesting Video Links on Religion
I have attached a few links to interesting videos that I have found which might help underscore the dangers of religion. I have no personal vendetta against any religion. I have friends and associates who are involved with many different beliefs, some of these beliefs are portrayed on these clips. It is important, however, to compare everything with the Bible to see whether it is the truth.
The Lord Jesus Himself said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me." (John 14v6)
All bible quotations on this page are from the NKJV, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Inc.