Listen:  137.2

This all depends on what religion you are changing from and what religion you are changing to.  Let’s consider the Apostle Paul’s commendation to the believers in 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”  At one time, these people in Thessalonica were idol worshippers.  I imagine that Paul preached against idol worship.  The psalmist said in Psalms 135:15-18, “The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.”  Perhaps Paul quoted these verses to the people to convince them of the uselessness of idol worship as he urged these people to leave that ‘religion’ behind and come to salvation through the Lord Jesus.  To leave that false religion and come to Christ was no sin.  It was the grace of God working in the hearts of these idol worshippers to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

After the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, and before He ascended back to Heaven, He said to His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  The Lord realized these men, as well us today, would encounter people of all religions.  His instruction to the disciples was to teach others the message of Jesus Christ.  There is only one true Gospel.  There is only one way to Heaven.  As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are told to share this good news with others.  Perhaps they will have no religion; perhaps they will be involved in a cult or false religion; perhaps they will be involved in a Christian church, but are not saved.  Regardless, we are told to share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world so that people might be saved.

The Apostle John wrote of professing believers of the Lord Jesus Christ who defected from the Christian faith.  In 1 John 2:18-19he wrote, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”  He spoke of people who were among the Christian community, but were in fact, against Christ, or antichrist.  At their departure, John tells us that they were not true Christians, because the mark of a true believer is that they continue in faith in the Lord. 

Is it possible for a true believer to leave the Christian faith and accept another religion?  Absolutely not!  Let’s look at Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”  This shows us that at the moment of salvation, the Lord seals us with the Holy Spirit.  We are His; we belong to Him.  How long are we sealed for?  Ephesians 4:30teaches us that we are, “…sealed unto the day of redemption.”  That is, the day of the redemption of our bodies, when the Lord comes to takes us to be with Himself in Glory.  Along with many other scriptures that bear out this truth, we realize that those who defect from the Christian faith were not true believers to begin with for, “for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us.” 

So, to leave behind a false religion and come to the Lord Jesus Christ is a wonderful thing.  I encourage you today, if you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, that you would leave behind any other false religion and come to the only One who can truly give you salvation.  In spite of the many religions that exist today, the Word of God declares plainly in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  (137.2)