Is your salvation a done deal, irrevocable, or are you in a process of working toward salvation? You may be naked and not know it.
Man was created by God to enjoy a personal relationship with Himself. Such a relationship was very likely unprecedented in all of creation. It was such an exalted relationship that it infuriated a jealous Satan, and made man his number one target. It was in our original nature to love and serve God. You could say that each person is born with a God-shaped hole in him. When Adam and Eve sinned, that aspect of our nature was perverted, and made to serve Satan.
A very interesting contrast exists at opposite ends of the Bible that clearly demonstrates just how Satan has exploited that God-hole aspect of our natures. In Genesis 3, you have Adam and Eve. Choosing to sin, their eyes were opened, and they perceived their own nakedness. They were ashamed, and hid from God among the trees.
At the other end of Scripture, in Revelation 3, you have the church of Laodicea. Of them, the Lord says “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (verse 17). One group knew they were naked, the second, did not. What changed? Like a sugar substitute, or meat substitute, Satan has sold them on the God-substitute, religion.
It is a fundamental principle of sales that you must first create a need. If you never realized this before, look at any commercial. They all start out by presenting a need or a problem. Yellow teeth?…Buy Whizzbang Toothpaste! Sick of dating city-slicker floozies?…go to Farmers Only dot com! Hungry?…
Unless you recognize your need for something, you’re not in the market for a solution. In trying to fill your need for God and assure yourself of continued existence in a state of bliss, you can align yourself with any one of the thousands of religions that Satan has fostered. It is one of the greatest successes of Satan that he has deceived a large segment of humanity into accepting religion as the solution to their God-hole. It is so much easier to serve an idol, follow some personality, or adhere to the rules of some church than to serve the living God.
Another proof of the God-hole; an ironic one, is Atheism. Many people have made a religion out of not believing in God. They pursue it with a religious fervor, protesting and filing lawsuits to eradicate any public acknowledgement of the Creator. They attack Christians with nearly the same spirit and intensity as do the radical Islamists.
I don’t believe in unicorns (I think), but I have never felt the need to attack anyone who does or file a lawsuit against my kid’s school because some of the little girls wear unicorn designs. It makes no difference to me, yet many Atheists with an anti-god chip on their shoulders fly off the handle if someone calls for a moment of silence to recognize God. If that’s not religious zealotry, I don’t know what is.
Throughout history, every society, from the humblest naked tribesmen squatting in the jungle (oops, I mean rain forest) to the most richly clad sophisticates in high-tech metropolises like Vatican City have some deity or deities that they serve. They leave behind them the cave paintings, the small stone idols, the grand statues and the gaudy cathedrals as evidence of their idolatries. Religious artifacts are often prominent among archeological discoveries.
If you don’t believe that the need for a god is inborn, just look at the Children of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai when Moses received the stone tablets bearing the Ten Commandments. Those people had just had the living God thundering at them from atop Mount Sinai, but within a few days, during Moses’ visit to the mountaintop to speak with God face to face, they felt compelled to construct a golden calf and worship that!
False gods take various forms. For many people, their god is their belly. They serve it by satisfying its lusts and appetites. For many others, it is the smart phone in their hand, and the social media that it connects them to. There they learn the immorality of the masses and to bow to the peer pressure that leads them to follow unquestioningly the voice of Satan. There is no love, and no tolerance for viewpoints that conflict with those of the herd.
There are religious sects where the teachings of some personality; some charismatic false prophet or guru supersede the Word of God. In most you will be spoon fed pleasing pabulum to comfort your soul and be spared from the time and effort required to seek God in His Word. ‘Relax, your salvation is assured. ‘Do what thou wilt’ they will tell you. ‘There is no hell. People are basically good and we will all end up in heaven’.
In others, you will receive a large list or rules that expand your requirements for salvation in the same way the Mosaic Law added to the Ten Commandments. But ‘suck it up because it makes you special to God and if you don’t you will be damned for all time’. These people live by the word “should”. To be saved, they “should” be doing this, that, or the other thing.
A powerful example of organized religion is the Catholic Church, or as the Lord described her in Revelation 17, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” If you’ve ever wondered who the Nicolaitans are who are mentioned in the letters to the Churches, these are the guys. I am using the Catholic Church as the example and in reality, it is only one of the daughters of Mystery Babylon, but this pattern is repeated throughout organized religion.
Instead of an active body of believers coming together, fellowshipping, sharing The Word and meeting one another’s needs, you have an authoritative figure in charge speaking from the front and a bunch of butts in pews dozing; that’s the Nicolaitans.
Adherents to this form of God-substitute are preparing to point to their participation therein as payment for their sins when they stand before God. Have you ever really thought about what the Lord described in Matthew 7?
The rejected group from Matt 7 is puzzled and astonished at their exclusion seeing that they had performed what they considered Godly deeds on His behalf. This passage gets to the reason that the Lord rejects some very good, respectable religious people:
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS. ‘” Matt 7:21-23 WEB (emphasis added)
“I never knew you” He says. Those words, spoken by our Lord, are the most terrible words that anyone can every hear.
But why are the self-righteous protestors depicted here as a bunch of religious people instead of murderers, rapists, liars, cheaters, abortionists or Nazi war criminals; you get the picture? Openly wicked people are the ones you expect to be sent to hell, not religious people. What point was the Lord making? It is to point out how deadly religion truly is. Religion was artfully created by Satan to keep people from coming to God, and it successfully diverts the vast majority of humanity down a dead-end road.
So, why do so many people settle for religion instead of seeking the totally free gift of salvation that would wash them of their sins, save them irrevocably, transform them into children of God, and grant them an eternity in his wonderful presence? Why indeed.
The living God wants a personal relationship with you. The whole plan of salvation; the sacrifice of His Son was the infinite price He paid to open the door to sinners so that we might live with Him throughout eternity. Salvation is about a relationship, not religion. Because of His sacrifice, we can be clothed in white robes of righteousness. The nakedness of our sinful nature is covered, and ultimately, we will join Him in heaven, rejoicing in our new, perfect, sin-free bodies that are just like His.
So, what does God require from you to enter into this wonderful relationship? A simple profession of faith:
“…if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” Romans 10:9-11 WEB
Not another thing. No flesh-generated good works, or ‘living a good life’ have any value before the judgment seat of God. It is only the blood of Christ that saves us.
Through the transformative work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we become able to perform truly righteous works, and it is those righteous works that clothe us:
“Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:7-8 WEB (emphasis added)
God’s word is true, His promises absolute. He always means what He says. If you are trying to please Him by your flesh-generated good works, knock it off! Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Be washed in His blood, and He will see to it that you are no longer ‘miserable, poor, blind and naked’.
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- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com