Church Religion or Relationship

  Are we following a religion a church or even a man or do we have a relationship with Jesus?

What's my point?

Well you can have a religion but not a relationship. So if you belong to a certain group or organization and don't have a relationship with Jesus then what's the point? Jesus saves not religion. John 14:6. There are some organizations that believe this way but not all. Even some of those fall into a category of legalism and formalism. 2 Timothy 3:5, Isaiah 29:13, James 1:26. And really some need to look at the commandments especially Exodus 20:4-6.
Teaching has to be on Jesus, salvation, forgiveness, the Word of God. Every thing has to line up with the Word of God. Matthew 7:21.

  How does Jesus want us to respond to Him, to interact with Him? In a ritualistic religious way, or as family. Mark 3:33-35, Luke 11:2. We have a hard time understanding Jesus this way that it is disrespectful to respond to Jesus in this way. But in reality Jesus wants a loving relationship, friendship, companionship with us.
  God is reachable and approachable spiritually. Not as an Idol, Acts 17:29, but in real love. God is not in a temple, church building or synagogue made with hands. Nor in a box at the front of a church building locked away till Sunday service. Col 2:8-9.
  God is a living, active being who talks and teaches us each day. Hebrews 4:12.

Jesus is Relationship!
That which makes the church is not just a building, religion, or simply faith in a religion or organization. Church is a relationship with Jesus. We all need a Relationship with Jesus.

Church is the people who have had a revelation
of who Jesus is as the Christ and Son of God.
Rom 10:9, John 1:12, Col 1:13-14.

Still, she called herself a Christian. She agreed with the moral guidelines Christianity offered. But Mary lacked a personal relationship with Jesus. She aimed at being a “good person,” but didn’t necessarily acknowledge Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
A quote from Dr. Mary Neals book, 7 lessons from heaven;

What we do in religion is not of God, does not come from God, will not reach to God, unless it is done in sincerity, as in the sight of God. A note, from Matthew Henry after reading 2 Co 2:17.

Does Jesus know you?

Jesus Said those who go to hell are told 'I never knew you.' Matthew 7:23. Not, 'you failed to belong to the right church.' Notice to in Acts 4:12, it says there is no other name given among men. It does not say no other church given among men. A reading from Alex G Austin book:
Forever Changed - Forever Loved:

If you don't know Jesus personally or you are not sure your name is written down in the Lambs Book of Life, Rev 21:27, Rev 3:5 you can choose the following link. Then follow the instructions to make a commitment, with your heart and not with mental assent. But a true and meaningful born again relationship with Jesus.

Turning Towards God  

Prayer is believing with no doubt, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:23-24.

Test what they say.

Reading what the Word says in 1 John 4:1-6 explains.

Apostles,    Prophets,    Evangelist,   Pastors and  Teachers.
What they say has to line up with the Word of God.

Some things to ponder.

People should not read who God is by the faces of religion.
What is religion?
If anyone among you* thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion [is] useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world James 1:26-27
True relationship with God and true fellowship with God is what brings us in.

God is not concerned with the repetition of religious practices but in the sincerity of your connection with Him. Leave your opinions and memorized prayers and doctrines by the waysides and let God teach you who He is and commune with Him in true fellowship. Religion has become a business today and serves only those who adhere to the authority of the ones in charge of the religion. This is not Gods way. This is the way of the Sadducee and the Pharisee.

Your religion is just like the newest model of vehicle out there. Shiny, sleek, goes fast, looks good, you only buy it to impress others, but it does not fulfill your needs. Religion is like putting on your Sunday go to meeting clothes. God does not want a false relationship with us He wants the real thing. He does not want it to look good; He wants it to be good.

Remember God knows the intents of our hearts and the motives of our actions. Heb 4:12. You may be able to fool others but God is not fooled by your pretense. God is in the forgiving business so repent and come to the true knowledge of who God is for you.

If you think you need to examine your intents and motives ask yourself some questions.
  • Do I have to get prepared to talk to God?
  • Do I have to be in a certain place to talk with God?
  • Do I have to repeat memorized prayer till God will hear me?
  • Do I have to dress a certain way for God to hear me?
  • Do I have to use another person to speak to God for me?
  • Do I do the same thing each time I come before God?
  • Is there formal practices that must be performed before I can talk to God?
  • Can I just talk to God no matter where I am? No matter what I am doing?
  • If God is in a relationship with me, then should I be able to reveal all that is on my heart?
  • Can I be myself?
  • Will God understand me?

God created you so He understands everything. God is everywhere so you can talk to Him everywhere. God wants to be with you and a part of all you do every day and in every way. So with this He says I know you. I even knew you before you were formed in your mothers womb. This is how personal the relationship is that God has with us. All God asks is that we get involved in a relationship with Him.

Foundations of a Church

Phil 2:1-18

Unity Through Humility
1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Light Bearers
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
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John 10:11