Religion Is Damnable Acts 10: 2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Religion is damnable because:
Religious people aren’t saved.
In Acts 10, we read the account of the conversion of Cornelius and his household to Christ. In Acts 10:34-35, we find that Cornelius had been working righteousness and yet he was not saved until he believed in Acts 10:43-44 (see Acts 11:17). He was working righteousness as a lost man. Lost men can:
- Be Devout 10:2 — comp Acts 22:12, where Ananias was devout according to the law — so, a lost man can be devoted to religion or absorbed in religious exercises
- Fear God 10:2 — 2 Chr 20:29; typically non-Christians don’t fear God Rom 3:18. However, when I was a lost Catholic I had a fear of God; I feared his judgment but I didn’t have his grace to keep me
- Give Money 10:2, 4 — this is very typical of the lost because it’s easier to write a check than to humble yourself Ps 51:16-17, or to obey 1 Sam 15:22
- Pray Always 10:2, 4 — Lk 18:11; typically non-Christians “say” prayers, but some actually pray
- Obey God 10:5-8 — Laban and Abimelech did, Gen 31:24, 29; 20:3-7, 14
- Be Just 10:22 — Prov 20:7, as in the case of a man of integrity and honesty
- Have a good report 10:22 — like the centurion in Lk 7:1-5
- Desire to hear the word 10:22 — like the men in the parable of the sower and the seed who heard but didn’t get saved, Matt 13:20-21
- Fast 10:30 — like the Pharisee who was not justified, Lk 18:12
- Know what the word says about Jesus — 10:36-37, like King Agrippa, Acts 26:2-3, 23, 26-28
So often we find people like this and think, well surely they must be saved. However, such is not the case, most of the time. Cornelius had to believe before he could be saved (Acts 11:17). So, don’t be deceived by religion. Religion can’t save you or your loved ones. Salvation is in a man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:3-6).
Religious people aren’t acceptable to God.
In Gen 4:3, Cain brought an offering to the Lord. But his offering was not acceptable to God (Gen 4:4-5). Cain’s works were evil in the sight of God (1 Jn 3:12). In Is 1:11-15, Israel was still offering sacrifices to God as a religious observance and the Lord would not accept their sacrifices. Of course, Cornelius is an exception here because he wasn’t using religion to cover his wickedness and he was truly worshipping the God of the Bible. Even then, he wasn’t saved and “accepted in the beloved” until he received Jesus Christ.
Religious people aren’t worshipping God.
When Israel quit obeying God in Judges 2, they worshipped Baal and Ashtoreth (Jud 2:13). These are false gods. Their fathers served false gods in Chaldea and in Egypt (Jos 24:14). The gods of religious people aren’t the God of the Bible. Religious people will say that we all worship the same God. But that statement is false. The god of the Mormons is not the God of the Bible. The god of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the god of the Bible. They refer to the God of the Bible, but they have perverted him until he is a false god. Their gods are the gods of their own imagination. The god of Islam is not the God of the Bible.
Conclusion: be careful when religious people refer to their god. Unless they have been given eternal life by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, they are condemned already (Jn 3:18) no matter how religious they are.