Gospel Hardened

Who are the hardest people to reach with the Gospel of God's Grace? Is it the sinner or the religionist?

The answer may come as a surprise to most people...by far the religious person is the hardest person to reach with the gospel. Why? He is trying to maintain His relationship with God through a relationship with religion by doing the do's and not doing the don'ts that make a person a good religionist. Paul points out that having a relationship with religion does not constitute a relationship with God. You can be a "good church going member" and still be against God.

Man's best attempt to get to God stems from a relationship with religion as a means of getting to God. However, God's attempt to reach man is through intimate relationship through Jesus Christ. It is God's doing, not man's doing.

How can I know if I have a relationship with religion?

If I depend on a denominated denomination to provide my identity rather than depending on Jesus Christ, I have a relationship with religion. If you ask me if I am right with God and I answer you, "yes, I am a (and site my name tagged denomination) believer", consider me religious. This manifests my pride of tradition.

If I depend on rules and regulation keeping as a measuring stick of my spirituality, consider me a religious. The fact is that the rules and regulations of the law has never and will never bring us into relationship with God. The fact that you may be a bible reader and a bible rule keeper does snot ensure you are in relationship with God. Having a bible, reading the bible, keeping the rules of the bible does not constitute a relationship with God.

John 5:39-40 Jesus is speaking to a group of Pharisees who thought they were going to make it on their own works. "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that, by them, you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about Me and yet you refuse to come to Me to have life."

If I believe that because of my title I have a special status with God that makes me more spiritual than others, consider me religious.

If I rely on the law, and brag about your relationship to God it speaks of egoistical pride. manifested by their saying "We're the only religion. My denomination is the only group of true believers. Everyone else is false." That's the deception of religion.

Jesus has nothing to do with religion except that He's against it. Jesus taught that religion would never get people to heaven. It's the relationship that gets you to heaven not religion. The Jews felt very secure. They thought, "We can't do anything wrong. We have this religion." When you study the scriptures you find that God often bypasses a religious establishment to get His message across. When God wanted to announce Jesus' birth did He go tell the priests? No. Who did He first appear to? Lowly shepherds and bypassed the high priests, the rabbis, the teachers, the denominational groups. When God wanted to get the message out it says, "The word of God came to John the Baptist." Who was John the Baptist? A nobody. He wasn't part of the religious establishment. And God often does that. He can't get His message through to religious people because they think they've got special status.

If I claim or insinuate that I am the pipeline from God to the less spiritual pew-warmers, consider me religious. Religious people claim to have a pipeline to God. We are spiritual informers for God, we know his will! Because people claim to know the bible they think they know God's will!...religious people approve of what is spiritual because they are because they believe that being seminarian denominated instructed gives them a special position for hearing from God.

If I exhibit a condescending, judgmental and condemning attitude, consider me religious

They think they've got it when nobody else has it. "We're the teachers, we're the preachers, we're the way." Everybody else is wrong and in darkness! Have you ever known anyone who was a religious snob? "Listen to me, world, I've got the answer for everything." A religious know it all? Wants to show you how much Bible they've got under their belt. This is a characteristic of a religious person. They use the Bible as a gun to shoot you down with out-of-context verses to prove their point. They take great pride in correcting you. They've always got a verse to quote; it gives them an ego boost.

If your faith makes you feel superior to others and put them down, then you're devoted to a religion not a relationship. Your denomination is not to make you feel spiritually superior.

It's not my duty to make people religious. God has never called me to make people be religious. Some people go around like little policemen and every time somebody does what they think is wrong their self-righteous spiritual superiority speaks..."You shouldn't do that!".

It's not our duty to make people religious. It's our duty to manifest the love of Christ with them.

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