This statement is very true according to the Bible. The most religious people of Jesus’ times on Earth were the Pharisees and what does Jesus say to them?
“O generation of VIPERS, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12: 34-36 KJV)
He called them VIPERS out for the kill. Coveting for money and instilling fear to accomplish this. And then we see Jesus get quite upset at these religious leaders in Matthew 23:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
(Matthew 23: 29-39 KJV)
Look at those TOUGH TOUGH words of Jesus! We see here clearly just how much God hates religion! Religion is man working their way through self righteous deeds to be justified with God. But that is the sin of PRIDE, the same sin that caused Lucifer (the shining angel closet to Gods thrown) to become Satan (our adversary and hater of God and humans). And more than that, the leaders in these religions that are coveting for money and power are even worse. Just as Jesus warned Israel, in 70 AD, the Jewish people were dispersed into other nations and have been until recently when in May of 1948, when the main prophecy triggering the End Times Generation was fulfilled, Israel once again became a nation and the Jewish people in other nations have been returning.
Many people believe that the Bible is not true and that Jesus is not God. Many who do not believe though are simply seeing the irony, hypocrisy and corruption in Christian religious organizations and denominations. They see Christians in general as ‘pious’ pointing their noses down at unbelievers and people who ‘think they are better’ and they attribute that with the Word of God. But is that the truth? No, it is not. It is the Christian RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS pushing the negativity. Telling others to BE GOOD or GOD WILL GET YOU! Yet, all the while we hear of child molestation in the church, preachers caught with hookers and worse. Do not get me wrong. I am not talking about ALL priests and pastors who are truly serving God. GOD BLESS THEM!! But to the unsaved people out there, this is all they hear on the news. It is all they see and it makes them angry. Heck, it makes ME ANGRY!
The real problem here is that the vast majority of Christian religious organizations and denominations are not teaching the Biblical Gospel of Grace that Apostle Paul taught. Most of these organizations teach false gospel messages such as the rampant prosperity gospel (God wants to make you rich) of TV evangelists, the extreme coveting of works based salvation gospel (It is what you DO that matters. Do more good than bad and then MAYBE you will make it to heaven), the word of faith movement false gospel (just say the right words with ENOUGH faith) and the list goes on and on.
Why is it that so many are being deceived? The reason is no one is reading their Bible anymore! Most people have a Bible but it just collects dust. And so, many pulpits can take any verses they want. Standing alone with a verse taken out of context of the whole chapter or book of the Bible can make it say anything they like because no one is checking if what they are teaching is actually Biblical or not!
I can tell you I was shocked when I started reading the Word of God and how the religion I was in was completely teaching against the Gospel of Grace that God gave us gentiles through the Apostle Paul. SHOCKED!
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the FREE GIFT. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the GRACE OF God, and THE GIFT BY GRACE, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is THE GIFT: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the FREE GIFT is of many offences unto JUSTIFCATION.” (Romans 5:10-16 KJV)
You see Salvation is not something we can accomplish by our own self righteous efforts nor by following a set of religious rituals. Salvation and JUSTIFICATION with God is a FREE GIFT!
“For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
“Now to the one who WORKS, his wage is NOT RECKONED on the basis of GRACE, but as what is DUE. But to the one who DOES NOT WORK, but BELIEVES in Him (Jesus) WHO JUSTIFIES the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Romans 4:4-5 KJV)
“Knowing that a man is NOT JUSTIFED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, but BY THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, even we have BELIEVED in Jesus Christ, that we might BE JUSTIFIED by the FAITH OF CHRIST, and NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW: FOR BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.. But if, while we seek to be justified BY CHRIST, we ourselves also are FOUND SINNERS, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make MYSELF a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COME BY THE LAW, THEN CHRIST DIED IN VAIN.” (Galatians 2:16-21 KJV)
The very definition of GRACE is an UNMERITED FAVOR. The definition of a GIFT is, well a free gift to be RECEIVED. And the definition of ETERNAL LIFE is… ETERNAL LIFE!
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3 KJV)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 KJV)
“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21 KJV)
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified BY HIS GRACE, we should be made HEIRS according to the hope of ETERNAL LIFE. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings ABOUT THE LAW; for they are UNPROFITABLE AND VAIN.” (Titus 3:5-9 KJV)
The Law spoken of here is the Law of Moses. Many know of this to be The Ten Commandments but it also includes hundreds of other rules that the Jewish people aspired to uphold, yet in vain. You see The Law of Moses and Ten Commandments are HOLY and RIGHT. However, the Bible is clear that trying to do the Law perfectly is impossible and will not MAKE a person Holy.
In fact, the Bible tells us that “Moreover the law entered, that the offence MIGHT ABOUND. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” (Romans 5:20)
“The sting of death is sin; and the STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory THROUGH our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57 KJV)
I can tell you that the first time I read that I was floored! God gave us the Ten Commandments so that wrong doing would abound and increase? What?! All those years being taught to follow the Ten Commandments and not commit a “mortal sin” to finally read the Bible myself and find that the Apostle Paul told us that ‘The STRENGTH of SIN.. IS THE LAW?’ The Ten Commandments even? I never heard that one in a church service!
The truth is, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we may be justified BY FAITH. BUT AFTER that faith is come, we are NO LONGER under a schoolmaster.” (Galatians 3:24-25 KJV)
God gave us the Law so we would stop comparing our “goodness” with ‘other bad people’ and instead compare our goodness with Holy God Almighty. And I can tell you WE ALL FAIL MISERABLY trying to attain righteousness through our own self righteous efforts in good works, deeds and religious rituals in an organized religion.
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become EXCEEDING SINFUL. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:12-14 KJV)
The Ten Commandments ARE HOLY but cannot MAKE YOU HOLY! They actually show us just ow sinful we are. Heaven is a perfect place and to go to heaven we must be PERFECT. But we are NOT perfected by doing good works. The Bible says that the “wages of sin is death” not “good works and religious rituals”. DEATH and the Greek for the word DEATH here is ETERNAL DEATH. The good works we do will not erase any sin that we have committed. NEVER! Is your church pulpit teaching otherwise? If so, just read the Bible for yourself and discover the truth!
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED in his sight: for by the law is the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.” (Romans 3:20 KJV)
In John 6:28-29 Jesus makes this clear when asked “…`What can we do in order to do what God wants us to do? Jesus answered, `What God wants you to do is to believe in the one He sent.” (John 6:28-29 KJV)
The Apostle Paul is VERY clear that Salvation and justification with God is not by ANY of our own efforts. It is all by faith through the grace of God through Jesus The Christ crucified.
“For by GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
Jesus Himself also said clearly the way to attain Salvation in John 3:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVETH in him should NOT perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that BELIEVETH on him is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH NOT is condemned ALREADY, because he hath not BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:14-18 KJV)
Look how many times the word BELIEVE is used in this very direct message of how to be saved and ‘born again’. Believe in what? What is the object of our faith that we should believe in? ‘Whosoever believes in CHRIST’, God in the flesh, and the only atonement for the sins of the world that He provided for us on the cross. The fact is, you do not even need to say a prayer to be saved. The Bible never tells us that we need a sinners prayer. Yes, it is okay to pray the sinners prayer. Do not write me angry letters now. I am just making a point here and it is that the Bible tells us that all that is required for Salvation and justification with God is to BELIEVE by faith what Christ accomplished on the cross for us as God in the flesh. He paid the penalty for our sins so that we did not have to. And then He MADE US the very righteousness of God, in CHRIST. The liberty I felt once I knew the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was like a weight coming off my sinful back. The best word to describe the moment when the lights came on in my mind by the Word of God is FREEDOM!!
I mean before being saved and even now, I am a pretty decent guy. But even so, I still have sin. Don’t you? The Bible says it only takes ONE sin to disqualify us fro Heaven. That means ALL Of US until we accept Salvation as a gift. Doing so is actually giving up on trying to appease an angry God. I felt freedom from trying to work my way into God’s favor. I am now highly favored and accepted by God. I am DEEMED BY GOD to be HOLY RIGHTEOUS and REDEEMED, even when I fail. Even when I fall into a sin. Christ eradicated my sin debt. THANK GOD!! I could NEVER do it myself!
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV)
Are you attending a church that is NOT teaching this? If so, LEAVE that dead church! Experience the freedom provided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the Word of God, not from men using Scriptures out of context to covet for money and church membership by instilling FEAR into the members without giving the assurance of eternal life. FEAR is the opposite of FAITH.
As Jesus said, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which BELIEVED on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you FREE. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the SERVANT OF SIN. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If THE SON therefore shall MAKE YOU FREE, ye shall be FREE INDEED.” (John 8:31-36 KJV)
You see it? If the SON (Jesus The Christ) shall MAKE YOU FREE. The key word here is MAKE. We do not make ourselves Holy and justified with God through our own efforts. NO! By believing on the atonement for sin provided by Christ Jesus on that cross, Jesus MADE US FREE from the bondage of sin. He paid our entire life of sinful deeds, even our future sins not yet committed (all sins are future to the cross right?)
We do not have to FEAR God once we believe in Christ. We have been MADE RIGHTEOUS and are Heaven bound! Those preaching FEAR and saying we cannot know if we will be good enough to make it to Heaven are so VERY WRONG! Thinking and believing that way; I can guarantee that you will NOT make it to Heaven. We CAN KNOW if we are saved and John makes this clear to us:
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that YE MAY KNOW that ye HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13 KJV)
Do not take my words in this article on my own merit. NO! Go read the Word of God! Go read 1 John 5. Go read John 3. It is the Word of God that has the very words of eternal life and justification with God through the Salvation provided by the Son of God, Jesus The Christ (the anointed one and God in the flesh).