There is no gainsaying that the greatest problem of mankind is religion. Since the time of Cain, who killed his brother Abel, millions, if not billions of people, have killed each other because of religion. Statistics show that more people have died as a result of religion than any other thing. In fact, the number of people killed by religion supersedes the number of people killed by various diseases or wars. It isn’t difficult to understand why religion is so violent. Religious conflict comes from a lack of understanding of the true God.
It all boils down to the fall of man. Man is a religious being; this distinguishes us from animals. We must know that God is more interested in souls being saved than people who label themselves as ‘religious.’ Religious people tend to view things from their own point of view. Cain killed Abel, because he felt his (offering) religion wasn’t acceptable to God and his brother’s own was. This isn’t the case, though. God would still have accepted him if he changed his belief system.
Religious conflict is going to escalate in the latter days, according to the scriptures. Religious beliefs are personal, and we can only persuade instead of fighting people. Christians should not force Non-Christians to give their lives to Christ. Believers should understand that conviction about Christ comes from the power of the Holy Spirit and not through some emotions, force, argument, or reasoning of philosophy.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:8 (NLT)
To get people to know Christ, therefore, we must fast and pray for God to give them understanding and knowledge. “So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.” 2 Timothy 2:10 (NLT) Moreover, the work of conversion belongs to God. We can only do our part and leave the rest to God. There is no reason to hate or kill somebody because he believes differently from you. That would not be Christianity. Yes, there will be religious conflicts, and people will reject you, but that shouldn’t stop you from preaching. Jesus said that if you are rejected in one place, you should go to another place. Abel was a typical Christian. He was the first martyr, the first to be persecuted.
“One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the fields, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.” Genesis 4:8 (NLT)
The menace of religious conflict these days has led to the emergence of organizations like Boko Haram, ISIS, al-Qa’ida and other fundamentalists, and this is as a result of the distorted view of religion. There are two types of religion; false religion and the true religion. False religion often leads to idolatry and intolerance. This was exemplified by Cain in Genesis 4:8. We also see another example of false religion in the way the Jews persecuted Jesus and His disciples (Acts 6:9-15). The true and pure religion starts with knowing God through Jesus Christ, His Son. That changes everything. We call it being ‘Born again.’ If a person were not born again, he couldn’t truly have the right religion.
Apostle James tells us that we must first be born again if we are going to have the true religion. Everyone born on earth (except those that are still in denial, of course) knows that God is real and exist, but it is shown first to us that we can only know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, pure religion will manifest in the life of holiness. You cannot hate people let alone kill them. Pure religion is demonstrated in the love you have for other people. You do this by ensuring that you show that the person to whom you are preaching will come to know Him as Lord and Savior.
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:26-27 (NLT).
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