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Why God Hates Organized Religion and Despises Religious People
This Week's Message for 09/18/22 on the Social Gospel Blog with Rev. Paul J. Bern
Let Me Tell You Why God Hates Religion So Much
by Rev. Paul J. Bern
(Revelation 18: 4; Isaiah 1:13-14; Psalm 40: 6; Amos 5: 21; Micah 6: 6-8; James 4:10;
Matt. 5:8-9; Matt. 11:28)
Video’s are now available on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/c/RevPaulBern
For this week’s message, I’m going to drop a spiritual bomb in the laps of religious people. Your religiosity will not save your soul. In fact, your church denomination will not save your soul either. But many mainstream churches still insist that they are precisely that – a place where souls are saved. Yet true salvation only comes from Christ Jesus. But I’m not going to argue about this with anyone. I’m simply going to let the Bible make my talking points for me. Yes, God hates religion, and I will prove this with Biblical support for that statement
Don’t Hesitate; Be a Part of the Bride
I, for one, am non-denominational. Meaning; I do not believe in any "worldly" religions, because there is NO religion in our Savior Christ Jesus. It is a RELATIONSHIP with the one True God, who is manifest in Jesus Christ. Worldly religion kills. It kills others, each other and one’s soul. God did not intend for believers to be divided by “denominational-ism” (religion), as it is written: “Come out of [her] MY people” (Revelation 18:4). That is a command, not a suggestion to past & present religious systems. The pinnacle of our [Relationship] with God is why Jesus is called the “Bridegroom”; and the “Church” (don’t get ahead of me, just keep reading), the church is the entire number of TRUE believers. We are called the “Bride of Christ”.
Religion Is Useless
God created Man for the express purpose of a mutual relationship with HIM, but gave Man the power of choice and free will. Man chose to break that relationship and has been trying to find his own way by INVENTING religions and CULTS of all kinds for centuries, in an effort to replace that void left by lack of relationship with his Creator. A true relationship with God cannot be found through religion. In fact, religion is the biggest roadblock to seeking a relationship with God. Religion is simply Man trying to reach out to God by doing something that he/she thinks will please God.
Your Savior Doesn’t Care About Denominations; He Cares About You Personally
It goes something like this: “If I can do enough, say enough, pray enough, give enough, sacrifice enough, bow down enough, hold enough beads or tithe, then perhaps God will show me favor”. Every religion is based upon this “works theology”. Neither ceremony, liturgy, creeds, sacraments nor money have ever brought one soul into a reconciled relationship to God. Do you really believe that God favors your denomination over others, I ask? Quite the contrary, if your denomination professes to be “the only true way”, I can guarantee that it isn’t. Do we seriously believe that God’s intention was to have a thousand different denominations of His Church? They can’t all be right, which is why they are all wrong.
A Few Bible Verses to Ponder About God’s Nature
God made it perfectly clear when He said in the Bible that He hates religion. Starting in the Old Testament I will show you several references and then finish off with what Jesus Christ Himself said concerning religion. If you choose to have a problem with this message, then I suggest you take it up with the Author – GOD HIMSELF.
Isaiah 1:13-14 states, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies…it is iniquity…Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul [hateth]: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”
David prays to God in Psalm 40:6, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.”
Amos 5:21 says, “I [hate], I [despise] your feast days, and I will not smell (the odors of their sacrifices) in your solemn assemblies.”
Micah 6:6-8 includes; “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” And there it is: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10.
Religion Is Based On Pride
In these passages we see God Himself saying, ‘I don’t care, I’m not interested in your religious activities – sacrifices, offerings, song, dance, prayer and pious behavior. It all means nothing without your heart. I want your heart, your inner being, your faith in Me’. "My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." (Proverbs 23:26; Hosea 6: 6; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus quoted this passage in Matt. 15:8-9 when he taught, “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”. Pride is the capstone of religion. “Why are your disciples disregarding our traditions…” Jesus answered, “Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? You hypocrites!” (Matt 15:1-9)
Christ Condemns the Religious Leaders of His Day
Jesus really lets them have it in Matthew 23. Talking first to the people He said (paraphrasing), ‘The scribes and Pharisees sit in high seats and bind heavy burdens upon you that they themselves won’t even lift a finger to bear. They make themselves look pious before men so everyone will recognize their positions.’ Then turning on the religious leaders He calls them hypocrites, fools and blind, tombs full of dead men’s bones. He called them snakes headed for the damnation of hell. These were the religious leaders our Savior was talking to.
Jesus said “Come unto me and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) Religion can’t save you; only your relationship with Christ, and that comes through humility and repentance. Christ says in John 10:9 “I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved." YOUR relationship with JESUS puts Him as the guardian of this relationship, and guardian of your soul everlasting, and Jesus promised “I will never leave you or forsake you.” If your relationship with God is true, and if you are putting Him first; you will realize that your faith makes you saved, and you have that abundant life He speaks of. "For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. "For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected," Says your God".…(Isaiah 54: 5-6)
Religion gets a warning from God
"Without growing weary, you have persevered and endured many things for the sake of My Name. But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.” (Revelation 2: 3-5). It is impossible to work your way into a relationship with God, and place [works] above Him with the idea that these worldly religious leaders want you to think. You must be born into it. The second birth. The spiritual birth. (Saved by faith in Him who died for you.)
‘Religion’ Does Not Equal Salvation or Even Faith in Christ
The religion that is spoken of in James 2:18; "But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.")....& in James 2:26 ("For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."). This verse is indeed works that give evidence of that “faith that lies within” but doesn’t lend toward the worker’s salvation in any form, rather it is an expression of it. Paul calls it “working out your own salvation”, or revealing the life that Christ has given to your Spirit; that working out or setting forth your faith for all to see by the actions, or your walk with Jesus, your lifestyle and service & love to others.
Religion is not the answer. Religion is the problem. God bless you. Stay on your journey with Jesus & Seek HIS face, not the many faces of organized religion. Here’s what the apostle James wrote about this nearly 2,000 years ago: "Pure religion and to be undefiled before God and the Father is this; To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspoiled from the world”, thus putting "religion" in its proper prospective.
The Members of the ‘Bride’ Must Organize and Communicate Daily
Have fellowship with other believers. This is essential; that we find a group of people with like faith to encourage and exhort us in our walk. We are like coals in a fire; take one out of contact with the rest and we grow cold. Keep the Faith & keep Christ at the center of it all. Christ is displeased with His children who follow after man-made religions, when He sees them grow remiss and cold toward Him and practice worldly doctrines and man-made practices. You must endeavor to recover your first LOVE, zeal, tenderness, and seriousness in your relationship with JESUS, and you MUST pray earnestly, and worship, praise Him as diligently, as when you first set out in the ways of God. If the presence of Christ's Grace and Spirit is slighted, we may expect the presence also of His displeasure. So please be aware.
My God Bless You Through the Lord Jesus Christ. I love you! ♥ Peace be with you all and may God bless you abundantly.
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