2017 READING CHALLENGE RECOMMENDATIONS
The new year is a time to challenge yourself to reach new […]
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Religious, but not right with God? That may sound strange to you, but there are many religious people "hiding" from God. They may be sincere, but sincerity is not enough; they need the truth of God's Word.
Some people think that they are Christians automatically because they had Christian parents. Others presume that attending church or being baptized or sharing in Communion makes them Christians. These are all important Christian responsibilities, but if they have never committed their lives to Christ their efforts are hopeless.
The Bible--from beginning to end--teaches that to be right with God we need a sacrifice for our sins: "Without shedding of blood is no remission of sins]" (Hebrews 9:22b). God has provided salvation through His Son who "once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18).
Trying to be religious without Jesus Christ as one's Savior can be like taking a drug that distorts a person's reasoning. It is a delusion to think that performing a religious duty can make us right with God. Even leading a respectable life can never erase our sins. We all need a Savior.
The Bible teaches that salvation is God's gift which we do not deserve, nor can ever earn. The Lord taught that salvation is through faith in Him alone: "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). His apostle Peter declared, "Through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43). The apostle Paul wrote of his Savior: "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Ephesians 1:7). The apostle John testifies, "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).
God's Good News turns us from our own vain attempts to earn His pardon to Christ's complete salvation. John Wesley, the great evangelist of eighteenth-century England, strove for years to make himself acceptable to God by his own efforts. But he never found peace until he could say, "I trusted Christ and Christ alone for salvation. And an assurance was given me that He had taken away all my sins."
Are you religious, but not right with God? Then come to Him today--just as we all must approach God, as sinners in need of a Savior. You can pray to God right where you are, believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and claiming Him as your Lord.
Jesus promises, "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).
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