Second-Hand Religion

If you grew up in a large family, you know exactly what hand-me-downs or second hand items are. If you grew up in the Depression Era, and you were the third son or daughter, your clothes might have been a bit threadbare after going through the wear and tear of two siblings. Lamenting about her overexposure to second hand things Second Hand Rose sang, "Even Jake the plumber, he’s the man I adore had the nerve to tell me he’s been married before."

Second hand things are not all bad or else no one would buy an antique. We are made up of second hand genes. We have our Mama’s smiles, our Daddy’s eyes and depending on our behavior the temperament of one or the other. Indeed when we are bad, we are our father’s children and when we are good we are Mama’s. C];-)}|>

We cannot escape some of the things in our lives that are second hand. In fact, we are often proud of whom we have descended from and what we have received from them second hand. If you have war heroes or great poets and writers in the family, you feel special even if you never served in the military or cannot write worth a hoot. Somehow, it feels like some of that greatness has rubbed of on you by just being a part of the family tree. In my case, my tree has borne a few nuts and some of them probably did some rope assisted tree hanging. How they would have loved to swap that rope with a bungee cord. As far as I can tell, we have few heroes. I would consider one of my maternal uncles a war hero. The rest of us are jist plain folks.

Some folks are proud of their godly heritage. They will tell you that there are many preachers, missionaries, deacons and Sunday School teachers in their family. Funny thing is many of those same people bragging on their kinfolk do not attend church anywhere and would maybe even call themselves agnostic or atheist. Yet, they are real proud of their tree. Go figure. In some circles, the terms PK and MK are used. In most cases, that means the person was a Preacher’s Kid or a Missionary’s Kid.

I was a PK and a MK, but in my case it meant a Poor Kid and a Mean Kid. My parent’s eyes or temperament may rub off on me, but other things cannot. No one will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because they are third cousins twice removed to Nolan Ryan. No one is going to award a near kin of Audie Murphy a Medal of Honor unless he or she does something as great as Audie did. Likewise, no one is going to get into Heaven because his great-great-great-grand-pappy or even his twin brother was a preacher. Folks who get to the gate with second hand religion are going to be in for a big surprise!! John 3:3 clearly states that each of us must have a one on one meeting with Christ that results in a born again experience if we ever hope to see the kingdom of God.

Many folks are seeking the kingdom and even looking for Jesus, but they are listening to the wrong person. There have been more reported sightings of Jesus than of Big Foot. He has been seen in the sky even more than a UFO. One was even 900 foot tall holding a man hostage for ransom. Some have claimed that they are the returned Christ. Folks will flock to these people and the places where Christ supposedly has been seen like lemmings. They are following second hand religion. If they were seeking Christ first hand they would know these things are false because they would know what He said about His return.

Matt 24:23-26

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. (KJV)

He promised that everyone would know when He returned. No one would have to guess or hear it from his neighbor or the media. The media would try to deny it or downplay it anyway if they covered the event at all. There will be no doubt that He is back and that it is really He. It is sheer foolishness to follow after Jesus sightings and learn of Him second hand.

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