FREEDOM OF RELIGION #3
The history of the human family (Yea, one page which will soon be written about the action taken by the young Chinese a few months ago) proves that one of our God given instincts is a love for freedom.
If it were in keeping with God's will, I am sure he would establish in every nation a government which would allow its people many more freedoms than they now enjoy. However, as I have been saying, the scriptures say that God has not granted unto either the heavenly or earthly host freedom of religion.
For the time being, I am devoting all my effort to proving that the above statement is true. Nevertheless, later, I shall say why I believe God was justified in denying us this freedom. Just as it is true that God gave the Old Testament portion of the Bible through Moses and the prophets, it is also true that he gave the New Testament portion through Jesus [Heb. 2:12 (Deut. 18:18-19, Acts 3:20-23), (Jer. 31:31-34, Heb. 8:6-13)].
In todays article, I shall begin with the presentation of New Testament scriptures which I believe say: We must have authority from Jesus for all that we teach and practice in the name of religion. There is one group of scriptures which say: There is to be a judgment day (Mat. 25, Acts 17:30-31, 2 Cor. 5:9-10, Rev. 20:12-15). In 2 Cor. 5:9-10, it is said that on that day of judgment we shall be judged according to what we did while in the body.
My friends, inasmuch as we are to be so judged, it necessarily follows that there will have to be a standard by which the judging will be done. So, what will that standard be? If God has granted unto us freedom of religion, then he must use hundreds, yea, thousands of standards because John and Mary's religious cup of tea will not be the same brand as Mark and Rebecca's. But this cannot be true; because Paul in Acts 17:30- 31 says God will judge the world by Jesus. But how will he judge the world by Jesus? Jesus in John 12:48 says he will judge the world by and only by my word. Oh, Yes! My readers, God sent his Son to die for us, that we might be saved. But he has offered this salvation unto us on a conditional basis. This I proved in article #1 of this publication. Then too.the above referenced scriptures say those conditions are found and only found in the New Testament portion of the Bible.
Again Jesus in Mat. 7:21 says, "Not everyone that saith unto me. Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven."
People who say Lord. Lord. are religious. Yet, Jesus says: Not all of them will be saved. But only those who do the will of God. But what is the will of God. It is that: Which god revealed unto Jesus (Heb. 1:1-2), and Jesus revealed unto the Holy Spirit, and he unto the apostles and prophets (Jo. 1:25-26, Jo. 16:12-15, Eph. 3:1-5), and they recorded it in the New Testament (Mat. 28:18-20, 1 Cor. 2:7-10, 1 Cor. 14:37). No my friends, God has not granted unto us freedom of religion. Or in other words, yes he has said we must do something in order to be saved. However, no he has not said: But what you do is up to you. In Mat. 7:21, we just heard Jesus say if you want to be saved, you must do that which God through me has taught. Yes, this is why we have scriptures which promise salvation unto those who will obey Jesus (Mat. 7:26-27, Jo. 8:51, Heb. 5:8-9, James 2:21-25). Also this is why we have some scriptures which say: People were saved by obeying his teachings (Rom. 6:17-18, 1 Pet. 1:22-33). Likewise, this is why we have scriptures which say those who refuse to obey the gospel of Christ will be lost (Mat. 7:24-25, 2 Thes. 1-6-9).
Oh yes, my readers, this is also why we do not find any of these things said about the teaching of anyone but Jesus. You see, he is the only teacher God has for this age (Deut. 18:18-19, Heb. 1:1-2). Yet, hear ye more. Spiritual life shall not be a possession of those who do not come to Jesus (Jo. 39-40). But no one can come unto Jesus except those who are drawn by: hearing and learning the teachings of and only of the Father (Jo. 6:44-45). Therefore, freedom of religion is outlawed by these two scriptures.
Belief in Jesus is essential unto eternal life; but this belief is obtained and only obtained by hearing the word of God, that was preached by inspired preachers (Rom. 10:13-17); who taught nothing but that which they had received from God [(Jo. 14:25-26, Jo. 16:12-16) Gal. 1:11-12, 1 Thes. 1:13, 1 Cor. 2:6-13]. So, these scriptures also say: No freedom of religion allowed.
Those who choose to be saved, must come to God (Heb. 6:11). Yet, Jesus in Jo. 14:6 proclaims he is the only one who can tell us how to come unto the Father. Is there any freedom of religion authorized by these scriptures???
According to Acts 11:13-14, Cornelius was told by an angel that Peter would tell him and his house words whereby they might be saved. But in Acts 10:6, the angel said: "He (Peter) shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do?" Also, James in Ja. 1:21-25 says that to hear words and not do what the words say, is to hear in vain. Then to James in Ja. 2:8-12 proclaims that to do less than the words demand is to do nothing. Yet, where my readers, but from Jesus, did Peter get the words which he de- clared unto Cornelius and his house (Jo. 14:25-26, JO. 16:12-16, Mat. 10:19-20, 1 Cor. 2:6-13, Gal. 1:11-12)? As he himself said: God gave unto Jesus and only unto him the words of eternal life (Jo. 6:68).
Consider this with me please. In Mat. 16:18, we hear Jesus say, "Upon this rock I will build my church." Then in Acts 2:47, we read that God was adding the saved to the church. Now notice, Jesus did not say I will build my churches nor did Luke write God was adding the saved to the churches. No,the word church in both of these scriptures is singular. Several years later, Paul said all the people who had been baptized were all baptized into one church (Col. 1:17-18, 1 Cor. 12:13). Then about sixty-five A.D., he affirmed that just as sure as there was one God, there was just one church (Col. 1:17-18, Eph. 4:1-4). From the beginning until that time there was no need for more than one church. Because there was only one faith or one doctrine being taught (Eph. 4:1-4). No, there was no need for the church of Christ, the church of Paul and the church of Peter (1 Cor. 1:12-13). Because they were all teaching nothing more nor less than the teachings of Jesus (Gal. 1:11-12, 1 Cor. 15:11).
No, the early day people of this dispensation were not granted any freedom of religion at all. But what about us of the twentieth century? We have been forbidden to teach or practice anything which they did not teach and practice (Gal. 1:6-12, 2 Jo. 9-11, Rev. 22:18-19). So we today have no more freedom of religion than did they.
By: Tommy Hodge
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