Summary: If your religion does not transform you, convince you of it’s rightness, and is something you share, it’s not worth very much.
January 6, 2002
Parkview Church of the Nazarene
J. Richard Lord, Jr.
What Is Your Religion Worth?
I Peter 1:3-9
Is your faith genuine? It is worth more than gold?
Your religion is not worth very much:
I. IF IT DOES NOT MAKE A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN YOUR ATTITUDE AND ACTIONS.
Some people wear their religion as if it were a coat, to be put on only when you need to feel warm, to make you feel good.
True religion not only changes you, it transforms you.
Some years ago, the science fiction show, “The Incredible Hulk,” was on TV. It was based on a comic book character by the name of David Banner, a scientist who was trying to develop a medicine that could help people control their anger. He was highly motivated to do so, because he had what is known as today as an, “anger management” problem.
But something goes awry and he is injected with this medicine that has an opposite effect. Whenever he got angry, he was transformed into the “Incredible” monster that wreaked havoc once a week. He was superhuman in strength and could easily defeat his foes.
This is a silly illustration of what happens when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We are “injected” by the Holy Spirit. The love of Jesus transforms us into the “Incredible Christian” making us spiritually stronger than our enemy Satan and are able to defeat him.
It changes the way we think and act and even changes our appearance. We see the world and ourselves differently. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. “ (II Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
If your religion has not transformed you, it is not worth very much.
II. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN.
One of biggest mistakes that religious zealots make is trying force people to believe as they do.
We have just seen in Afghanistan the result of religion at the point of a gun. But before we condemn those leaders in their guilt, we must look to our own history.
Many abuses in the name of Christianity have been committed. Constantine, in 333 AD, converted the Roman Empire practically overnight to Christianity, mostly at the point of a sword.
Many abuses occurred during the Middle Ages in the name of the church. Heretics, who were anybody who believed differently than the established religion, were burned at the stake.
Even in our own America, our hands are not clean. The pilgrims, who escaped religious persecution, turned around and punished anyone who did not follow their strict religious regimen.
This is not real Christianity. It is not even true religion of any sort. It is tyranny.
The rally cry today, however, is acceptance. We must accept everyone’s faith as legitimate. It doesn’t matter what you believe, we must accept everyone’s religion.
That’s wrong as well. It is completely at odds with scripture. Paul writes, “ When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (I Corinthians 1:1-2)