Divorcing Religion

If anyone thinks himself  to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and  does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious  service is worthless (futile, barren). —James 1:26

Sometimes it seems that religion is killing people. There  are many who are seeking a relationship with God, but the religious community  tells them what they need to “do” in order to be acceptable to Him. This   religious spirit was alive in Jesus’ day, and even though He died to put an end  to it and bring people into close personal relationship with Himself, the Holy  Spirit, and the Father, that same spirit still torments people to this day—if  they don’t know the truth.

Religion says, “You must find a way, no matter how  impossible it may seem. You had better follow the rules or suffer punishment.”  But relationship says, “Do your best because you love Me. I know your heart.   Admit your faults, repent of your mistakes, and just keep loving Me.” – Joyce Meyer

Being an Armenian and from the first nation to accept Christianity, Armenia – we as people are much more religious than we are in a relationship with the God we claim to believe. We follow man-made traditions we have created like baby christening for the name of God but are clueless to know God and what baptism means to Him in our Lord Jesus Christ. For instance the Bible says

water baptism, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus, as the way for
believers to identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

We live in motions of going to church maybe for Christmas but for sure Easter, and doing other stuff on the side like wearing the evil eye charms but are not living lives that reflect our beliefs in fact it almost contradicts everything written.

I was raised in a home that taught right from wrong and was taught to believe that no matter what I do God is watching me. I was given the idea that in order for God to love me, I had to be good and if I wasn’t, I should be expected to be punished. Not knowing the truth, I lived in fear and torment whenever I did make a mistake or didn’t live up to the rules and standards that my parents had made for me. Just like everyone else, we actually practice withcraft without knowing it like reading cups, cards, wearing evil eye jewelary, hanging from our car, cross hanging at our house and our necks but No Christ in our hearts or seen in our Lives.

It wasn’t until after high school, that I decided to dig deep to the roots of my faith Christianity and make sense of this confusion. I realized this deep longing inside of me that no one and nothing else could fill. I had a good family and lacked no good thing but there was an emptiness inside of me that i knew only God could fill.

I was all alone in my room on a Saturday morning, when I invited God to show himself real to me. And He did by surrounding me with the warmth love as if His arms were really around me & filled my heart with so much joy and peace all at once that I couldn’t deny him. That’s when the desire in me to want to go to church, want to read the Bible to know Him better birthed. I could now have conversations with him inside my home, in my car and fellowship with other believers at church in which all reflected His love and character for His children in all races and nations.

It’s been almost 12 years since I started my journey with God and He has changed my idea of Him.

I had to divorce religion, in order to know God.

With love & blessings,

Elle

 

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heaven is real

I believe in heaven because Jesus believed in heaven. Also because C..S. Lewis said it best:

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

Just read this fascinating article about a doctor who was in coma, got to see the after life and his reports of it.

Heaven is Real

The Bible talks a lot about heaven. Here are some verses.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 15:54-57
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(NLT)

2 Corinthians 5:8
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.(NLT)

Philippians 1:22-23
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.(NLT)

Believers will dwell with God forever.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.(NIV)

Also:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Jesus prepares a special place for believers in heaven.

John 14:1-3
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”(NIV)

Philippians 1:21
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (NIV)

Revelation 14:13
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!” (NLT)

 

Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)

After their physical death, believers gain eternal life.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (NIV)

 

Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)

 

1 Corinthians 15:50-53
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (NIV)