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Your religion matters

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Editor: Religion and its significance have been topics often spoken about in contemporary society. Many concepts have been formed on the issue and false perceptions frequently voiced. A common misperception that exists is the false idea that your religion does not matter. It is so often confessed that your religion cannot save and that it bears little to no significance in the journey to paradise. They separate religion from Christ and state quite surprisingly that it is the heart that saves. What really is religion? Is it important?{{more}} In the context of salvation should it be detached from the state of the heart?

Religion, in accordance with Strong’s Concordance, bears the meaning of “religious worship” or “that which consists of ceremonies.” It is, in essence, a system of worship which is composed of beliefs and practices. Religion is what forms your values and directs or guides your acts. It lays hold of your mind. Why then should it not matter? Why should it be viewed as insignificant in determining your fate with God? The very deeds of the Saviour of the world clearly conflict with the false opinion being written of. His calculated decision to expose the evil of the religion of the Scribes and Pharisees indicates how important it is be following the right religion. Christ attacked what mattered. He declares to them “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition…” – Matt 15:3. He continues “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their lips but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matt 15:7,8. Christ clearly shows that that the hearts of these men were turned from the lofty principles of heaven by their own religious practices. As a result, as the one chosen to save the world, he criticized their false religion in love for their spiritual aid.

Another biblical account which proves the point can be viewed in Gal 1:3. Paul’s religion caused his heart to be fixed on persecuting Christians. He (Paul) states “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of and wasted it.” His heart became only changed to purity when he was converted to the truth. It is the content of this truth which is the religion of Yahshua Christ. This is the religion which every man ought to follow to be safe in these perilous times. Just as there are false prophets and false teachings, likewise must it be known that there are false religions. Hence, the eye must ever be watchful and the heart careful in choosing the right religion. Such a religion, as stated before, is only the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures that consecrates the soul. James 1:27 shows “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This is true religion – ntouched by the additions and subtractions of man. This religion of Yahshua Christ outshines all others and is of paramount importance for the inheritance of heavenly treasures. Each man then ought to pay close attention to what he does or follows for his system of worship (which includes practised doctrines) would indeed be the determinant of his fate.

The Saviour speaks of the religion of God in this warning “…not everyone that sayeth unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven” – Matthew 7:21. This doing of the will includes all acts in conformity with the precepts and practices of Christ. It also takes its position as the standard of judgement for our lives and gives us the reminder that the nature of our practised religion matters.

Mbeki Swift

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