Date written: August 11th, 2007
Scripture ref: Acts 17:22-31
TITLE: Why Should I Change My Religion?
PROPOSITION: I should change my religion if my religion 1) Preaches a different morality than the Bible, 2) Practices a different worship than the church of the New Testament, 3) Presents a different plan of salvation than Jesus' plan for man's salvation.
OBJECTIVE: That each would be motivated to evaluate and change one's own religion if it needs to change.
1. Read: Acts 17:22-31
2. About the Text:
1) Paul is in the midst of the city of Athens.
2) He comes across much idolatry there.
3) He gains an audience with some of the people.
4) He tells them that they are very religious.
5) However, he tells them that they are religiously wrong.
6) They were worshipping idols made with hands when God is not worshipped in that way.
7) They were worshipping in idolatrous temples.
8) But God did not dwell in those temples.
9) So Paul tells them to repent because a time of judgment is coming.
10) In essence, he tells them that they need to change their religion.
3. Why do people change their religion today?
1) Some change their religion because they are bored and want something new.
2) Some change their religion to maintain relationships.
3) Some change their religion because they have been offended.
4) None of these reasons are legitimate reasons to change our religion.
5) Let's think about some legitimate reasons to do so.
6) But first, why should we consider this question?
4. Read Galatians 1:6-9.
1) Paul marvels that the Galatians were beginning to follow a different doctrine.
2) Paul then explains that those who teach a different doctrine are accursed.
3) Whether it is an angel from heaven or any other we are not to teach a different doctrine.
4) We should consider the question of changing our religion if our religion is teaching some other doctrine than what God has taught.
5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: I should change my religion if my religion . . .
I. Preaches some other morality than the Bible preaches.
1. Is morality important?
1) Morality is the fundamental basis to an orderly society.
2) When morality dies, so does one's society.
3) The Proverbs writer states, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; But sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).
4) Moreover, God pronounces serious consequences upon the immoral.
5) Consider 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
6) Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
2. Does my religion teach the morality of the Bible?
1) On the issue of homosexuality?
a. How many religions are compromising on this issue. Just watch the news.
b. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is sinful.
c. Romans 1:24-32.
2) On the issue of marriage and adultery?
a. How many religions have compromised on this issue? Even our own brethren.
b. The Bible teaches one man one woman for life with the only exception being fornication.
c. Matthew 19:6-9.
3) On the issue of fornication?
a. How many religions simply ignore this issue?
b. The Bible teaches that fornication is sinful and that young should wait until marriage.
c. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
4) What about the issues of lying, stealing, covetousness, etc.
3. If your religion teaches some morality other than what the Bible teaches, it's time to change religions.
II. Practices a different worship than the church practiced.
1. Is worship important?
1) Jesus said that God seeks individuals to worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
2) Paul taught that if we do not worship after God's righteousness we have zeal but without knowledge (Romans 10:2-3).
2. Does my religion teach the worship of the New Testament church?
1) The church prayed. Acts 12:5 "Peter therefore was kept in the prison: but prayer was made earnestly of the church unto God for him."
2) The church studied the word of God. Acts 2:42 "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers."
3) The church gave upon the first day of the week. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
4) The church partook of the Lord's Supper upon the first day of the week. Acts 17:20
5) The church sang praises to God (Hebrews 2:12). They offered the fruit of their lips (Hebrews 13:15).
3. If your religion practices some other worship than the worship of the New Testament church, then it is time to change religions.
III. Presents a different salvation than what Jesus presents.
1. Is salvation important?
1) God gave His own Son so that the world could be saved (John 3:16).
2) Because Jesus died for man's sins, God gave Him all authority (Matthew 28:18).
3) Many do not understand this.
4) They believe that God gave salvation directly to man.
5) That's not what the Bible teaches.
6) Because Jesus died for man's sins, he has all authority to set the conditions for man's salvation.
7) God gave Jesus salvation.
a. John 14:6 "I am the way...."
b. Acts 4:12 "And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved."
8) Jesus gives salvation through His covenant.
a. Matthew 26:28 "for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins."
b. Hebrews 7:22 "by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant."
c. Hebrews 9:15 "And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance."
2. Does my religion present a different salvation than Jesus presents?
1) Jesus says we must hear His word.
a. Mark 4:23 "If any man hath ears to hear, let him hear."
b. Some, however, refused to hear. Matthew 13:15 "For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them."
2) Jesus says we must believe His word.
a. John 8:24 "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
b. Faith in Christ and His plan for our salvation is essential.
c. John 7:5 says "For even his brethren did not believe on him."
3) Jesus says that we must repent.
a. Luke 24:47 Jesus taught "...that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem."
b. Repentance is necessary if one desires to be saved.
c. Some did not repent. Matthew 21:32 "For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye saw it, did not even repent yourselves afterward, that ye might believe him."
4) Jesus says that we must confess Him as the Son of God.
a. Matthew 10:32 states, "Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven."
b. Some didn't confess. John 12:42 "Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:"
5) Jesus says that we must be baptized.
a. Matthew 28:18-20.
b. Mark 16:15-16.
c. Some, however, refused baptism. Luke 7:30 "But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him."
6) Jesus says that we must live faithful unto death.
a. Revelation 2:10
b. Some, however, refused to be faithful unto death.
c. Hebrews 6:4-6 "For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
3. If your religion presents a different plan of salvation than Jesus presented, then it is time to change religions.
1. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
2. Is Jesus Christ living in you in your . . .
3) Plan of Salvation