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DOCTRINE QUESTION 26
Which religion is right or are they all right?
I don't suppose there is anything more confusing to the unsaved than the many religions.
I just recently read that there were three hundred and sixty-six different Baptist groups in America, and there are around twelve hundred different ones. The word "religion" is only mentioned five times in the Bible. It is seldom used in a good sense. The word means "the external form or ritual." The Pharisees were very religious. The Lord denounced them with eight "woes." In Matthew 23 He called them vipers, whited sepulchers, hypocrites, and He told them they were not entering into the kingdom and they were hindering others from entering. It was these very same religious people who later cried, "Crucify Him."
I am afraid we have too many religious people and not enough Christians. Christianity is life. It is the receiving of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23; and 1 John 5:11-12.) Salvation and religion are two different things. Religion is what you do for yourself and God. Salvation is what God has done and did for you. Religion is self effort. Salvation is resting on a finished work. Religion says "do." Salvation says "done." Man never seems to want to acknowledge his helplessness before God. This would be humiliating. To take the free gift of God's grace is to acknowledge our need and helplessness. This is what the Bible calls repentance.
Dear Reader, you have to have more than religion to get to heaven. Playing church one day a week will not do. You must bow as a lost sinner at the foot of the cross and trust the One who died for your sins. "Neither is there salvation is any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby ye must be saved" Acts 4:12.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen