I PERCEIVE THAT YOU'RE RELIGIOUS
I Perceive That You're Religious
It is much easier to talk to someone about the one true God, and about His son Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, especially when we both profess belief in the same Godhead! Even though there may be justifiable disagreements between those we talk with, we still seem to be “more comfortable” it seems in this sphere instead of the one I would like to present to you. Please understand though, this does not mean we have not a duty to teach even those who may have drifted from the pattern of truth found in the good news! With that said, let us consider the following.
Worship is homage, which is rendered to God (which it is sinful idolatry) to render to any created being (Ex 34:14; Isa 2:8). Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev. 22:8,9). Today, many millions "worship" in some form or fashion. Whether this homage paid is to the living God and according to His precepts giving to all through His living Word, the Bible, is another thing. Jesus the Christ made it perfectly clear as he talked to Satan, just who was to be worshiped, in Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. What do you say to the Hindu, who worships all types of creatures of baser forms? What is said to the Buddhist, who believes that Siddhartha Gautama was a gifted man whose life-style and sayings are to be followed? Or the Muslim, who teaches that Jesus Christ was a good man, but one must be a follower of Muhammad’s teachings, found in writings of his book? The answer is much simpler than we tend to make it!
I believe we should start as the apostle Paul did when he was visiting Athens in Acts 17:22-31. There was a place called the Areopagus, where all the Philosophers of that day met to discuss and ponder all the beliefs or religious thoughts of the times. There were found their idols and altars, which stood in homage to such, so called “deities!” What was taught that day should still ring loudly through our attempts to teach a confused world, of “religions.” The following should be our pattern: Acts 17:22 “And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus, and said, ye men of Athens, in all things, I perceive that ye are very religious. 23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you. 24 The God that made the world and all things therein, He, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelled not in temples made with hands; 25 neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us: 28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man. 30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commands men that they should all everywhere repent: 31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. “ Amen!
Mark 7:7 “but in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.”
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 1:17 “for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
John 8:32 “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 17:17 “sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.”
Dear friends, speak only as the teacher’s of old did, just as Paul the apostle proclaimed above. We will find some who are receptive, and yes, others not so inclined. But all the same, the goal is simply to place into the ears of mankind His truth, God desires that they be saved, but only by receptive and obedient hearts will He give them remission of sins.
1 Timothy 2: 3, this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.
Just teach the truth, that’s all we are commissioned to do, leave the rest to God!