We are all well aware of all the different kinds of sins that have been preached to us over and over again throughout the years in the western church. But we’ve neglected one kind of sins that Jesus became very angry and disturbed about. It was the kind of sin that the Pharisees were living in, and it is the true enemy of the Cross. What kind of sin am I talking about? Religious sins! One of the main manifestations I see happening all the time is where we preach a law based gospel to others. We barf the religious dogma we’ve been taught on the next guy. If you really want to be good at it, there are seminaries you can attend and they will teach you how to become a master at this.
The Bible speaks of a way that seems right but ends in death:
Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Is it talking about things like murder or sexual immorality? No, because those are obviously wrong and would not seem to be right. What the Bible is talking about here is dead religion. This is a way that seems and looks right to us, but is is deadly! This is what the Pharisees were dabbling it, and Jesus warned us not to eat of the yeast of the Pharisees:
Matthew 16:6, “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”
America’s church has spiritual cancer!
Here is America, we are said to be a Christian nation, but we’ve gone down a road that God never intended us to embark. We’ve eaten the yeast of the Pharisees and our churches have become contaminated with a spiritual cancer called dead religion. This is why when we open our Bibles and read of the stories in Jesus’ ministry and that of the early church, then we walk into most churches in America, we see a very different gospel. In the Bible, healings, miracles, exorcisms, etc. were commonplace. Jesus actually instructed us to go forth and do these signs and wonders right along side evangelism!
Matthew 10:7-8, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
Witnessing to the lost was never intended to be separated from the ministry of exorcism, physical healings, and miracles! At least that’s what Jesus told us.
I’m getting off track here, but my point is that the church in America is doped up with dead religion, and it’s costing the kingdom of God many signs and wonders that Jesus absolutely intended for us to witness. When we see these miracles happen, our faith and love for God soars and the church catches fire!
Why then, are there so few miracles? The core of our faith has been undermined through the teachings and ways of religion! The religious teachings we hear in the church are in fact, making the Word of God of no effect in our lives.
Mark 7:13, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
We need to wake up church! We should NEVER be making null the Word of God through the dead religious teachings we see all around us!
Dead religion undermines our faith
When we place our right standing with God on anything other than what Jesus did for us, and our receiving that free gift of righteousness through faith, we are rejecting the cross and setting ourselves up for failure. Either you will become religiously proud of your good performance, or you will never be worthy to receive the things of God.
Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
When we hear the phrase “fall from grace” we think about losing our salvation, but that’s not what was being said here. It’s talking about the believer who has put their faith in their performance instead of in Christ, and what is the result of that? Christ becomes of no effect to them, and they fall from grace! Quite differently than what the church has been teaching us all along, eh?
This is a very serious sin folks! And it’s even more serious when we barf our beliefs on the next guy and cause him to fall from grace as well! Jesus was downright harsh on the religious folks of His day, and it’s because they were leading the sheep astray and causing them to stumble. We hardly like to think about Jesus rebuking us, but when we lead His sheep astray, we’re not where we want to be in God’s eyes. Let’s take a look at how Jesus felt about people who propagate religion on those around them:
Luke 17:2, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Every time we propagate religious performance based beliefs on the next guy, we are spreading this cancer and causing others to stumble. I wouldn’t want to answer to God on judgement day when there are people in hell because we’ve caused them to stumble and fall from grace.
The sin of religion was attacked by Jesus far greater than any sin of sexual immorality. We need to understand the importance of avoiding this great sin because it’s damaging and causing others and ourselves to stumble, and we’re bearing bad fruit in the kingdom every time we propagate these religious beliefs on others.
Matthew 23:15, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want Jesus to look at me on judgement day and utter those kinds of words!