ARE ALL RELIGIONS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST?
MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE that it doesn’t matter what religion you belong to as long as you believe in Christ and render services to God, because they believe that all religions are of God and of Christ. For them all religions are of God because all rendered their worships and services to God, and God accepts all services rendered to Him.
Does the Bible agree with this belief? Does God accept all services rendered to him? Are all religions of God and of Christ?
NOT ALL ARE ACCEPTED
The story of Cain and Abel, sons of Adam and Eve, tells us that these two both made offerings to God, however, only one was accepted and the other was rejected:
“After some time Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as an offering to the LORD. Then Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep, killed it, and gave the best parts of it as an offering. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering, but he rejected Cain and his offering. Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger.” (Genesis 4:3-5 TEV)
They both made offerings to God. Cain brought some of his harvest and gave it as offering to the Lord. Abel brought the firstborn of his flock as offering to the Lord. However, not both of them were accepted. Only Abel was accepted, but God rejected Cain and his offering. Thus, not all that rendered services to God are accepted.
NOT ALL WHO CALLED JESUS LORD WILL
ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Others believe that as long as you believe in Christ you will be accepted and be saved although belonging to different churches or denominations. However, this is what the Lord Jesus Christ says:
"Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!' Then I will say to them, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!'” (Matthew 7:21-23 TEV)
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven.” The Lord laso said that there are those that spoke God’s message, drove away demons and performed many miracles in His name but will be cast out or will not also be accepted. These are those who do not obey the will or commandment of the Lord God.
THERE ARE WORSHIPS RENDERED
TO GOD THAT WILL BE IN VAIN
Even the Lord God Himself said that there are worships rendered to Him that will be in vain:
“And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (Matthew 15:9 NKJV)
These are the worships based only on doctrines and commandments of men. The words and commandments of God are written in the Holy Scriptures:
“And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Tim. 3:15-17 NKJV)
The doctrine from God are written in the Bible, hence the doctrines of man are those not written in the Bible. Thus, when we say that we obey God’s commandments, it means that we obey what are written in the Bible. When a person obeys the doctrines of man, he is obeying teachings not written in the Bible. Because of this, Apostle Paul admonishes all Christians not to go beyond what is written:
“Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.” (I Corinthians 4:6 NIV)
Thus, many claim that they are Christians, believing in Christ and serving God. However, proclaiming you are a Christian and professing belief in Christ doesn’t mean that Christ will already accepts you. Jesus Himself said that “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven.” We must also follow the commandments of God. Also, rendering services to God is not enough to be accepted by God, because God Himself said that “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
GOD WILL PUNISH THOSE WHO DID NOT SERVED
HIM AND THOSE WHO DID NOT FOLLOWED HIM
In serving God, it is not the will of the one who is serving that must observed, but the will of the one that being served. This is what God is asking His servants:
“See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32 NIV)
It is clearly written in the Bible that God will punish not only those who did not serve Him, but also those who disobey Him:
“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” (II Thessalonians 1:8-9 NIV)
Thus, a person must not only make sure that he is already serving God, but he must also make sure that he is following all of God’s commandments, that he is in the true religion.
A CALL TO ALL MEN FOR THEM
TO FIND THE TRUE RELIGION
For us to find the true religion, this is what God commanded:
“Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'” (Jeremiah 6:16 RSV)
God said, “look” and “ask” for the “ancient paths, Where the good way is.” It is God’s will that we must “look” or seek for the good way. God also said that we must “ask” or inquire or examine. God did not said, you already have a religion where you were born, stay with it. No! God said “look” and “ask” where the “good way” is! When we find the “good way” the Lord God said “walk in it.” However, the Bible also said that many will not walk in it.
THE “CROOKED PATHS”
The true religion is called the “good way” by the Bible. However, the Bible called false religions as “crooked paths”:
“The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace. So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.” (Isaiah 59:8-9 NIV)
The Bible calls false religions as “crooked paths” because “the way of peace they do not know,” “there is no justice in their paths,” and no one who walks in them will know peace.” So, the people that belong to the “crooked paths,” the false religions, are those that “justice is far from them,” “righteousness does not reach them,” and although they look for light but all is darkness for them.” No wonder why many people cannot see that they are in the “crooked paths,” that the religion they belong to is a false religion, because they are in the darkness. Why those in false religions are in the darkness and they cannot see the light of the truth? In Corinthians 4:4:
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (II Corinthians 4:4 NIV)
Those in false religions are in darkness and they cannot see the light of the truth because they are blinded by “the god of this age.” Who are those blinded by the “god of this age” so that they cannot see the light of the truth?
“See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion”. (Isaiah 41:29 NIV)
One of those blinded by the “god of this age” or those in false religion are those that use images in worshipping and serving God. To them the Bible said, “See, they are all false!” How about their worships and services they rendered to God? The Bible said, “Their deeds amount to nothing.” Thus, those using images in worshipping and serving God belong to those not only their worship of God will be in vain, but those in darkness, in the “crooked paths” – their religion is indeed a false religion as what the Bible said about them, “See, they are all false!”
Also belonging to those in darkness and blinded by the “god of this age” are those that cannot see what the true believers and the true Christians can clearly see:
“Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?...You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” (James 2:22, 24 NKJV)
According to Apostle James, “Do you see that faith was working together with his works.” What else true Christians clearly see? That “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” Thus, those teaching that a man is justified by faith alone or the faith-alone concept also belong to those blinded by the “god of this age” for they did not see what the true Christians clearly see that “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”
THE TRUE RELIGION WHERE THE APOSTLES
AND THE TRUE CHRISTIANS BELONG TO
Is there such a thing as a true religion? Many claim that religion is not important because the Bible doesn’t teach any religion and that the apostles do not belong to any religion. The Holy Scriptures do not agree with them. The apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ belong to the religion that Christ Himself established. This is what Apostle Paul says:
“But if I delay, this letter will let you know how we should conduct ourselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. No one can deny how great is the secret of our religion..” (I Timothy 3:15-16 TEV)
Apostle Paul said, “our religion.” Hence, the apostles and the true Christians have a religion. Maybe their religion is not a Christian organization? Apostle Paul also mentioned, “in God’s household, which is the church of the living God.” The religion of the apostles and the true Christians is also the Church they belong to and this is the Church of Christ:
“The common object of their labor was to bring the Christians maturity, to prepare them for Christian service and the building up of the Church of Christ..” (Ephesians 4:12 Norlie's Simplified New Testament)
Therefore, we urged you to learn more about the Church of Christ. Examine her doctrines and compare it with the teachings written in the Bible.
Our next article:
“Why the Church of Christ is the only true religion.”