Yes, I made that word up. Religionized. But it is also very well understood by all. It is a great question.
James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
We are brought to a saving grace through the Scripture and the working of the Holy Spirit wooing our spirit. We come to a realization of who we are, sinners in the eyes of God. Knowing that there can be no sin in Heaven, we realize we must have a savior. We find that person in Jesus Christ, who God sent to pay the ransom for our sins and our souls that we may appear as sinless before God as Christ stands in our stead at the Judgment. We have already been judged.
Once we accept Christ, what happens? We go to a church and are thrown in with all the other worshipers and we are taught the liturgy and ceremony of being a Christian. We stand at the right times, we raise our hands on the right chorus, we dance on the right numbers, we even speak in tongues on que. Most churches are so tied to the ‘order of worship’ there is no room for the Holy Spirit to move at all. As a matter of fact, he might not be welcome as if he started moving, we would be late to the diner and everyone knows that if you don’t beat the Baptists and Pentecostals to the diner, there won’t be anything left to eat.
But then that kind of thinking is denying the power of God to ‘supply all your needs according to His riches in glory’. What happened to that enthusiasm, that joy you had right after you came to know Christ as your savior? In church, you are taught what to do and what not to do so as to not offend or to be a ‘part of the church family’. But what is it we are supposed to be doing?
In a more perfect world, the new Christian would be taught the very basics of Christendom. This could be why so many in the church seem not to fully understand what being a believer is really all about.
David knew this phenomenon back in his reign as king over Israel. He knew and lamented the fact that the joy and enthusiasm of being a follower of God had left him. He knew that this was not God’s fault but his own and longed for the restoration of that relationship with God.
Psalms 51 Have mercy on me,1 O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Every believer is commanded by God to be a witness, not only in how you live but in actively seeking the lost and introducing them to the Christ, the only hope for mankind. Without Christ, we are doomed to eternal damnation in Hell. Only through Christ can we be saved and join God in Heaven for all eternity.
It is our duty but more importantly, it is our privilege to share Christ with others. Romans 10:14 (KJV)
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
The word for preacher here is one of five different words in the New Testament that are translated ‘preacher’. In this instance it is:
1: Kerux (Kay’-roox) κῆρυξ
(Strong’s #2783 — Noun Masculine — kerux — kay’-roox )
“a herald”, is used (a) of the “preacher” of the Gospel, 1 Timothy 2:7 ; 2 Timothy 1:11 ; (b) of Noah, as a “preacher” of righteousness, 2 Peter 2:5 .
Notes: (1) For “a preacher,” in Romans 10:14 , where the verb kerusso is used, see PREACH , A, No. 2. (2) Kerux indicates the “preacher” as giving a proclamation; euangelistes points to his message as glad tidings; apostolos suggests his relationship to Him by whom he is sent.
Definition of herald
1. 1a : an official at a tournament of arms (see 3arm 1a) with duties including the making of announcements and the marshaling of combatants b: an officer with the status of ambassador acting as official messenger between leaders especially in war (1) : officer of arms (2) : an officer of arms ranking above a pursuivant and below a king of arms
2. 2: an official crier or messenger Mercury was the gods’ herald.
3. 3a : one that precedes or foreshadows heralds of a coming storm b: one that conveys news or proclaims : announcer it was the lark, the herald of the morn — William Shakespeare c: one who actively promotes or advocates : exponent
Every Christian is an ‘herald’ as in an official crier. Yes, we are all preachers in that we should be proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to every living person. If God so loved them that he gave His Son, how can we not love them enough to tell them the Good News? You say you love them? Show them how much by telling them the truth of God as outlined in His Scriptures.
You say you don’t know how, well, shame on you and shame on the church. This is the very thing that the church ought to be doing above all else. If any program or activity does not have as its ultimate aim to bring others to Christ, then it is not much more than beating the air with vanity.
If you don’t know how to share the Gospel of Christ with others, there are plenty of places to learn. CRU, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, has a wonderful booklet. Navigators is another program that is outstanding. There are many Gospel tracts that are very useful. The Romans Road to Salvation is probably the widest used of any group of scriptures that can help you show a person the terrible state they are in and how to overcome it through accepting Christ as their Lord. The only thing greater than helping someone find Christ is to actually find Him yourself. Once you do accept Him, it is incumbent on you to share that experience with others.
Here is the Roman Road to Salvation:
There are many places on the Internet to find printable tracts to use.
One type, lots of great information. https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/images/Romans-Road.pdf
This is a one sheet foldable tract for use: http://www.tracts.com/DHRomansroad.pdf as found on this site, http://www.tracts.com/Tracts4U.html
Here is the approach suggested by Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts: http://oralroberts.com/teaching/sharing-jesus-with-others/
Just do a search for Romans Road to Salvation and you will find a myriad of references. I tend to use this the most as the scriptures are all in the book of Romans and they are very easy to memorize and very prominent and recognizable by most people that have any Bible contact at all.
Remember, you can’t lead everyone to Christ, but you can sow seeds, water the seeds in hope someone at sometime in the future can reap the harvest. We are not in it for ‘numbers’ but to save lost souls from their just rewards. This is the number 1 job of every Christian, young or old, male or female.
You can decide to become like David, restored to the joys of His salvation or to be “Religionized” and get wrapped up in programs, events and studies that do not have the goal of bringing lost souls to the Lord in mind. The choice is yours.
May God bless the reading and understanding of these thoughts and may many lost souls come to Christ because of the call to action these thoughts have inspired. May these scriptures be taken to heart and lives be changed in Jesus’ name.. Amen.