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Undoubtedly today's world has many "conveniences": cell phones, instant pudding, remote controls, drive through restaurants, and microwave ovens. There's nothing inherently evil about conveniences, but living in such a world can lead us to develop unhealthy spiritual attitudes. Below are some examples, that if practiced, lead to "microwave religion."
1) *Salvation without sacrifice.
Jesus said, "*If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.*" (Lk. 9:23) But about the only thing that differentiates most "Christians" from people of the world is that their name is on a church roll somewhere and they show up once in awhile for a worship service (maybe!). You can't have salvation without sacrifice! Jesus asks for our sacrifice, not occasionally, but "*daily*"!
2) *Remission without repentance*.
Repentance is perhaps God's hardest command. Repentance is more than saying you're sorry (2 Cor. 7:10). It requires us to change our mind *and *our behavior (Matt. 3:8). Repentance is an absolute requirement! "E*xcept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish*" (Lk. 13:3; cf. Acts 17:30). *"God...now commands all men everywhere to repent," *that's you, that's me, that's everyone! (Acts 17:30)
3) *Righteousness without obedience.
Many people excuse themselves of obeying God, "I'm just human!" they cry. But the Bible says, "*Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.*" (1 Jn. 2:3) Claiming to know God without keeping His commands makes us a liar! (1 Jn. 2:4) Jesus is "*the author of eternal salvation*" to "*all who obey Him*" (Heb. 5:9) and His commands are not "*burdensome*"! (1 Jn. 5:3)
4) *Morality without self denial.
We live in a society without self-denial. But it is impossible to live a moral life without self-denial (Titus 2:11-12). Even Paul said he had to "*discipline*" his "*body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified*." (1 Cor. 9:27) Are we greater than the humble apostle? Nay, we must practice the same!
5) *Growth without diligence. *
Unfortunately most Christians remain spiritual "babies" (Heb. 5:12-14). Peter said we must "*give all diligence*" to "*add*" certain things to our faith (see 2 Pet. 1:5-7). If we fail to do so, he said we are "*shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins*." (2 Pet. 1:9) Are you growing or forgetting?
6) *Knowledge without study. *
The amount of Bible knowledge possessed by most Christians is truly pitiful! Evidently they don't realize God said, "*My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge*." (Hos. 4:6) We need to be diligent students of God's word (2 Tim. 2:15). Otherwise we'll fall too! (Eph. 4:11-14) How are your Bible study habits?
7) *Truth without controversy. *
By its very nature truth is controversial. But in our "politically correct" world few are willing to "*earnestly contend for the faith*" (Jude 3). Does the truth make you squeamish? Remember, "Good preaching sounds reveille, not taps." What about your religion? Is it true to God's book? Is it the religion taught by Jesus and the apostles? Is it sacrificial, obedient, and self-denying? Or, is it a religion of convenience, a "microwave religion"?
By Craig Thomas via THE BEACON - Electronic Edition - 10/7/2008
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