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A Little Religion 
Posted: May 26, 2005

Many people like to have “a little religion;” just enough to make them feel good, look respectable, or to salve a guilty conscience. “A little religion,” they say, “Is a good thing—so long as you don’t overdue it.”

Unfortunately, a little religion is not going to help you in the long run.  A little religion may make you feel good, but it won’t make you good.  A little religion may make you look respectable, but it won’t keep you from being a hypocrite.  A little religion may even salve your guilty conscience for a time, but it won’t relieve your of your burden of sin.  In fact, about the only thing a little religion will do is keep you out of heaven more assuredly than no religion at all.

In Revelation 3:15, Jesus makes an interesting observation of the Laodiceans.  He says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”

In other  words, Jesus is telling the Laodiceans that they had a little religion.  He did not say that they were cold or lacking in religious activity or concern.  Neither did He accuse them of being hot or on fire for God.  He said they were lukewarm.

The Laodiceans felt good.  They looked respectable.  Each week they salved their guilty consciences with just enough religion to make it through another week.  They had a little religion but they were careful not to overdue it.

Jesus, however, condemns their spiritual lukewarmness in the very next verse: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”  The Laodiceans had a little religion and it was enough to make the Lord sick!

Had the Laodiceans been spiritually cold or lacking in religion, Jesus would have been happier about their situation and it would have been easier for Him to get though to them.  Instead, verse 17 tells us that they claimed to be “rich, and increased with goods, [having] need of nothing.”  They were smug and self-satisfied with their religion and saw no need for anything more.  A little religion was blinding them to the truth that they were actually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”.  

If the Laodiceans had been on fire for God Jesus would have commended them for it.  They would have been profitable servants bringing glory to God and light in a dark place.  If they were spiritually hot God could have used them as a witness and a testimony to those around them.

Instead, they had a little religion.  A little religion which had no room for Christ who is seen standing outside the door knocking, waiting and wanting to be let in (Revelation 3:20).  A little religion which caused them to be described as “the church of the Laodiceans” (Revelation 3:12) rather than “the church in Laodicea.”  The implication being that the church belonged to the Laodiceans rather than to Jesus Christ.

Though the church of the Laodiceans may have long since disappeared, there are a lot of Laodiceans in the world today.  They believe in God, they go to church, they even claim to be Christians.  Unfortunately, rather than having a saving faith in the blood atonement of Christ, they only have a little religion.

These modern day Laodiceans are among the hardest people to reach with the gospel.  Unwilling or unable to see their need of salvation they are blind to the gospel message.  They just don’t see that it is not enough to just believe God exists and go to church occasionally.

The thought of making a decision for Christ or becoming one of those “born-againers” makes them shudder.  The idea of making a spectacle of oneself by going to the altar and making a decision for Christ smacks of too much religious fanaticism.  After all, they do believe in God and go to church, that should count for something — shouldn’t it?

Actually, it counts for nothing if you have never actually put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.  Your little religion will condemn you to hell without Christ just as surely as no religion.

The truth is, you can even have a lot of religion and it still won’t get you to heaven.  Jesus Christ, not religion, is what gets you to heaven.  As Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

A little religion or a lot of religion makes no difference to the devil.  He can keep you in bondage to sin, lost and on your way to hell just as surely either way.  He blinds the minds of religionists to the truth “...lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3)”.

Our job then, as believers, is to preach the gospel.  We are to be salt and light in a dark place, faithfully proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world around us.  We need to remember that “...if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (2 Corinthians 4:3)”.

We are not called to be religionists; we are called to be witnesses.  Witnesses to the saving power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  Witnesses to the redeeming power of the Holy Blood that was spilt at Calvary to pay for our sin (Romans 3:25; 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14).  Witnesses of the One who came to die that we might live (John 3:16).

Where are you today?  Has there ever been a time in your life when you became convinced that you personally are a sinner on your way to hell without Christ?  Have you ever come to Jesus Christ by faith, believing that He died for you on Calvary to pay for your sins with His blood, that He died and was buried and rose again victorious over sin and death on the third day?  Have you ever called upon Him to come into your heart, forgive you of your sin, and save you?  The Bible says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10,13)”

If you haven’t then you are lost and on your way to hell for all eternity.  You need to trust Christ as your Saviour today before it is too late.   “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)”

Don’t let a little religion stand between you and salvation.

—Pastor Davis

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