Sunday – March 19, 2023
Word On Worship – Sunday – March 19, 2023
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
One of the greatest lies that Satan has foisted on the human race is that religion can save you. By “religion,” I mean adherence to the beliefs and practices of a religion in the hope that your performance will gain you right standing with God. Whether it is Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, or even Christianity, there have always been millions who mistakenly thought that obedience to their religion would earn them eternal life.
The four Gospels make it clear that the most difficult people to reach with the gospel are not the notoriously wicked, but rather the outwardly religious. There are numerous accounts of corrupt tax collectors and immoral people coming to salvation. They knew that they were sinners and that they could not save themselves. But it was the religious crowd that opposed Jesus and eventually crucified Him. They were blind to their own sins of pride and self-righteousness. Their religion served not to save them, but to condemn them.
But Jesus Christ did not come to promote religion. He did not flatter those who were religious by saying that He was glad to see their religious activities and that He, too, was a religious person. When the religious leaders complained that Jesus socialized with sinners, He replied (Luke 5:31-32), “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” The important thing with the Lord is what is in our hearts. He sees and judges “the thoughts and intentions of our hearts” (Heb. 4:12-13).
I must ask you friends, “Are you a Christian, or are you just religious?” If you take the words of our Lord seriously, there is a great difference between those who are religious and those who are reborn from above. Nicodemus was as lost as the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). Hell will be populated by many people who are “religious,” who have trusted in their religion to save them, rather than trusting in Christ alone.. He came down from heaven, and He was lifted up on a cross to bear the penalty of your sins and mine. He was raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God. He offers to us His righteousness and His life. If you trust in Him, rather than in yourself, you will be reborn from above, and this way you can be assured that you will see the kingdom of God.