Skip to comments.Are You Religious...or Are You Saved?
Posted on 12/10/2013 5:23:53 AM PST by CynicalBear
I once heard a radio preacher make the statement, You can be religious to your fingertips and still go to hell.
This is absolutely true.
Religion and salvation are two vastly different things. Religion is man trying to reach God by his own efforts, through rituals and ceremonies and keeping of the laws and rules of the religion he is practicing. It may include doing good works, it may include trying to turn others to your religion and it may include other such things that may be well and good as far as this life is concerned, but it wont get you to heaven.
Salvation on the other hand is simply recognizing what God has already done for you, that He through Jesus has already done everything necessary to secure your salvation, and all you have to do is accept it by inviting Jesus into your life, into your inner man. Once you do that you are saved for all of eternity, heaven will be your future home, and nobody and nothing on this earth can take it away from you.
The Greeks worshiped many gods. In Athens they had altars and statues to every god they could think of, and even an altar to the unknown god just in case they happened to miss one. The apostle Paul saw this when he visited Athens while making his rounds as a missionary and was greatly moved by what he saw. He preached Jesus to them, which seemed to them as some strange new god they had never heard of.
Standing in the Areopagus he told them, Men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the subjects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, To an Unknown God. What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. And he preached to them about Jesus, the unknown god, as the only Way of salvation.
One thing that all religions have in common is you have to do something to work or earn your way to God (or whatever god that religion worships), or do something to merit that gods attention. Even some who profess Christianity think we have to do something to earn our way to Heaven. I believe this is mainly based on misinterpretation of the Bible, trying to mix in Old Testament teachings with human reasoning. Whatever, it isnt true.
But what does the Scripture say? In order to properly understand Scripture we have to apply some commonsense rules to the reading of it that could apply to any reading.
1. Take the writings in the Bible at face value, as literally true, unless the context indicates otherwise.
2. Dont take Scripture out of context. Read what comes before and after the passage you're looking at to get a clear picture of what it is actually saying. Dont do proof texts, which are usually isolated verses taken out of context. Much false doctrine comes from taking Scripture out of context and mixing it with human reasoning. You can prove just about anything you want to by taking Scripture out of context but that doesn't make it so and it really doesnt prove anything.
3. Do cross-references. Look at other passages on the same subject or event, compare them and see what they say together. Compare Scripture with Scripture. This will give you a much clearer picture of what you are looking for.
4. Ask some questions about the passage you are reading: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Who is speaking? Who is he speaking to? What is he saying? What event or thing is he talking about? What is he doing, and why is he doing it? Where is this event, taking place? And why? What is the occasion? When is this happening, or being said? Finding the answers to these questions will help shed more light on what you are reading.
Weve already seen that all religions are based on some sort of works, earning your way to heaven. What do Isaiah and others in the Bible say about that?
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Romans 3:19-20, Paul: Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be shut, and that all the world may become accountable to God, because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God; for by the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:10-12, Paul: For as many are of the works of the law are under a curse, for as it is written, Cursed is every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.' Now that no one is justified before God is evident, for the righteous man shall live by faith. However, the law is not of faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices them shall live by them.
In other words all the law does is tell us we are sinners, but it doesnt do anything to fix the situation.
The fact of the matter is that we are all sinners, and as such have no capacity to save ourselves. Keeping the laws given through Moses will not save us. All the law does is show us that we are sinners. And as sinners we are all under the condemnation of God, because God cannot allow sin in heaven and there is only one other place to go to when we diehell. Sin is a bit like an ounce of poison in a pot of stew. No amount of stirring or adding other ingredients will neutralize the poison. The poison has to be removed but you have nothing to remove it with.
Enter Jesus. There is only one way to remove the poison of sin from our lives, and that is for an innocent substitute to take the punishment for that sin upon Himself. In the Old Testament it was a lamb or a goat or other animal without spot or blemish, a type or shadow looking forward to Jesus execution on the cross. In our case, that innocent Substitute is none other than God Himself, in the person of Jesus the Christ, the anointed Son of God.
When Jesus was crucified God the Father laid every sin of every person on earth, past, present and future, on Jesus. When He died He took all our sins to the grave with Him, never to be held against us again. When He arose from the dead it was proof positive that God had accepted that payment for the sins that He had been charged withour sins. He had no sin of His own. For thirty-three years He lived on this earth, being born as a little baby just like the rest of us once were, growing to manhood, being tempted and tried in every manner that we all are, and yet totally without sin. Only then was He qualified to be the Substitute for our sins. And we are saved by His righteousness not our own. If we could save ourselves by our own self -righteousness, then Jesus died for no purpose.
Now what do we have to do to receive this righteousness?
John 1: 9-11: He [Jesus] was in the world, the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came to His own and and His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on His name.
John 3:16-18: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved. Whoever believes on Him is not condemned, but he who believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 14:6: Jesus said to him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Romans 10:9-10: That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.
So you see, it all works by faith. Everything necessary for your salvation has already been done, all you have to do is receive it by receiving Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. How do you get him to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior? Just ask Him to, and believe He will. Its that simple. No rocket science needed, just sincere faith that He will do what you ask Him to do.
Religion: Do and do and doall your life and get nowhere, and maybe end-up in hell.
Salvation: Its already done, all taken care of by Jesus. Just receive Him by faith, like a child would ask his daddy to give him something he wants, believing hell get it for him. Its that simple.
Believe me, it works!
Well, I m ust admit, I had a little difficulty following your point, but looking over my posts, I also could have been a little clearer.
I think their omission is simply due to the fact that those who have the Spirit of God already in them understand and dont have to be told that Christ WILL work through those who truly believe since true belief includes submission. They think others will understand that also if they claim they are saved.
Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
And the sacrifice our praises to Him.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
I'm am not going to put money into this guy's pocket for him to tell me why he became a Catholic...But alas, I already heard his conversion experience online, for free...
Nothing there...Lot of bible perversion to justify what he teaches...
It is comical tho that he is trying to sound like Jimmy Swaggert in that link you left...
“It is comical tho that he is trying to sound like Jimmy Swaggert in that link you left”
That’s because he was born and raised a pentacostal. He loved Swaggart, but the more he got into scripture the more he realized that Swaggart was wrong and the Catholic Church was right. Tim Staples is a great apologist for the Catholic faith, but my favorite is Dr. Scott Hahn. He was a protestant PHD theologian for years before he realized the the Catholic Church was where it was at. Without a doubt one of the smartest men around.
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem;
Creatorem caeli et terrae.
Et in Jesum Christum,
Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum;
qui conceptus est
de Spiritu Sancto,
natus ex Maria virgine;
passus sub Pontio Pilato,
crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus;
descendit ad inferos;
tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;
ascendit ad caelos;
sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis;
inde venturus est
iudicare vivos et mortuos.
Credo in Spiritum Sanctum;
sanctam ecclesiam catholicam;
vitam aeternam. Amen.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
he will come again
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen
Romans 7: ...9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to dothis I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in Gods law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to Gods law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
No. I am saying that I have heard many make the claim that they Accept Jesus into their life, and therefore will be saved. Their behavior later indicated that they must have been lying to themselves.
I don't think that if you truly mean it when you STATE you accept Jesus into your life, that you continue to openly sin.
you and Jimmy can interpret the bible any way that you choose (obviously) I will stick with Christ's own church and her teachings....they had a lot more time to study His word that I do.
YES....we are perfectly able to refuse His gift, and apparently many do. In order to obtain salvation we must accept His gift and act accordingly.Otherwise we are free to live whatever lifestyle that we choose......that could be a no-no.
of ccourse they do....they are fallen angels and they know EXACTLY what is going on ....sheesh..the reason that they are in trouble is that they know the truth and are evil in spite of their knowledge....
In my own life it has been rebellion in some instances and in other instances a lack of faith (trust) in God.
But there is a third reason.
Paul talks about this in Romans 7. He said he does things he knows are wrong, things he doesn't want to do, and he doesn't do things he knows God wants him to do, things he wants to do. "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
He concludes that there are two laws at work in him. His mind desires to follow God's leading, but a different law in his flesh leads him astray. He says in Romans 8 that for this reason, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
The 8th chapter of Romans is a beautiful description of the man who is of the spirit and the man who is of the flesh. He says the REQUIREMENTS of the Law have been fulfilled in Christ for those of us who are not of the flesh but are of the spirit.
He talks of freedom from the law of sin and death that comes to the believer because of the Law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
Paul's testimony in Romans and my own observations indicate this doesn't come day one with salvation. It is something I had to be led into by becoming totally broken before my God over my repeated failure to overcome sin in my life. I was trying to follow his paths, but by gritting my teeth, drawing repeated lines in the sand, repenting until my repenter was plumb wore out. After many decades of this I told God He was going to have to do something because I was totally lost.
God has a grace he gives his children that offers freedom from bondage to sin.
"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
I’ve always found that about the most difficult passage to grasp in the Bible.
Sometimes works after Salvation are filthy rags. I've certainly done "good" works for the wrong motive. For recognition and vanity.
CynicalBear, would you mind explaining what that verse means? I have never been satisfied that I understand what Paul is saying there
That’s true too!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.