“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26)
Why does someone confess Christ, go to Church, or worship the Lord?
If that question were posed to 20 different people one might receive 20 different answers.
“To go to Heaven”, “To miss Hell”, or “To have a better life” could be some of those responses.
But why SHOULD we serve the Lord?
Finding the correct answer to that question could mean the difference between having a life of emptiness with disappointment and having a life of fulfillment with everlasting joy.
The answer lies in understanding why God created us to begin with.
Some say God created us to worship Him.
But the Bible tells us that all the angelic host cease not to worship Him day and night.
“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:8)
Others say God created us to declare His glory.
But the Bible tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God.
“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)
Some might say that God created us to obey Him.
But the Bible teaches us that all of nature obeys His every commandment.
“Which (God) shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.” (Job 9:6-8)
There may be many reasons that can be offered as to why God created us, but there is only one main underlying reason why the Bible teaches we were created.
The purpose for our creation is that God created us for a RELATIONSHIP with Him.
There is nothing in God’s creation that can fulfill this purpose except mankind.
God desires a relationship with you and me.
RELATIONSHIP and not religion.
It has been said that all religion is man’s ineffective way of trying to reach God, but God Himself has provided a way that “whosoever will” can get as close to Him as they desire and have a relationship with God.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17)
There was a time when this was not the case.
After the fall and the flood, God sought after certain individuals such as Abraham or Moses to have a relationship with, but He didn’t want sinful mankind as a whole to approach unto Him.
When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, into the wilderness, and unto His Holy Mountain to receive His Law, He commanded Moses to set bounds around the mountain so the people could not draw near.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.” (Exo. 19:21)
“And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.” (Exo. 19:23)
When God gave the instructions for the Tabernacle and then later the Temple, He commanded that there be a veil separating the Holy Place where the Priests would minister and the Holiest of Holies where the Presence of God would dwell.
“And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:” (Exo. 26:31)
“And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.” (Exo. 26:33)
However, when God gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins and He died upon the cross of Calvary, God the Father tore the veil from the top to the bottom, removing the separation so that all of mankind might be able to enter into the presence of God.
“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” (Mark 15:37-38)
Since that time the only thing that can separate us from having a relationship with our Heavenly Father is us and unrepentant sin.
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isa. 59:1-2)
God has removed all of the separation that He had established between us and Him, and now He leaves the choice up to us as to whether we will accept His plan for the forgiveness of our sin and the restoration of our relationship.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat. 1:21)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1John 1:7)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17)
Through the washing of His blood and the impartation of His righteousness, Jesus Christ has made a way that we can get as close to God as we want to.
We can now, as children, spiritually crawl up into our Heavenly Father’s lap, lay our head upon His chest, hear the beating of His heart, and experience the safety of His eternal love.
God has provided for everlasting and eternal RELATIONSHIP with Him to be restored. Why in the world would anyone settle for anything less?
Why in the world would anyone settle for religion?