Religious Freedom

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Thus begins the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and what is, according to many, that which makes this country so great. Because of this many denominations within America have thrived peaceably for the last two and a quarter centuries. We have all been able to follow or not to follow God as we have seen fit. Americans have even been able to worship in a myriad of ways, or to reject any worship of God, and we have slapped ourselves on the back, congratulating one another in our open-minded approach to religion.

The twist to all of this is that the true and only God is not a believer in so-called religious tolerance. He is not an advocate of worshipping however we want or whatever we want (compare Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:6-7). It’s quite the opposite. He is an extremely jealous God (compare Exodus 20:5; Ezekiel 23:25-27), demanding our full attention and requiring that we shun all “rivals” with the utmost intolerance (compare Isaiah 42:8). He requires that we follow His Word to the letter at the very least (compare Malachi 4:4) and beyond that to the spirit of His commands (compare John 4:23; Matthew 5:17-48).

Sure, we still have the freedom to choose one of the ways set before us. Even in the world of tomorrow when Christ returns, people will still have the free moral agency to opt for one way or the other. But make no mistake about it, God has laid out the rules that we are to play by and with it comes cause and effect as well as blessing and cursing (compare Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Galatians 6:7-8).

So let us choose wisely because our immortality is a matter of life and death.

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