It has been reported that there are some 4200 religions in the world today. Most of them have subgroups within them, which brings the number up closer to 10,000. Why is it that man has such a love for religion?
Most have heard the famous Karl Marx statement that “Religion is the opium of the people.” The full quote gives a bit more insight into his claim. It says, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
Man loves religion because of two things. First, it makes them a participant in receiving the proposed benefits. Thus, they are worthy or deserving of them. Second, being worthy of the promised benefits makes people feel better about themselves.
Marx was right to a degree, masses of people follow the various religions of the world and gain a sense of satisfaction and/or worthiness from doing so. The problem is that religion does nothing to resolve man’s biggest problems, which are sin and death.
Romans 3:23 KJV – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Romans 6:23 KJV – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Religion might make someone feel better or even deserving of something positive. But religion can’t do anything about man’s sin problem. The fact that the wages of sin is death is proven all over the world every day.
1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV – “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
What man needs is a redeemer, not religion. Christianity has been well-described as a relationship, not a religion. And the truth is, as Christians, we are not counting on what was done “by us” but rather what was done “for us.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
“Christian” is not a religious affiliation assigned at birth. Christian is a title assigned at rebirth. It means to be Christ-like. That is something that can’t be inherited through family tradition, and something religion can’t make you. For in His grace, God sent His Son to die for the sins of the world, and it is faith in His death, resurrection, and ascension that saves us. It’s not religious rituals, not observing feast days, not keeping Sabbaths, and not repeating phrases or prayers. We are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and redeemed to the Father through His death.
Ephesians 1:7 KJV – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
Why settle for a belief that can only make you feel something, but can’t actually do anything to or for you? Why settle for religion when a personal, ongoing, and intimate relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords can be had by God’s grace through faith?
Jesus did not come to earth to establish the Christian religion. He came to earth to make salvation possible for “as many as received Him” (John 1:12). He came to earth to conquer death and free us from the grip of sin. He came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves, make us right before God.
Read this, repeat that, say this 10 times, eat this but not that, all of these things might make someone feel good about themselves or even worthy of reward. But here’s the problem:
Hebrews 11:6 KJV – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Religious rituals cannot please God. Faith in Christ is what pleases God. Don’t get robbed of the eternal benefits of faith in Christ by settling for the temporary feelings of worth that may come through religion.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus,