What do you believe in? Do you even believe in anything outside of yourself? Where do you put your faith? Why do you believe what you believe? Important questions. There are many different religious beliefs in the world today. They range from well known religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and countless other ethnic religions. The majority of these religions, I would say, have only one thing in common: those who follow these faiths have done so according to how they were raised (for the most part). The majority of people in the entire world believe the way they do based on what their parents or caretaker believed. I mean, when you get right down to it, religion is more tradition than anything spiritual. I would never declare to be an expert on world religions and have no interest to be one, but in my opinion, most world religions are continued based on family pride and the will to follow the traditions of your ancestors (some ethnic religions even worship their ancestors). Because of this pride, it is very difficult to reach these groups of people, but we will come to that matter at a later time. Now back to tradition. Tradition, in a sense, becomes the religion. Most believe whatever they have been told to believe by their parents and do not find out for themselves if they truly believe it or not. Christianity is no different. In the United States, 77% of the population would profess to be a Christian. Now I don’t know about you, but it would be hard for me to believe that 77% of the people in this country of mine are all Christians. I am sure you would agree. Now we are getting to the point. How loosely do we define the term Christian? What makes someone a Christian? It would be fair to assume that all people who go to church on Sunday morning are Christians. That makes total sense. I mean, why would a bunch of non-Christians gather together to sing praises and learn about something they do not even believe in? The truth is, I do not know why the majority of Americans even bother to go to church on Sunday because frankly, most in fact do not believe what they are singing about or “learning” about. Now you may say, “Hold on a second, how in the world can you make such a rash claim? It is not your place, nor is it fair for you to say that these churchgoers are not Christians. How would you even know that they are not Christians?” Granted, it is not my place to judge and I will get to the reason I know that they are not Christians later. However, it is eternally important that we get this right. It pains me to think that I gather with and witness a large group of people who have been misled into thinking they are Christians when in reality they are not. It brings me to the point of tears to even think that we have mass numbers of people gathering together to “sing praises” to a God who in the end will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” This literally is a life or death matter. This is for real. We all need to get to this “for real point” and decide if we are truly going to believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, or if we just do not think we can do it. Indecisiveness is just as severe as total rejection (Hebrews 2:2-3). And believe me, I am fully aware that not all will believe. We all have been granted that privilege to choose whether to believe the message of the gospel or not (the beauty of free will). However, they will not believe without hearing the truth of the gospel from the divine truth of the Word of God. So throw out all of the traditions. Throw out everything that your parents have taught you about Christianity (and I use this loosely: not all parents have taught the gospel incorrectly). Find out for yourself. Enter into the Word of God and put all of your pride out on the table. This leads us to three questions: What does it mean to be a Christian? What does the Christian life look like? and ultimately, Am I a Christian? We cannot get this wrong.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23