Summary: 1- If you are religious - listen and do the Word 2- If you are religious - keep a rein on your tongue 3- If you are religious - minister to those in distress 4- If you are religious - keep yourself clean
INTRO.- ILL.- The two thousand member Baptist church was filled to overflowing capacity one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats entered thru the rear of the church.
One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons.
The one in the middle announced, "Everyone willing to take a bullet for Jesus stay in your seats!"
Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor. After a few moments, there were about twenty people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit.
The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, "All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service."
Well, this is one way to separate the men from the boys or the saints from the sinners. Of course, this would not be the only way to distinguish committed Christians from the non-committed.
Often it takes a whole lot less to determine who is committed and who is not committed to Christ. How so?
- When a person gets a paycheck, what do they do with it? Just pay bills and buy things or do they also include the Lord by giving back to Him?
- A three-day weekend or a vacation can sometime give an indication about a person’s commitment to Christ or lack of it. What do they do on that weekend or vacation? Do they remember and honor the Lord by going to church?
- What if someone at work approached a Christian and said, “My life is miserable. I sure need something to change. I need some help somewhere.” Suppose that Christian said little and never offered Christ as the answer to that person’s misery.
Would you think that Christian was either nervous, didn’t know what to say, or just didn’t care about that miserable person?
How religious are you? People are religious about many things: sports, movies, TV, video games, traveling, shopping, hunting, fishing. You name it and people can be very religious about it.
But how religious are we when it comes to our faith? If we are truly religious then our religion will be more of a relationship than a religion. We will have and develop a relationship to Christ.
Philippians 3:7-9 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
Knowing Christ is the most important thing in our existence or should be. And to know Him will make you the relational religious person you should be.
PROP.- If you are religious you have a greater responsibility in life.
1- If you are religious - listen and do the Word
2- If you are religious - keep a rein on your tongue
3- If you are religious - minister to those in distress
4- If you are religious - keep yourself clean
I. IF YOU ARE RELIGIOUS - LISTEN AND DO THE WORD
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
ILL.- The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said.
One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." The guests responded with phrases like, "Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir."
It was not till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Somewhat confused, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, "I’m sure she had it coming."