Which is better, to be a religious person or to have a relationship with Jesus Christ? I know the answer because I have experienced both. I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church, made First Communion at age seven and Confirmed at age thirteen. After Confirmation, I stopped going to church because I didn’t feel the need. Actually, whenever I went to church my eyes would wonder all over the place. My mind was always on one thing, that was, how long again before the mass would end.I know I am not alone here and there are many others just like me.

My wife and I got married in church back in 1991. I remember the priest asking us if we attended church regularly and we lied and said yes, so that he would agree to do the ceremony without us having to go to classes. Yes we lied to a priest and no, I do not feel badly, because I know most of us lie when it is confession time.

I am of the view that religion came about to separate man from God.

There are so many religions on this planet, with so many different teachings, it is astonishing. Think about it carefully, if there is supposed to be only one Almighty God, then why are there so many different religions with all these different teachings? It leads me to believe that someone is trying to mislead us. I strongly feel that it is Satan the devil, also known as the father of lies, trying to trick us into thinking that there are certain ways to live and different things to do, to be worthy to go to heaven. Some religions teach us that we must fast, and we must do this and we must do that, if we want to go to heaven. My religion thought me that we should pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus and the Saints, to intercede on our behalf. I have never seen this recorded in the bible, which is the Word of God. What I have seen in the bible is this – The only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ, something that most religions do not focus on.

There are so many of us who would like to be able to live forever in God’s kingdom, heaven.

However, the devil does not want this to happen and he is trying his best to lead people astray by getting them to follow the rules of different religions. I was deceived for forty years thinking that I had to live a certain way. Actually in my late thirties I felt compelled to go to church every Saturday or Sunday, feed the poor, help blind people cross the street, not to call God’s name in vain, honor your parents etc, all this to get to go to heaven. My religion never taught me “for by grace you are saved through faith and this is not from yourself, it is God’s gift – not from works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2 – 8&9) and “All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags, all of us wither like a leaf and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.” (Isaiah 64 – 6)

Do you remember when Jesus was crucified between the two criminals?

One of them was hurling insults at Jesus, but the other rebuked the first and he said to Jesus “Remember me when You go into Your kingdom!” and Jesus replied “I assure you: Today you will be with me in paradise.” Do you think it was religion that saved this criminal? Did Jesus ask him what church he belonged to? Did He ask him if he was baptised or if he was a good boy before he broke the laws? Absolutely not! This poor man probably never went to a church in his whole life.

The criminal heard Jesus saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” and it was at that point that he recognized that he was guilty of his crime, but Jesus was being crucified for things He had not done. What that criminal saw that day was a first hand look at the true love of God. The criminal felt convicted in his heart because he knew he deserved the death penalty, so he immediately accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and he was assured eternal life in heaven.

religion vs relationship
The Cross

Last year, thank God, I was invited to a meeting at Champion Dynamics and I listened to a lady speak about the love of God. It was the first time in my life that I was ever so focused on what someone was saying. I felt as if she was talking directly to me because everything she said, pertained to what I was going through at that time in my life. At the end of the meeting she asked, if anyone would like to give their life to Christ, just raise their hand. Without a thought, my hand raised automatically and that night I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. What I did was invited Jesus to come into my life and take control. What happens is you are now born of the Holy Spirit and he dwells inside of you and the more you feed the spirit the stronger it becomes.

How do you feed the spirit? By worshiping, reading the bible, looking at Godly programs, fellowshipping with other Christians and by simply spending time with God.

I now had a relationship with God. Something I never had before in my life and I tell you the more you spend time with Him the sweeter it gets. I can hear Him speak to me at times. I do not worry about the silly things I used to before and He always provides for all my needs.

I am not afraid of anything anymore, because I know God is always with me.

A couple months ago I was asked to go to Tobago to work for a period of five weeks. When I asked God if I should go, He told me He wanted me to leave my family and spend some time alone with Him, so that my relationship with Him can be strengthened. Anxiously, I went to Tobago and it was the most incredible experience I have ever had in my life. The work was much more difficult than what I was accustomed to, but God made a way that I was able to leave on time most days so that I could spend the rest of the day with Him, in His presence. I laughed, I cried, I sang, I danced, I rolled on the ground and I enjoyed every single moment of it. Now, I can’t wait for my wife and daughter to leave me home alone. I just begin to worship Him and I feel His presence around me.

I know that I am a sinner. I also know that Jesus Christ paid the price for my sins on the cross so that I can be saved. Therefore, I do not depend on a religion to save me. I put my trust in the complete work that was done on the cross for you and me, when my Jesus said “It is finished”. My friends, I pray that you will not put your faith in any religion to save you. Instead, like the criminal at the cross, accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and put your trust in Him. Start a relationship with Him today and witness first hand how He will put your life on the right track.

God bless & Thank you Jesus!!!

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