The question about religion, church, and faith can be a difficult topic when you are speaking to a devout believer of any denomination.
"I am Catholic, I am Pentecostal, I am Mormon.." Everyone wants to believe that they are on the "Winning Team" for God. Right?
Trying to discount anyone's religion can be seen as disrespectful and in some countries, downright dangerous!
Can I just state a personal observation here? God is not impressed by warriors who kill each other for Him.
Some of us would rather express our opinions with music, this song resonated with me today so before I go on, would like to share it with you.
It might come as a surprise to some, Jesus also despised righteous religious leaders. His feelings were made pretty clear in Matthew 23...
*I will just share a little of what Jesus had to say...
8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.[9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Matthew 23: 8-12 NLT
Think about it this way, WE ARE THE CHURCH! Religion is what man has put in place since the beginning of time to rule over people with some pretty righteous misunderstood laws.
God eliminated those laws for us when He delivered Jesus to us as a gift on Christmas.
Jesus was God in human form. Since he was "born", the next logical understanding is to consider Jesus as God's son. A human, with feelings and human suffering. He walked this earth to help us understand that we are not governed by the legalistic laws of religions. We were given a basic and very simple set of instructions to ensure a place in His kingdom.
This is stated in Luke 10:27 NIV...
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
That's it! So simple right?
At the time that Jesus commissioned his Disciples to tell the world of this good news, the disciples were warned about persecution. Yet, they boldly went out and did the work for God anyway. Like walking, talking churches...
Today, working for God still requires the Bold Faith that your work is to bless others. It still requires a fellowship that can only be found within groups of believers who follow the set of instructions found only in the Bible.
God is also very much aware of our generational breakdown of belief due to the elimination of the Bible at schools. Those of us who understand why the church is important now have to defend our reasons to kids and adults alike who are influenced by "Higher Education", The media, Music, and Friends.
Today, The Holy Spirit (who is God and Christ Jesus combined in spirit form) inspired a friend of mine to build an A+ rated business that WILL pay us to do the same specific commission as the original 12 Disciples.
It is a job meant to win over the faithless, the doubters, the ones who are just plain hungry for an answer as well as a meal, with the original teachings from a book that was breathed by the Holy Spirit to inspire us to prosper in his light and presence.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
Work for God... I am telling you, the benefits are out of this world!