Saturday, January 17, 2015

Religious or Serving?

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)

A continuation of the “It’s complex” train of thought. Salvation sounds simple – see yesterday’s scriptures for the simplicity, and the beginning of the complexity. There’s a huge difference between religion and serving God. If that’s not clear, then one author’s words apply:

Satan has you exactly where he wants you, ignorant and undone.

The above scripture is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, which begins with descriptions of how we are blessed. In chapter 7, Jesus has just concluded telling us that we should be fruit inspectors:

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20 KJV)

Years later, Paul describes bad fruit, ending with good fruit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

It appears Jesus was describing people who used religious words for show, but denied the source:

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5 KJV)

Perhaps the “form of godliness” is attending a worship service on Sunday morning. Perhaps dropping a portion of income into the offering plate. Then, believing the obligation to God fulfilled, leaving the church building and not giving it another thought for another week.

Who sat those obligations? Friends, neighbors, other church goers?The Bible tells us what God expects. Without reading it, knowing it, how can we possibly understand what He has in mind for us to do?

It’s easy to believe that worshiping together on Sunday morning fulfills an obligation. That is not the answer to the complexity of God’s service. Knowing what He intends for us to do requires being in discussions with Him. Knowing how to reach Him requires Bible study.

It requires knowing “what doth the Lord require of thee.” It requires knowing who “created the heavens and the earth”; who “sent his only begotten son”; who asked “what must I do to be saved?”; who gave the basis for all law by saying “thou shalt love.”

How can we love Him without getting to know Him?

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:13-15 KJV)

Listen to His word – know what is preached is scriptural:

O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD. (Jeremiah 22:29 KJV)

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