So you grew up in church and have a “religious background”? So what! Does that really even matter? Yes, on the one hand, there is value in a decent upbringing, especially if you grew up surrounded by people who sincerely love God and want to know Him. But on the other hand, you were probably exposed to the most religious hypocrisy. Have you ever heard someone say, “There are too many hypocrites in the church”? I’m sure you’ve said this as well!

Yes, it’s true, there are some religious folks who truly are hypocrites! But just because they didn’t truly follow God, does that mean you shouldn’t? Or does that mean God is not trustworthy? Is God now a hypocrite? Of course not! Even when everyone else is out there lying and cheating, God is not. He’s faithful even when people are unfaithful. God is always right, that’s why he gets to sit in the Judges chair. I know there are some folks who think “well I’m just one person, a small piece of a much larger problem in society. Surely God wouldn’t judge me for the little wrongs I’ve done…”

Ummm..I hate to break it to you, but yes, His judgement and his justice are complete. He will not look over your small infraction of sin just because you don’t think it’s a big deal.  He will see it, and he will want to make it right with you. 

Sure, a lot of people like talking about God’s goodness and many have wrongly assumed that they can just keep being the rebels they are and somehow God is just gonna come by and make everything work out in their favor. Their attitude is, “I’ll just keep making a mess, and God will just keep cleaning up after me…don’t judge me.” That phrase, “don’t judge me” is basically a sidestepping of the reality that you know in your heart you are off the beaten path, but you just want to be comforted in your sin. In reality, people who think like this deserve to be judged.

Everyone is jacked up.

Is one group of people better than another? Does your nationality, race, gender, or “social identity”make you better than another? NO! It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, white or black, male or female, old or young, able or disabled, straight or gay, majority or minority, educated or uneducated, pretty or not, you are jacked up! The humanists in society want you to believe you are a really good person who just needs to make a few small improvements, and then the culture we live in wants you to fully embrace a particular social identity and go to war to defend your political cause, but scripture is very clear:

“Nobody is right—

not a single one of us have it figured out. Nobody is wise; no one is truly seeking after God. We’ve all turned away from God and are self centered and self focused. It’s no surprise that “self care” has become a religion and self identity is where you find your uniqueness. You have no problem pointing a finger at everyone else and pointing out the “sin” in other groups. But when will you point at yourself and publicly confess your own flaws? Hopefully soon! It’s the only way forward in a culture that values filthy talk, political maneuvering, lies, boycotts, social conflict, anger and hatred, violence, and murder. You can tell who they are because destruction and misery is their friend. They don’t know where to find peace. They think peace is found in the sharing of wealth, or the redistribution of power, it’s not. They don’t know it yet, but all power and wealth in the world won’t bring peace.

 No Christ, No Peace. Know Christ, Know Peace.

There is no fear of God anymore. Obviously, it’s easy to see religion as a type of “law.” It’s not like, “here are the rules. Follow them and everything will turn out great for you.” That’s not how this works. The reality is, nobody can actually follow the rules. You can’t even follow your own rules that you made for yourself. Remember a few weeks ago when you decided to go on a diet? Then three days later you were right there eating tacos and drinking beer? Remember back in the day you said you wanted to stop cussing? But then a week later you stubbed your toe? See? You can’t even follow your own rules! How do you expect to follow Gods? Obviously, this isn’t about bad behavior and good deeds. It’s not about rules and rewards.

It’s about Jesus. God has given us a way forward. It requires stepping down from our own little throne, and surrendering to the King of Kings. This isn’t new, it’s woven all through the writings of Moses and the Old Testament prophets. 

We can only be made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus. And it doesn’t matter who you are or what “social identity” you embrace. Everyone has sinned; nobody lives up to God’s expectations.  But just as we are all united in our sin, so God unites us  through Jesus when he sets us free from sins grip. 

Jesus died a brutal death to pay for our sin. You and I are made into a family when we believe this, and put our faith in this truth. We are also forgiven of all our past wrong doings, and given a clean slate, a fresh start. This is how God judges, he holds Jesus responsible for our wrong doing, and he gives us the grace and mercy that Jesus earned with his life. This is God’s righteousness at work, for all people everywhere, he makes sinners right in his eyes when they believe in Jesus.

So we really cannot brag about our religious upbringings, or our social identity, or our pursuits of social justice, or any good deed. We haven’t done anything to earn God’s acceptance. It’s just our faith in Jesus that makes us right with God. And now that we are part of a new family, we get a new identity, too! We are ONE! And in this new family, there are some expectations about how we live. Now, we get to put our faith to action.