i recently ran across these pictures at foxnews.com.


a holy ritual lead by naked ascetics in the ganges river

“Hindu devotees offer evening prayers on the banks
of the River Ganges in Allahabad, India. “

a life of religious devotion, a religious lifestyle, a religious zeal…
and unless they come to saving faith in jesus christ, the religiosity will gain them nothing but hell.
then i read this article and thought of the millions who call themselves christians i
n our own country. many show much less devotion, live contrary to, and lack zeal
for their faith than those hindu’s do in their false religion.
i cant help but wonder how many people we know who call themselves “christians”
are merely “religious”. do they know the difference? can they see the difference in us?
no one is good enough to deserve or earn salvation. it is only by the grace of god
anyone is saved.(rom. 3; eph. 2:1-10).
we should be in prayer often not only for the lost in other countries who are so
visibly wrong in their beliefs, but also for the many in our own country in our own
communities whose faith lie only in going through the motions of activity of religion,
using christian jargon, but ultimately have never accepted christ as the lord and savior.
who is more sincere?? the hindu’s in these pictures, or the 63% of southern baptist church
“members” in the u.s. who do not attend chruch?
i am inclined to believe that the hindu’s in their rituals and ceremonies are more sincere,
but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.sincerely believing in a false religion, and not
participating in the one true religion both result in an eternity in a literal hell.
we often get motivated and fired up about missions. we give money, watch presentations,
listen to testimonies of mission stories. all of these things are good.
but how often do we burn to see those who have no signs of regeneration other than their
name on a church roll confronted with the gospel?
i am not suggesting that we question everyone we know and demand answers
to our every question in order to decide if *we* think the person has done enough
to be a christian. but i am suggesting that we take the bible seriously when it comes
to church membership.
the church is made up of believers. believers are called to gather together and participate
together as members. when there are names on the rolls of our churches of people who
are capable and able of coming and being involved, but do not, there is a problem that
needs to be addressed. to ignore it is similar to looking at the above pictures and looking
away thinking, “maybe they’ll figure it out.”
after walking around athens and observing all of the man made idols, paul stilled
referred to those people as religious…
So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens,
I observe that you are very religious in all respects. “For while I was
passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also
found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD “…
(acts 17:22-23)
he then goes on to share the gospel with them – because they were not saved.
james admits that there can be “worthless” religion…
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle
his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
(james 1:26)
so let us not further the idea, but our words or actions that being religious,
even within christian culture, is enough.
being “religious” can send you to hell.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes
to the Father but through Me – john 14:6

15″Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly are
ravenous wolves. 16″You will know them by their fruits.
Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18″A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good
fruit. 19″
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown
into the fire. 20″So then, you will know them
by their fruits.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence o
nly, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear
and trembling; – phil 2:12

may we fear and tremble at the thought of hoping in anything else but the gospel of christ.

21″Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in
Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform
many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;