As a Christian who stands on the foundation of Jesus Christ as my Savior, I have recently gained a revelation about “religion.” First of all, “religion” is defined as:
- Belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny;
- Any formal or institutionalized expression of such belief;
- The attitude and feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power or power.
- Church, the way of life determined by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience entered upon by monks, friars, and nuns: to enter religion;
- Something of overwhelming importance to a person: football is his religion;
- The practice of sacred ritual observances b. sacred rites and ceremonies.
Nowhere was religion defined as a relationship.
Walking the Christian life based on the WORD of God creates a “relationship,” not a RELIGION. Every Christian understands that the foundation of Christianity is based on the one and only TRUTH of Jesus! That truth fulfills and completes the entire Word of God.
John 3:16-18 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
John 14:6 - “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”
As Christians we have created a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, our Savior. That foundation is based on the fact that Jesus came to the earth as God in the flesh, died on the cross, destroying the sin in our lives, and rose from the dead to give us eternal life with God. He bought us back with HIS blood. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God!
By analyzing the media and government with the upcoming presidential election, we hear the word “religion” thrown around loosely. I have gained a revelation from this. Christianity to me is not under the category of religion. I don’t belong to a religion. I belong to JESUS! I believe as Christians we have simply allowed the enemy to deceive us into compromising our foundation as just another “religion.”
As Christians our faith must shift from religion to JESUS! “Why?” you might ask. Because it’s the one and only TRUTH that exists from the ONE True God! “No one comes to the Father except through ME.” That is JESUS’ words!
It’s time Christians stand together and break the news to the enemy. “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me!”
The Word of God tells us that JESUS is coming back for a Bride that is spotless. That Bride must represent the Truth found in the Word based on who JESUS is. There is no compromise or room for false religions. They are simply false! If any “religion” is not following the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is a false religion. That means all other religions. We need to simply tell the truth!
The grace of God allows for all to repent and come to Jesus, so therefore Christians have had a hard time saying that other religions are false. I believe it is because we don’t want to be confrontational. If we are uncertain of our faith in Jesus, we look just like the other religions – powerless and defeated.
I believe we also know what it was like before our eyes were opened to the Spirit of God. We were once lost and now we are found. We were blind but now we see.
Matthew 7:21-23 - "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
This scripture tells us that we must KNOW Jesus. That is a “relationship,” not a religion. That relationship doesn’t need a building or a sign on the door to join.
As Christians it is time we get the message and stop being divided. Denominations need to unite based on the foundation of Jesus. Basically, when we divide ourselves by our “religions,” we are operating out of the works of the flesh.
Galatians 5:18-21 - “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
I am going to step on all our toes when I make this statement: If “OUR” Christian religion is operating correctly because of the building, the name on the door, the denomination, the ritual, or the worship differences, then we are operating out of the flesh and the law, both of which are what Jesus came to destroy. Simply stated, it takes HUMAN pride, jealousy, selfish ambitions, dissensions, etc. to be the foundation of which denominations are created. They place too many things in front of Jesus, especially pride.
We often hear denominations criticize and even tease each other about their differences. Then they say they are on the same page as “Christians.” It’s simply deception. It’s like being a fan of a team. “I am for my team, so therefore it’s good when our ‘denomination’ is having success in ministry and your team is having problems.” They may not say it, but that is how they often feel. We see this in communities when denominations battle for their denomination.
To prove this, just offend a denomination to a member and you’ll see the works of the flesh come out. This is part of the foundation that keeps Christians separated.
I believe when denominations oppose each other, it implies condemnation, even when they act like it’s in good fun. That is the same condemnation that John 3:17 says: Jesus came NOT to condemn the world. I believe our denominational differences are condemning to each other and that causes division.
Don’t get me wrong. We have to be organized and the Word tells us that the “local” church is the hope of the world! Therefore, we simply must make sure that the hearts of people in their denominations are founded in Jesus.
Galatians 5:22-26 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
When we operate out of the “fruit of the Spirit,” we will not rely on our denomination as the foundation for our so-called “RELIGION.” The Spirit of God will reveal that the foundation for Christianity is Jesus, the Son of God, who needed NO building, NO ritual, NO title, and had NO selfish ambitions. The day is coming when Christians will unite because of JESUS and look like Jesus so we represent the true Bride for whom He will return.
Jesus is not going to return for just the Catholics, the Baptists, or the Methodists because of their title. He is coming for a Body of believers who represent the TRUTH! It’s that simple. Calling myself a Baptist, a Methodist, or any group other than Christian “IMPLIES” condemnation to the others and places a blockade in front of Jesus’ example. We can’t worship a denomination. If we are Christians, we must worship Jesus and follow HIS example. The SIMILARITIES of the Gospel are our FOUNDATON, not our DIFFERENCES.
I believe we need to start a movement. Take down every denominational sign on buildings, books, and materials and replace them with a new one-word sign! JESUS!
If this previous statement offends you, then that is proof that your heart lies in your denomination and not in Jesus! We serve Him, not a denomination.
The Word of God tells us that our own Christian denominations are way off the mark. Matthew 12:25 – “But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.’” We must be careful that we are serving the Jesus who is in the Gospel – not divided by meaningless differences.
It’s time to unify the Body of Christ. Jesus will not share HIS glory with denominations or any self-righteous ministry. He will simply share it with the truth! He is returning for HIMSELF! So the hearts of the Body of Christ must be JESUS! We must not hold ourselves separate by being Catholic, Baptist, or Methodist, etc. Even nondenominational has become a religion. Each contains an element of PRIDE to its organization. Our own denominations in Christianity have compromised the Gospel by man-made rituals. Or more importantly, we recognize our differences more than we recognize the similarity that truly matters. This keeps the BRIDE of Christ’s identity separated and divided. It’s not genuine enough. The enemy has caused us to be deceived into thinking our rituals matter more than the simple message of the Gospel.
Let me set the record straight. I believe there was a time and a purpose for Christian denominations. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.”
Communication through technology during the creation of denominations had not allowed us to unite together for the common cause of spreading the Gospel. In fact, the way denominations were created served its purpose at a point of time. That time frame has passed. We have the ability and resources today to come together in the earth and finish the work of the Great Commission. How about this for a theory….God created denominations to do the work of the ministry exactly the way they have to network the Body of Christ together for His perfect plan. Now we are perfectly distributed and networked together around the world to UNITE and finish the plan exactly the way God intended it!
Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” That’s our mission!
We need to stop giving in to the world. If we have compromised the message of Jesus to the point that Christianity looks like a “religion” to the world, we have missed the mark! Jesus clearly was not a religion. In fact, He came to destroy it! Christians, BE CAREFUL. The religious people of Jesus’ time didn’t recognize Him. They were also the ones who sent Him to the cross!
John 8:31-32 – “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”
We are HIS disciples. Stop with the religion talk. Christianity is a relationship. We must UNITE under the simple common TRUTH of our Christian foundation. Plant both feet on the ROCK of Jesus and stand upon it. It’s time to prepare the way!