You Can Know You Have Eternal Life
#1 – What is Religion?
by Jim Mettenbrink

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     We have all heard someone say “I’m not religious.”  Although that person might not belong to an organized religion, and regardless how he might deny it, all people are religious and all people have a religion.  Religion is defined as a set of beliefs by which a person conducts his life.  He might live his life by adhering to a standard established by organized religion, or simply by mere pragmatism, where a person’s governing principle is to do what he wants according to the situation at the moment.  What drives mankind to be religious?  It is the longing for peace in his inner self.  Man is ever seeking this peace, which in turn has given rise to a myriad of religions.
     In no place is this more evident than in America where our constitution guarantees that government can not interfere with religious practice nor establish a state religion.  As the people move farther from the Biblical values that America was founded upon, our freedom has filled society with all sorts of religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, denominational Christianity, Judaism, Secular Humanism, Paganism, Satanism, Atheism, New Age, Voodoo and ad infinitum.  Likely no other nation has such a religious smorgasbord.  A person may even foster his own religion.
     The dilemma becomes which religion is right or are they all right or all wrong?  By what criteria will a person choose religion?  What gives inner peace?  Or do all religions give true peace?  Is it possible that there is only one true religion, one that will give man true purpose in life and peace in his spirit?  Our freedom has given us marvelous choices, but also contributes to the religious confusion.  The ancient Greeks suffered a similar problem, believing that supreme beings, not man, ruled the universe.  However they did not know how many gods there were or which, if any, was supreme.  This was evident when the Apostle Paul met with the very religious Athenian philosophers and marveled that they had made an altar to the Unknown God (New Testament, Acts 17:22-23).  The Athenians’ concern was that there was a god they had not thought of.  Paul stated, the God they did not know was the creator of the world, sustainer of life, demands mankind to live righteously and will resurrect man from the dead.  Is this even possible?  Is religion manmade?  Or is it possible that a supreme God exists with such creative power, who gives us a true religion and inner peace?  If so how can we know for sure?

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      © Jim Mettenbrink; used by permission. rev.04xx-04xx
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