God categorically rejects any attempt to worship Him apart from Jesus Christ. Christ is the great Dividing Point between religion and righteousness, between ritual and redemption, between visible form and vital faith. Many who profess to worship the God of the Bible in practice deny this foundational truth stated by Jesus Christ: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Thus, they fall under the condemnation of God because “He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father that sent him” (John 5:23).
Modern Judaism, which purports to worship the God of the Bible but contends that Jesus was nothing more than a Jewish bastard, is a false religion that does not honor God. Islam, which claims to worship the same God as do Christians, proclaims that “There is one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.” They specifically deny the deity of Christ and the reality of His death. As such, Islam is a false religion that does not honor God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormonism) affirms that Jesus Christ is “a” son of God. But their doctrine teaches that He began as a man and became nothing more than we have the potential to become. They are a cult that does not honor God. The Roman Catholic Church affirms the virgin birth of Christ and acknowledges His deity. But in promoting salvation through sacraments and good works and by exalting Mary to the place of mediator (and even co-redemptrix), they fail to honor the Son. Thus, Roman Catholicism is a false religion that does not honor God. Sadly, many so-called Protestant churches no longer believe in the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His bodily resurrection, or the efficacy of His substitutionary death. As such, they may retain the name of Christian, but those that hold to such doctrines have embraced a false religion that does not honor God.
Anyone may profess to believe in God. But the standard for true faith and the center of scriptural doctrine is found in Jesus Christ. He must be honored, not according to man’s best opinion or his educated ideals, but according to the revelation of His Person and Work as recorded in Holy Writ. Even in our increasingly pagan society, few will quibble with those who profess to believe in God, to serve God, or even to love God. Many will even yet tolerate the preaching of a Christ who was a unique Exemplar and great pattern for our behavior. But let a man proclaim the Christ revealed in the Bible, the One who declared—“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (John 8:19); “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30); “He that seeth me seeth him that sent me” (John 12:45); “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9)—and the negative reactions abound.
Christ explains this reaction thus: “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father” (John 15:22-24).
To preach the Christ of the Bible is to preach the reality of sin, the certainty of judgment, the helpless and hopeless condition of man before a holy God, and the utter worthlessness of human religion and human works of righteousness. True “religion,” that is, scriptural doctrine, acknowledges “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10, 11).
Praise God. Jesus is Lord.
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