Monday, April 24, 2017

Are You Religious?

Are you religious? That’s the question I was recently asked by a taxi driver. Not wanting to get tangled up in semantics, I said that I was a Christian.  He replied that he wasn’t and didn’t believe in God. Let’s look at what he Bible says about this and how it can help inform your response when asked a similar question.  We’ll look at his over the next couple of weeks as there is a lot of ground to cover.
Psalm 14:1
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”

Things to think about:
·       Have you ever been asked this question before? 
o   Did it make you feel uncomfortable?
o   How did you reply? 
·      What does the word “religious” mean to you?
o   How do you think most people outside of the Church think about this word?
·      Many people equate “religion” with:
o   Laws
o   Judgment
o   Tradition for tradition’s sake
§  what else would you add to the list?
§  why do you think they are often barriers not bridges to God?
·      Who were the only people Jesus got angry with? Why?
o   “sinners”?
o   Unbelievers?
o   “religious” people?
o   see John 2:13-17 – story of the moneychangers
o   Mark 3:1-6
·      So what should our response be when someone asks us if we’re religious?
o   the conventional answer is “It’s about a relationship, not religion.”
§  Have you heard this? Do you believe it?
o   Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
·      As mentioned in the introduction, there are two paths we are going to look at because there are at least two places who ask this question may find themselves:
o   Unbeliever – this is my taxi driver; he has made a conscious decision that he doesn’t not believe in God
o   Pharisee – this person does believe but there is something fundamentally flawed in their theology
·      Unbeliever
o   What’s the best argument you have to convince someone that the God of the Bible is real?
§  Experience – how has your life been changed in such a way that it can only be attributable to God?
·      John 9:25 – “Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I do know – I was blind but now I see.”
§  Evidence – what is the most compelling evidence you are aware of to defend the existence of the God of the Bible?
·      Fulfilled prophecy? Isaiah 41:21-23, 46:10
·      The harmony and integrity of the Scriptures being written over thousands of years by 40 different authors?
·      Why would the apostles be martyred for a lie or hoax?
·      Creation - Romans 1:18-20
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

·      Conscience – Romans 2:14

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

There certainly is a lot here for us to consider why someone who isn’t a believer can trust in God and His Son.  Let’s take a stand with boldness and confidence. 

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