Imagine going to church every Sunday for your entire life. You consistently gave tithes, and contributed to charities. You never said so much as a curse word, constantly made good conscious decisions, and never lied. People would look at you and think that you were near perfect. You had it all, good health, good finances, a good family, the complete package if you will. However, one day, and in the blink of an eye it was all gone. One moment you’re living a lavish life, you’ve got it together, and the next, you wake up before God. Now, in this life you may have believed in God, or at the very least believed a god exists. You might believe that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you were to be judged. You’d done the “right” thing all your life. You spent all your days being selfless, doing what you believed to be right. Only to hear the words uttered to you “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Mathew 7:23)
I don’t know about you, but if I had been in that very scenario mentioned above I’d be quite scared. I’d feel hopeless, helpless, and know true despair. However, while those words may be told to many, the good news is that you can get further away from that judgment, and closer to the one true God. The truth is too many people live their lives for themselves. They go through life much like the scenario above. While yes, they attend church every week, give to charities, etc.; God’s word says our works or doings, no matter how good they may seem to us or others, are as dirty rags to him. (Isaiah 64:6) We should open our minds and move past this worldly religion. Our religion, whatever they may be, are nothing more than man-made ways to God. We should stick to the word of God, aka The Bible, in its full context. So that we may grow in the word of God and create a foundation for ourselves. (John 3:3) We need to remember that no matter how “good” we are, without faith our works are empty. (James 2:20) Now, I’m not saying all religion is bad, but we need to be more than our religion. Our salvation isn’t dependent upon going to church alone, but instead, living in Christ, accepting him as our savior and dying to our flesh every moment we are able to. No one is perfect, and we’ll still sin, but through Jesus Christ we have a chance for our sins to be pardoned, and to start anew, or try again. If you find yourself sinning over and over, or thinking “God wouldn’t want me”; that’s a lie from the enemy who’s come to kill, steal, and destroy. The truth is, God wants you to come to him as you are in all of your sin. He doesn’t want you to come to him when you feel you’ve got yourself together. (Matthew 16:24)
We should continue going to church (Deuteronomy 31:12-13) and doing all of the above from that scenario, but we should do it with purpose. Not some religious formality, not out of obligation for a loved one, but because you get to, and because you WANT to. Go to church for God, read your bible and feed your spirit for God, do works for God. When you pray, speak to God unashamed, and out loud. This is having a relationship with God. Don’t be afraid to get specific with him. He knows you, he knows your needs, and wants, and he knows your heart. He’s there with blessings, healings, He’s the answer to all your problems, He’s not the problem. All we need to do is dive into His word, accept Him, and have a true relationship with Him.