The Peril of False Religions

     In our study of Mark 7, the members of Providence have been considering what Jesus taught about the perils and dangers of false religions.

Jesus was very confrontational when truth was at stake. 

In fact, throughout the ministry of Jesus, nothing received more of our Lord’s anger and fury than self-righteous, legalistic, ceremonial religion.

Jesus called the leaders of apostate Judaism “hypocrites and vipers.” He called them “sons of hell” and referred to their converts as “twice as much children of hell” as themselves!

Jesus never attacked anything with as much force as He attacked empty religion. 

People need to know the difference between the authority of Scripture and endless man-made customs that often displace Scripture in the hearts of those who practice them.

One thing is very clear in Scripture: man-made religious traditions are not harmless, or inconsequential, or neutral in how they affect people. 

False religions and their man-made traditions are damning in their influence. Satan uses every form of Christ-less religion to blind the eyes of unbelievers. 

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that some of the enemy’s most destructive work is conducted through the structures of religious hierarchies.

However, the true worship of the one true God is driven by what is internally true, not by what is externally seen. Hypocrisy flaunts the externals and hides what is internally true. 

Apart from the true gospel, nothing can forgive your sin or change your heart. Regeneration is solely a work of God on the sinner’s behalf. We can’t save ourselves. 

Traditions, and rituals, and ceremonies, and all other external fanfare has nothing whatsoever to do with rightly worshiping God in spirit and in truth. 

It’s a terrible thing to worship the wrong god. But it’s an equally terrible thing to worship the right God in the wrong way. How does your worship line up with Scripture?

Every man-made tradition or custom or ritual that has ever been held as “equal to Scripture,” has eventually become superior to Scripture in common practice.

This is true in Judaism. It is true in Roman Catholicism. 

It’s also true in various protestant denominations where traditions and customs have come to displace the Bible in terms of authority. These traditions are very subtle in their danger. 

Almost every religious tradition comes in through the front door disguised as a hero. They are embraced by the devout as instruments of righteousness. But they soon become devils that overturn Scripture and beguile the hearts of men.

Traditions and all man-made rituals are have no real authority. The Word of God is what governs the true church. The Bible is what feeds the true sheep of Christ.

At the bottom of everything is the heart. It’s all about your heart. That’s what determines whether you are worshiping God or not… and correctly or not.  

Put your confidence in the finished work of Christ alone for your salvation and not in the man-made traditions of your religion or your church. Only Christ can save you.  

Jesus is mighty to save and He will save you even now. 

With love in the Truth,
Pastor Kevin