Almost everyone at some point or another tries to find their “religious flavor”. Many want a God other than the one in the Bible because He doesn’t seem as “laissez-faire” as other gods. They want this god, or that one because he, she, or it is okay with something that the LORD God of the Bible is not okay with. They want that religious flavor because they like its teachings, or because they perceive it to be more tolerant, inviting, uplifting, etcetera; and so they treat their spirituality like a candy shop where the objective becomes to taste as many flavors as they can.
The truth is our spirituality is not something to be taken lightly. There is no true “spirituality” without the recognition that we are spirits dwelling within a bio-machine—spirits that God “breathed” into the earthen vessels we call our bodies. There is no spirituality without the God who put our spirits in us.
Sometimes, we hold fast to certain religions because they are the ones we grew up with. Therefore, we see it as the “safe bet”. However, there is no safety in any religion.
I’m sure you might now expect me to try persuading you that Christianity is the way, but it is not! Christ, however, is (the way) and there’s a difference. Following Christianity like it’s a club or sect is not the way to salvation; for God will one day judge each person, not based on their church membership or attendance, but on whether or not they truly accepted and loved Him.
Those who love Him will not simply accept His free gift of salvation. They try to follow after Him in all their ways even though they (as human beings) are not perfect. Those who love Him know that living in His grace does not make it acceptable to sin knowingly.
We’re all flawed. Nothing changes that, but Jesus is more than just our mediator…He is our guide. When He walked on earth, He showed humanity what walking a straight and narrow path looks like. If we are seeking after Him, we ought to do our best to walk that straight and narrow. That means keeping our eyes set on Him and our minds on the things that please Him.
If we can not strive to subdue the lusts and desires of the flesh, we can not hope to draw any closer to God. It’s a daily challenge and it’s difficult, but the way of all flesh is destruction. After all, flesh eventually disintegrates into the dust from which it was originally formed, but the spirit was made to live forever.
Now it is surprising how many people try to avoid the very topic of God. They may act as though they have no aversion to Him, but their demeanor clearly reflects their discomfort. God wants mankind to thrive and grow, but somehow, we often paint Him as an enemy. God is not only our creator, deliverer, and mediator, He is also our perfectly Holy and righteous judge.
He does not deserve contempt for holding anyone accountable to a perfect standard. Consider even the best leaders. They hold people accountable when they fall short of standards and minimum expectations. Even so, sometimes they make exceptions as a result of halo effects and biases.
As a perfect judge, however, God will one day hold each and every one accountable to His standards without bias or favoritism. He will not enjoy the process, but He will execute His judgement to perfection because that is His nature. He’s a perfect leader whether we like it or not…and it is scary to consider. But if we taste and see that the LORD is good, we can take heart that He already saves the believer who lives by every word He has ever spoken.
There is no safety in the “Christian club”. There is, however, safety in God’s grace. Yhis grace manifested itself in the form of Jesus Christ. No other religion has a single savior even remotely close to Christ. Moreover, every other religion teaches us to aim for standards set by human beings. “All you have to do is be a good person.”
Being a “good person” overall can redeem one in the eyes of another. However, in the eyes of a perfect God, who wants us to be better, being good by itself means nothing if we have rejected the very one who created us. Your cellphone might be a good device compared to another cellphone, but if it treats you as an unauthorized user and does not work well for you, you’ll soon look for opportunities to dispose of it. The metric used by followers of the LORD God is simple, straight forward, unchanging and impossible to meet. In fact, it’s quite humbling that we cannot meet God’s perfect standards! Therefore, no one has a right to act “Holier than thou”, but those who are saved by His grace have every right to testify of it! Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!
Have you ever broken a commandment of the LORD? If so, you’re as much a sinner as Adam and Eve. For all have sinned and fallen short, but there is no mediator besides Jesus the Christ. Not one human or angelic being can intercede for a person.
In Ancient Egypt, many Egyptian Pharaohs, or “god-kings” accomplished great things, but they too died. There was no savior for them. They were believed to enter “Duat” the underworld. There, they were subject to the judgement of a god called Anubis who weighed their heart against a feather. They could not persuade Anubis to follow the results of any other scale. If their hearts were heavier than a feather, they were doomed to a miserable eternity. There was no savior to rescue them or anyone else…but their hope was that their deeds were good enough.
Buddha was a monk, philosopher, and religious leader among other things. Historically, he is said to have really existed. By no means was he a god, and by no means was he a savior. He died like everyone else. If the perfect God of the Bible does not exist, then hopefully Buddha was good enough to enjoy a great afterlife.
But a perfect omnipotent God has to exist. It makes every ounce of logical and scientific sense. By “scientific”, I literally mean based on what we know, not what we theorize. So if God is real (which He is) and the existence of Jesus, Emmanuel, “God with us”, is also verified by history, then He deserves our attention. His miracles were documented. He was crucified. He rose again according to several eye witnesses, almost all of whom died for their testimony. While they were being killed, not one of them changed their testimony! Jesus had risen. God had made His grace visible to mankind through Jesus
So through the Christ, mankind has a savior! Moreover, mankind has a God who out of His own love, came to give mankind hope. We could not meet God’s perfect standards, but the one who came did meet all of them and now mediates for us. Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!