Being Religious is Good, But...
Written by Leland Ping on Jan 19, 2015
By in large, most of the people that we work with, go to school with, and generally interact with are “good” people. Most of us probably don’t make it a habit to voluntarily subject ourselves to crowds of mean-spirited, dishonest, crude, and downright discouraging men and women. The chances are high that many of the people we are around are “religious” (or at least consider themselves such) and may even have some belief in God and in the importance of serving Him. It is with that acknowledgment that we state the following: Being religious is good, but being religious is not enough.
The Bible tells us about a man by the name of Cornelius. God Himself called him both “devout” and “fearful of God” who was not only prayerful, but also generous and kind (Acts 10:2). Without any doubt, Cornelius was a very religious man. Yet, God did not see this man’s religious devotion as “enough.” Instead, the apostle Peter was sent to preach the gospel message to this religious man which ultimately led to his response to the gospel of salvation.
The message for each of us is, therefore, quite clear. As Christians, we can not trick ourselves into believing that, simply because I go to church, give to others, and am kind that I’m pleasing to God. Certainly all of those things are vital to godliness, but all of those things alone do not cause us to be seen by God as one of His faithful followers. God has always desired (and demanded) a true devotion to Him and not just lip service or eye service. As saints, we need this reminder. We furthermore need to continually be aware of our need for renewed spiritual devotion and to make sure we keep “the fire” lit as we set out to serve Him.
For those who are not Christians, or who maybe believe you are, reading the account of Cornelius should lead to a thoughtful pause for consideration of where you stand. Being a kind, prayerful, believing person is good, but it’s not enough. Satan certainly rejoices in getting humans to believe that they’re “okay” because they are good and thoughtful. And that’s what’s scary! Consider how many people “think” they are Christians and are pleasing to God but ultimately will find themselves in the hands of the living God who, as scripture tells us, will punish those who have been disobedient for eternity.
Let us dedicate ourselves to being true, authentic, full, and real followers of God. Let us make sure that we do this not only for our own benefit, but also so that we can share this great message with others and allow them to know the great need to faithfully serve our wonderful God.