There have been inquiries that ask what my “religion” is. Protestant; Calvinist; Catholic; Berean, and on and on. My answer is, and always will be, I follow Jesus the Christ; therefore, I am a Christian. I do not claim to belong to any organized man-named religious organization. One response came back that I had to belong to either Protestant or Catholic because they are the main religions. (any emphasis mine)
Really? Well, there’s a whole bunch of people claiming to be Muslim, and they worship a god called Allah. How about Hindus who worship multiple gods. Then of course, there’s the satanists who worship Lucifer; and of course, the atheists that worship no god at all. Added to these are all the different “religions” that claim some sort of deity other than the Lord God Jehovah, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Some will believe in and accept part of the Trinity, but not Father, Son and Holy Spirit combined.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:4-7, “For when one says I follow Paul, and another I follow Apollos, are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth So neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God gives the growth.”
Going to 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Finally, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23, “So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul, Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Looking at 1 Peter 4:16, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (Christian is being of Christ).
There are reasons I personally will not take on any labels as to the “type” of Christian I am. I grew up in an organized religious church that firmly believed anyone not a member of that church was lost, and all, and I emphasize ALL who did not belong to them were going to Hell! Without any self-study of God’s word, I might have believed this to be true even today.
Since my late teens, and up to about age 40, I attended many different types of churches. Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Non-denominational, Baptist, and so forth. All have similar teachings, yet for me, something was missing. First and foremost, there was no “personal relationship” with Jesus. Also, I heard the word of the Lord given in numerous churches that was “interpreted” to fit the philosophy of their particular religious theories. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions.
It was not easy to start a daily self-study Bible reading; but after a short while, it became impossible for me to stop. Even after having read various translations cover to cover, I still read at least a chapter from His word every day. There are still things being revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, and I will never know it all.
Calvin, Luther, Mohammad and any other “founder” did not die for me at Calvary to give me a pathway to Salvation because of my sins. There are “religions” that will say, if you take your seat every time the congregation meets, keep putting money in the plate, then you are saved. There are actually so-called “evangelical” churches today that are saying all religions worship the same God, and there are other pathways to heaven than through Jesus. Also, more and more are saying “alternate lifestyles are no longer an abomination,” and God will overlook these acts. People keep attending because they’re told what they want to hear.
Mark 10:6, “But from the beginning of creation (Genesis), God made them male and female.”
I have found many verses throughout the word of God that say man and woman can be joined in marriage, but none include same-sex relationships. Revising the “text” of the Bible does not in any way change God’s original words. God has made each of us, and He didn’t make any mistakes.
Anyone who changes the word of God is a false prophet and an antichrist, as given in 1 John 2:4; 2:18-23; 4:1-6. How about Malachi 3:6, “For the Lord does not change…” Also, Hebrews 13-8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
To change His word is to mock God, and Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
To us, time just goes by, and there have been thousands of years. How about God? “But do not overlook this one fact, Beloved, that with the Lord, one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
God created “time” for man. He is not bound by it, and is in the present, past and future all at once.
A part of our Father came to earth as a human, and He is able to say with credibility, He knows what we feel. God does not have to prove anything to us, but He loves us so much that He was willing to share our desires, needs, pain and suffering (John 3:16). Because of this, Jesus was able to say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). I believe this with my whole heart.
There is no man-made religion that could ever guarantee me eternal life in Heaven. Without Jesus, there is no salvation. For those in the organized religious groups: all who seriously have called out to Jesus to be their Savior; confessed they are sinners in need of forgiveness; believe He came to this earth to be our perfect sacrifice for our sins; was crucified, died and was in the grave three days; and was raised by the Father to conquer sin and death for all time, they will be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13).
Any other belief will put someone in that long line that starts at the Great White Throne, and ends up in a very miserable place for all eternity called the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
It’s a sad commentary that many churches today do not preach the “gospel” (good-news) and shy away from the Great Commission. After a tough week at work, or other activities related to this earth, many are looking for anything to give them relief. They are happy to get “ear-tickling” messages with heart-thumping music thrown in, and stage-type productions meant to entertain and not teach the true Word. They don’t ever hear mention of the word “sin” and that Jesus is the only Way they can be saved.
While this is a key to the success in many churches today, it’s also a real “attaboy” from Satan. The Father will not be impressed. His message throughout the Bible is: Jesus is our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, and we must have Him to have an eternal home in Heaven. All other ways lead to eternal death – punishment. Carrying the name of an organized man-named religion does not impress God. He looks at what’s in our hearts and on our minds, not the place we go to worship.
Anytime I have given messages in churches, I have never claimed to be anything except a “Christian.” Titles do not impress me; Pastor to me means servant of Jesus attempting to pass on His words, not mine. The real reward I totally seek is to get a big hug from my Blessed Savior and for Him to say, “Welcome Home.” As a commercial once said, “It don’t get no better than this.”
Please understand, I am not putting down any groups that attend regular services in whatever named church they choose, and where the true word of the Lord is given. This is encouraged throughout the Bible of assembling together. However, when it gets to be a “social club” and the word of the Lord is “adjusted,” I do not condone this in any way.
For those who say I have to have a religious title, My Bible says that if I accept and follow Jesus, and receive His wonderful gift He totally provided, then I am a Christian. That’s more than enough for me.