~ Religion Is The Solution ~
People Think ~ “People need religion.” Or, “If everyone would just follow the Golden Rule our problems would go away!”
The Bible Says ~ Consider what Jesus Christ—The Messiah—had to say about the religious leaders of His time on earth. “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers!’” (Matthew 3:7a).
Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. … Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets’” (Matthew 23:13-14, 23-30).
The Significance ~ Religion is based on rules and regulations, do’s and do not’s! The solution is a relationship with the very Son of God—Jesus Christ.
Comment ~ No person is capable of meeting the righteous required of a righteous God. “For I [Jesus] say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees [who kept the rules], you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
The Good News is that repentant sinners can be viewed by God as covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Listen to what He said:
“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day’” (John 6:35-40).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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