So yesterday I read an article about a girl who declared that she was raised in the Church of Latter Day Saints but had recently found the teachings of Buddhism to be very reassuring. She wanted to know was it ok to be one religion and practice certain aspects of another religion. It was a very sad question to me because I realized that she didn't realize that Jesus was all she would ever need. As I started reading some of the answers to her question I began to get even sadder. One person told her it doesn't matter what religion you are as long as you're happy.
Now I don't know about other religions, but the relationship that is Christianity is not always going to make you happy. And in reality, if you're living Christianity right, you won't have the time or energy for another "religion". As I was reading this article it made me really think about all the people who don't truly understand this salvation that we often take for granted. So this morning I decided to write what I personally see as the top 10 misconceptions of salvation.
I'm going to heaven because:
10. I follow the ten commandments
9. The Lord knows my heart
8. I'm nice
7. I love people
6. I tithe
5. I participate in a ministry
4. I'm a pastor's child
3. I believe in God
2. I go to church
1. I'm basically a good person
This confusion about eternal life is not new. John 3 of the bible shares the story of one of the religious leaders, Nicodemus, discussing salvation with Jesus Christ. In verse 3 Jesus says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus continues to question the "born again" term so Jesus specifies in verse 16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." That's our answer. That's the only way to get to heaven. That's the only way to eternal life, and that's the only way to avoid Hell. That's it. We must believe that Jesus is Emmanuel (God with us). That He came to earth, lived a completely sin free life, and was then crucified for all the sins we would ever commit. Jesus was forsaken by God and died a gruesome death.... But three days later, Jesus defeated death and rose with all power in His hand.
So that's my speech for the morning. I know it's a little heavy for breakfast reading, but it's really important for us to understand. In John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." There are too many of our brothers and sisters out there who are confused about this and we have to get the word out.