Beware of Religion As a Substitute for the Christian Life
By David J. Stewart | December 2014
Hosea 7:7, “...there is none among them that calleth unto me.”
Our churches are filled with people today who park their rear-end in 18 inches of pew three times a week, put a few dollars into an offering plate, and sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” each week, but they never lift a finger for God and are alienated to the Spirit-filled life. They are sitting-on-the-premises instead of Standing-On-The-Promises!!!
“There was a football coach one time of a professional football team. He was speaking of the difference between average professional football players and champions. He said, 'All pro football players do about 75% of what is expected of them.' He said, 'They that do the other 25%, become the champions!'
And what he was saying was, If all you do is just what you have to, to get by, you're going to be a average, so-so, Christian; but he said people that really do something for God are those that go the extra mile. Watch—you know anybody that God uses—it ain't because of their talent—There's a lot of talented people who God don't use—It's because they are dedicated in such a way that they give a extra effort that other people don't give.”
SOURCE: Pastor Danny Castle, a quote from the awesome video sermon, “Spiritual Growth!”
The preceding great quote from Brother Castle certainly describes our churches today. Most professed Christians are merely going through the motions. They attend church faithfully, tithe, pray and sing songs. Can I surprise you? Can I really surprise you? OK, you're going to be surprised! The following Scripture passage is talking about AN UNSAVED MAN... Acts 10:1-2, “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” Cornelius was a good man but lost. This devout man prayed continually the Bible says, but he was still hellbound in his sins. Cornelius had religion without Christ. Thankfully, God sent the apostle Peter to witness the Gospel to Cornelius and he got saved at the end of Acts chapter 10.
My friend, if the Devil cannot hinder you from being saved, then he will cripple you as a believer to keep you from doing anything for God, by getting you sidetracked, choked by the cares, riches and pleasures of this earthly life (Luke 8:14). It makes God vomit when He sees the lukewarm attitudes in our churches today (Revelation 3:15-16). God wants us hot or cold, on or off, in or out!!! God wants us to go that extra mile and do the 25% that most won't do. Matthew 23:23, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
Something that bothers God immensely are churches that merely go through the motions. We see this evidenced in the seven churches of Asia Minor. Revelation 3:1, “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Sadly, most churches today fall woefully short of what they are supposed to be. The tragic thing is not that our churches are imperfect, but that they don't want to be perfect and are complacent in their backslidden, apostate and woeful sinful condition. Indifference is a horrible sin like murder, adultery and fraud.
What is That in Thine Hand?
You can identify religious churches by the corrupt Bible versions they allow, use and refuse to expose. My friends, it is no light thing that greedy and unholy hands have butchered the Word of God for money. Please don't take my word for it, read for yourself. Take Biblica for example, the company that translated (and still translates, regularly making new changes to) the New International Version (NIV). Kindly, here's a brief quote from their website...
“Every change to the NIV must be thoroughly vetted — and changing the text isn’t easy. In order to become part of the NIV, a change must receive the support of at least 70 percent of the translation team.
Such a high threshold among a denominationally diverse team of scholars helps to protect the NIV from agendas, bias, and outside influence — ensuring that any changes are backed by the very best biblical scholarship.
The result of such a rigorous translation process? A Bible you can trust, now and in the future.”
SOURCE: Translation Process — Biblica
What you've just read is a big bunch of bullcrap! What Biblica will never tell you is that their NIV is based upon the Alexandrian, Egypt, manuscripts (allegedly older and more reliable than our beloved Textus Receptus from which the King James Bible was translated). The manuscripts for the Textus Receptus originated in Antioch, Syria. The King James translators were challenged with having to sift through literally thousands of ancient manuscripts, trying to decide which ones were authored by God, and which ones were manmade to deceive people. The King James Bible translators noticed that the majority of the manuscripts agreed, which become known as the “Majority Text” (or the “Received Text,” aka, Textus Receptus), and they recognized that God had safeguarded His Words in the majority of the manuscripts. The stray dogs (clearly manmade deceptions) were rejected. The NIV is based upon some stray dog manuscripts!!!
So you see, you really cannot trust your NIV as Biblica claims! If you'll take the time to compare Bible translations, you'll find that the NIV savagely attacks the doctrines of the deity of Jesus Christ and the Godhead. The word “Godhead” is completely removed in Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9, which is every passage in the Bible mentioning the word). Instead they call God the “divine nature,” which is exactly what the Antichrist is going to worship, that is, “the God of forces” (Daniel 11:38). New Age portrays God as an energy force permeating the universe, the god force within us, teaching that all men can attain personal godhood through occult enlightenment (such as Kaballah, Freemasonry, Mormonism, Rosicrucianism, et cetera). In reality, these satanic deceptions are a substitute for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! Please read, Occult Roots Of The Modern Bible Versions.
If your pastor(s) don't care about this issue and prefer rather to continue using a occult inspired fake translation, then you seriously need to get out of that place and go find a legitimate local New Testament Church that hasn't been corrupted and deceived. The Holy Bible is our spiritual food and meat, and if that food supply becomes tainted and poisoned, then you're going to get spiritual food poisoning. Our churches today are absolutely overrun with sick saints and spiritual miscarriages who never got saved at all, because of the damnable influence of the lie of these so-called “easy-to-read” Bible versions!!! Jumping out of an airplane without a parachute will help get you to the ground faster, but at what expense? As is typical with the Devil, he has once again cleverly hidden a lie between two truths to deceive people.
TRUTH: The newer Bible versions are easier to read.
TRUTH: There were over 100 so-called “experts” involved.
LIE: You can trust the NIV.
If you'll take a look back to the earlier quote I provided from Biblica, you'll notice that they invited representatives from umpteen different religious denominations to get involved with butchering God's Word. They claim the reason was to prevent sectarian bias (religious prejudice), but I say the real reason was to increase the marketability of the NIV. In the 2011 NIV, Biblica have changed the content of their Bible version 38.8% as compared to the 1984 NIV!!! Yet, Biblica claims (in the quote I gave you earlier) that it is not easy to change their Bible version. What a sham! It sure seems easy from the statistics! Has God's Word changed that much in 30 years? No, not at all, but American society has changed 38.8% over the past 30 years, becoming queer as can be, which is why the NIV has turned their Bible version into a religious lesbian's feminist dream come true.
I wrote this article to bring attention to the spiritual disease in our churches today of INDIFFERENCE!!! Most pastors are shamefully going along to get along with apostate mainstream evangelical circles, avoiding the controversial Bible version debate, lest they become theological outcastes and be labeled as being in that dreaded “King James Bible only cult!” Brother, I would 10,000 times rather be in some alleged King James Bible only cult than to unwittingly be sucked into using and supporting an occult Bible version translated by occultists for Satan. Awake to righteousness! I speak this to your shame! 1st Corinthians 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
“I've been preaching a long time, and I've watched a lot of things happen. To me the saddest thing that I've watched in my life, apart from my own country going to the Devil nearly, has been the change of preachers and churches. I find myself amazed and stunned with near disbelief, as I see men who once stood who don't stand anymore ... I know every week I cry some, I mean cry, I mean tear cry, because of preachers who are turning.”
SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, from the 1972 sermon titled, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED
You can identify today's spiritually lifeless churches by the lack of hard-preaching from the pulpit. You can spot these lukewarm churches by the woeful absence of aggressively contending for the faith. Brother, if people don't think you're crazy, you're not living right for God. Most churches today have spiritually malnourished members. Good luck finding a soul-winning program of any sort. You likely won't hear any preaching that warns sinners of imminent Hell, fire and damnation. We've got a bunch of wimpy churches today!!!
How Religious is Your Church?
Most people will recognize what I'm about to say is true if you've visited different churches. Most churches today are nothing more than an empty shell, going through the motions, lifeless, lacking any youth department and dying (if not dead) as a church. I've been to numerous Catholic services, because I wanted to see firsthand what they are about. The one big thing I noticed is the total lack of the Holy Spirit in the Roman Catholic Church. Their churches are coffins! Since Catholics are not born-again, they don't have the Holy Spirit indwelling them as we do as believers (Romans 8:9). The Catholic church is dead!!!
Tragically, I see that same deadness in many Baptist churches as well. There is no teaching or preaching about the Holy Spirit. There is no warning about Hell, fire and damnation for the unsaved. There is no hard-preaching from the pulpit. There is no concern for lost souls. There is no soul-winning program. The alters are empty at invitation time, if there's an invitation at all. Please read Pastor Harry Ironside's excellent chapter titled, “The Preaching That Produces Repentance,” from his great book, “Except Ye Repent.” Most churches are fortunate to use the baptistry every 6 months for two saved people. This is because the pulpit is dead!
Ladies and gentleman, we've gotten into the business of religion in our churches. Christianity is about sinners being washed in the blood of Jesus! Christianity is about God dealing in mercy with sinners, and about sinners dealing in mercy with other sinners (MP3 sermon by Dr. Jack Hyles titled, “The Happiest Man”). All this garbage in our Bible colleges these days about entertainment, banquets, pool tables, playing sports and shopping amenities is foreign to Christianity. The Christian life is a war, not a vacation!!! Bible colleges are trying to lure new students by pampering them! I'd rather have 100 students that mean business for God and have to lay off 90% of my teachers and staff, than dip my sails in sinful compromise, trim my convictions and turn the Bible college into just another run-of-the-mill college to attract worldly students. No Sir, I'd close the doors first!!! We've gone backwards!!!
“Nobody can love God who
doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)
I can tell where your church is at spiritually simply by seeing how you respond to the truth. My concern is NOT where a church is at spiritual; but rather, are they willing to bring their views into line with the truth? There's a big, big, difference between an imperfect church verses a church that doesn't want to be perfect. If a church's congregation and pastor are unresponsive, indifferent and nonchalant toward important doctrinal issues; such as, the truth that the literal blood of Jesus Christ is sprinkled upon the mercy seat in Heaven, and the truth that all modern Bible versions have been corrupted by Satan, and the truth that you don't have to surrender to serve God (which is human effort) to be saved, then they have become religious and don't care about truth. If your church rejects these truths, then they have embraced religion rather than truth, and you should look for a caring local New Testament church. Something is spiritually wrong with any pastor who desires to GO ALONG TO GET ALONG!!!
I'm sick and tired of pastors who won't take a stand and don't care about doctrinal issues because they are content just to have a job and make money. No wonder Jesus said that no man can serve God and money (mammon), because he WILL hate the one and love the other (Luke 16:13). The Church is the ground and pillar of THE TRUTH; thus, if a church stops fighting for and upholding the truth, then they have ceased to qualify as a church. Roman Catholicism is not a church! Seventh Day Adventism is not a church. Why? It's because they don't have the truth. Churches that drop the ball concerning truth have become a religious institution instead of a local New Testament church.
A church is not a big building adorned with stained-glass windows, plush-carpeting, padded-pews and a choir. Literally, this is what most churches have deteriorated into. The pastor's function has been diminished to merely performing weddings and funerals. I'm not against those things by themselves, but this is not the purpose of the church. Jesus said in John 4:24 that the Father MUST be worshipped in spirit and truth! Truth seems to be the least important concern in churches today; but it should be our very first concern! Without truth there is no reason for everything else! Our churches need to have a revival concerning their loyalty, attitude and commitment to THE TRUTH!!!
I triple dog dare you to hand Dr. Al Lacy's book titled, “NIV: The Antichrist's Bible” to most pastor's today and see how they respond. In all likelihood the pastor will either give the book back to you, throw it away or ignore it, and then ask you not to show it to anyone else in the church. A respectable pastor would announce the following Sunday that he has changed his position to the King James Bible only, and will not pastor the church anymore unless they do the same!!! Honestly, I cannot stomach most churches today!!! They're a nauseating joke! I say that kindly with a loving spirit. I care about you!
Genuine Christianity means being born-again and then allowing Christ's Holy Spirit to live through us. Galatians 2:20, “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 Am Crucified With Christ (MP3, Dr. Hyles; you cannot crucify yourself, someone else must do it! You can only nail one hand, but then you have no free hand to crucify your other hand. God must crucify us!). You won't hear about the power of the Holy Spirit in most churches today, because they don't seek Him. They are attempting to serve God in the arm of human flesh.
You're Not a Good Christian Just Because You Go to a Church Building
Listen, you're not a success in God's eyes just because you go through the motions at church each week. God is far more pleased with a Christian who doesn't attend church in disgust over today's apostate churches (knowing that his life falls short of pleasing God); than God is with some apostate church member who is at ease on Zion, complacent in the pew, playing church three times a week, never lifting a finger to do anything for God (who thinks he is doing just fine in God's eyes!!!). Many of you need to stop kidding yourself. The man with no hope is better off than the man with a false hope, because the man without hope is still looking.
The same is true of a Christian whose out of church, but knows that he or she needs to find a good church to attend. God is far more pleased with this person than He is with the lukewarm believer who faithfully attends a lukewarm church and never does anything for Christ. And may I say, I am so sick and disgusted with churches who think that they've done something for God just because they donate school packs to poor kids once a year. That's a nice good work to do, but what about having a soul-winning program???
There's nothing worse than seeing hundreds of staff members, teachers and full-time church workers in a church congregation who are obligated to attend church services that are boring, dry, dead and lack hard-preaching! Kids are playing video games. Parents are surfing the internet. All during church!!! The staff are spiritually starving for doctrine. I've seen it in independent Baptist churches. This is religion, not Christianity. No church can be pleasing to God with a dead preacher behind the pulpit. The pastor sets the tone in the church. A loving and morally upright pastor cannot compensate for a lack of doctrinal integrity, a lack of contending for the faith, a lack of preaching against sin, a lack of soul-winning, a lack of warning lost sinners of hell-fire and eternal punishment, a lack of preaching against women wearing pants, a lack of teaching about the power of the Holy Spirit, et cetera. Truly, a lot of pastors don't belong behind the pulpit. Do it right or don't waste your time doing it at all.
Oh Christian, if you're not very careful, over time you'll swap out genuine Spirit-led Christianity for a religious life that renders you useless for the cause of Jesus Christ!!! Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again. But if Satan cannot hinder you from being saved, then he'll do the next most damaging thing by conning you into living a religious life totally void of serving God. Our churches are filled with people who go through the religious motions of singing, tithing, fellowshipping, eating, helping each other, buying the pastor ties, enrolling their kids in religious school, et cetera; but they have been inoculated from the genuine Christian life. Many churches today fail to seek the power of the Holy Spirit, fail to preach the Gospel (instead they teach the satanic heresy of Lordship Salvation), fail to preach against sin, fail to love sinners, fail to warn lost sinners about a burning Hell where Christ-rejecting sinners will suffer for eternity, fail to care about doctrinal correctness, and fail to even use an uncorrupted translation of the Holy Bible (if you ain't got a King James Bible, you don't have a Holy Bible).
Nothing is More Important Than the Truth
Psalms 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
Jesus said that the entire purpose for which He came into the world was to bear witness unto the truth. John 18:37, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” The truth is important. Satan's only real power is at hiding the truth, through cleverly fabricated deceptions and religious lies. Satan has filled the world with the lies of religion, the lies of evolution, the lies of Hollywood, the lies of secular philosophy, et cetera. The best defense against Satan's lies is the truth of God's Holy Word.
Kindly, I cannot sit under any pastor who allows, uses and refuses to expose the modern corrupt versions of the Bible. Satanic occultists Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort corrupted the Word of God, deliberately to deceive the churches. The evidence is readily available for research. Tragically, most preachers just don't care. Our churches are being deceived. The most important thing in any Christian's life should be THE TRUTH!!! Sadly, it seems that the truth is the last thing that matters to churches these days. This is evidenced by the widespread teaching of the false plan of salvation of Lordship Salvation. This is evidenced by the corrupted Bible versions which have been embraced whole-heartedly by most churches today. This is evidenced by the deafening silence in our churches concerning the reality, horror and eternal damnation of a burning literal Hell. This is evidenced by the heresy of Zionism in our churches (a concise one hour MP3 history of the New World Order, Zionism and apostate Christianity).
The reason why pastors today lack zeal, fire and a burning passion in the pulpit in their preaching is because they don't walk with God as they should. Hebrews 10:29 says that our God is a CONSUMING FIRE!!! I have a burning passion in my heart for THE TRUTH of God's Word, for THE TRUTH in general. I must have the truth! I want the truth! I hate lies and deception! Most pastors teach the Bible as a humdrum devotional sermonette. I firmly believe that truth should be preached with fervor and excitement. Do you know why most churches are totally empty of any youth? It's because teenagers want to be a part of something worth dying for, something bigger than life, something exciting. Go attend the average church today and the truth is presented as if it were a funeral. It's as boring as can be, nothing more than a vague doctrinal statement.
Brother, we need preachers again like Billy Sunday who holler the truth, throw chairs, jump up and down, run around, throw a fit at the Devil and get mad at sin!!! But you say, people might think I'm nuts. May I say, if your audience doesn't think you're nuts over truth, then you're a lousy preacher! It's OK to be a nut if you're screwed onto the right bolt! Jesus is the right bolt! We've lost the fire in our church pulpits!!! We've got a bunch of apostate religious centers these days, passing off as New Testament churches. Is there a fire burning in your heart? If not, Get right with God. Isaiah 59:14, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” ObamaCare is not the problem these days; but rather, We Don't Care is the big problem. I care, do you?
“God never leads anyone anywhere for money.” —Jack Hyles
“Remind your mind to use His mind.” —Jack Hyles
“A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian… and most of all, his family ought to know.” —D.L. Moody
“If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!” —Leonard Ravenhill
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