The Message - Sermon

Religion and the Church

Religion and the Body of Believers

With modern weapons of mass destruction, it is possible that it could result in a total collapse of the human race.  Only one nation with such weapons needs to start to endanger the existence of every living things in this world. To control the world under their government is ongoing and there is no need to be smart to find out. As prophesied that nation will go after another nation and kingdom against kingdom.  Many reasons could be the cause, such as economics, territorial expansion, the survival of the fittest will be the name of the game and religion can also be a factor; but religion should not be the cause if we are only going to focus on what we believe, the existence of God.  

We should not ignore the dark side of religion when the proponents go over their head and start claiming that what they’re doing is serving their god and doing what they have to do in order to bring glory to their god. Territorial expansions are happening in these modern times and poor nations cannot do anything since the world’s body is playing blind to hide their weak and powerless organization. In order to survive without shedding blood, poor nations will just give up their rights of sovereignty. 

When it comes to religion we have to be very careful because there are genuine and faithful believers who are willing to give their lives for spiritual cause, although we may differ from our own belief with respect  for  one another is needed. We should not undermine the belief of other religions as many of them are rooted in what they believe in and to force them to what we believe may cause more harm than to inspire them.    Sharing our faith and the goodness of our group can probably encourage them to join.  What matters is to get the message of the Gospel out to those that don’t believe so they may get the blessings before they change their heart.  We have to trust that the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

Philippians 1:18, NLT—”But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.” 

Jesus is the Son of God to us, but to them maybe not; maybe to them Jesus Christ is fully man and not fully God. This is totally a delicate topic and too difficult to be discussed, since they may have already settled into what they believe in.  A group approach may not work but trying it on a one on one basis perhaps may work. One thing you could do is to invite your potential believer to a Bible Study.

Humans by nature are sinners, and introducing the goodness of God and His mercy to forgive sins might open their eyes and uplift their spirit, easier said than done, and yet it could be done. Once they fully learn the influence of the Son that brings souls to eternity, it may enlighten their confused mind and embrace the Father’s gift of Salvation.  Therefore, it is important that we always have to state that Salvation is the gift of the Father and the Son Jesus will lead them to eternal life. 

Any religion that goes to the Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are waiting to welcome everyone throughout the world to be His children. The church which is the kingdom the body of believers will live side by side with peaceful living. Then the angels of God will open up the gates of heaven forevermore. The battle of the mind will end to have a joyful living. Isn’t it so uplifting to have hope as big as that?  “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). No one comes to the Father except through the Son (John 14) 

Although to unbelievers, Jesus to them is not the Messiah that they are waiting for; to other religions, Jesus is a prophet, and to some do not even believe that Jesus exists.  How much more if we tell them that Jesus is God in the flesh?  This will be a deeper discussion, especially for the first time hearers. Among non-believers, it is expected that they will react differently. The best way to respond to their reaction is to have humility, calmness, acceptance, and not get involved with any argument which may only make it worse. 

Many Christian believers are exercising their religion out of bound, holier than thou attitude breaks down the hearts of many observers (potential to be Christians), because holier than them is an attitude that even Christians believe that they are dividers of faith in many ways.  Many are disgusted about this practice and the doers are not even aware of their actions.  Why are Christians so divided in the doctrinal views, giving their own churches’ names, etc.; is it to show ownership or for members only church?  The non-denominational church is the early group of believers and later after centuries, it did not escape having a name.

Now the Non-denomination becomes the open arms church for those who don’t fit or do not believe with their teachings, and formed small groups and called the church. God did not design His church to have a name; if he wants a name He would have done it already.  The church according to the Bible is one church. It is only one and it is not for members only. Of course, these denominations will encourage you to be their own member or guess till you fall to their doctrinal views and accept it. 

Then eventually, you become part of them that ignore the Scripture for preaching and teach according to their own understanding. They proclaimed that they believe what is written in the Bible, and yet they do not practice; that is the keyword.  What good would it bring when clearly written, and then ignore it?  It is a big ploy to avoid more questions. We have to be very careful attending gatherings of the faithful, without knowing what they exactly believe, their doctrinal views, practice in tithings, openness in the church financial activities, and care about the member’s spiritual growth. Some members are more faithful to what their ministers said than being faithful to what God said.

There are many buildings they call the house of worship and yet they do not believe some of the words of God. Some pick and choose to divide the word of God and definitely not the place you want to be.  We have to think and pray before we submit to their teachings.  Jude mentioned a warning about the dangers posed by false teachers. “Don’t be swayed by those who have abandoned the truth as it is laid out in God’s Word.” These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and as we can observe now, how most of the preaching is like entertainment and mistaken to be a blessing. Joy is a feelings’ that gives satisfaction to the flesh and not in spirit. 

They flatter people to gain emotion and they even have the talent to make you tears flow and jump. In Jude 17-19— it says “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time that would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”

Our body can be  taken  but not our souls,  so we must be careful and mindful that they are just around us and we must be alert for evildoers that are denied of sleep unless they do wicked things.  We should practice humility and avoid competing words that only upset the hearers who are devoted to the word of God,  not to argue about Scripture because it falls to disobeying what was written. Let us just focus to respect one another and continue the work of the Commandment of Love within us.

The rich people or the well to do families should take care of the poor, while the rich in spirit should take care of the lost souls. Imagine how the well to do can change the life of the people that are in need and how the rich in Spirit shares the Word of God that may edify the infancy knowledge of an individual and save their souls in their early spiritual journey. Be a blessing to others and God will bless you in return.

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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