No religion is important, even Christ Himself stated such. What is important is a person’s relationship with Jesus. If a person states that he, or she, has a personal relationship with Christ, yet does not follow His teaching, than that person is as far away from Jesus as they possibly can be.
There are many people that purport to follow Jesus, yet do not do His bidding, these are the people that Christ calls ‘Wolves in sheeps clothing’. For these are those who are also called, false prophets and deceivers, leading all those who wish to follow Christ, astray.
In order to follow Jesus, one must be as close to Christ-like as possible, in thought words and deed. Jesus said, ‘All those who wish to follow Me, take up thy cross.’ And the meaning of this is made perfectly clear. That those who wish to follow Jesus, will be following a road that is narrow, that is steep, that is filled with heartache and sorrows. Jesus never promised anyone that following Him would be easy…far from it. ‘Take up thy cross’, is a command. It is a declaration of intent, and a declaration of faith in Christ.
To take up one’s own cross means giving up on all that you own, your family, friends, money, to follow the path that Jesus walked. But Christ promises those who follow Him much much more for what they may lose in this life. For, they will gain much more in this life, and the life to come, if they stick to the Path of Righteousness. Of course, it is still possible to follow Jesus without having to give up your family, and friends, and Jesus understands this and will love you no less.
But, for those who wish to follow Christ, in the way that His Disciples followed Him, for those who feel the special ‘calling’, then they must give up everything to follow the Right-Hand Path. Jesus is very clear on this, that those who wish to follow Him, must put all their belief in Him, and all their faith in Him. Ask of Him anything and Thy Will be done.
Many believers in Christ tell of an almost unspeakable presence around them. It is a presence of deep comfort and love. It is a presence that forever guides them in this life. This presence is the Holy Ghost. As Jesus once promised His Apostles that He would send the Holy Ghost to comfort them after His resurrection,so He promises those now, who believe in Him.
The promise is ever-present, and is never-ending, that the Holy Ghost will be sent to those who ask for Him. That He will be your guide, your companion, and succour in this life. That even during your darkest hours, the Holy Ghost will be near you, comforting you, and giving you strength.
This is the presence that is felt, sent by Christ Himself, as He promised He would do. This inter-personal relationship with Christ, and the Holy Ghost can only be achieved through faith and belief in He who died on the Cross, and was resurrected to eternal life by God, the Father.
Religion,no matter what religion you may follow,does not really give you that personal relationship that you need when communicating with the Son of God. Yes, you can go to church, and pray every day, but if the words you say in church are hollow, then what is the point, for you are offering up prayers that you do not really believe in? The prayers are empty, and shallow and hold no substance of faith.
This is one of the biggest sins of all, that to pray without God being fully on your mind, is condemnation indeed,in God and His Christ. Your body, mind, heart and soul must all be directed toward God, and His Christ. Indeed, some of the most holiest of people, the most Christian of people,never stepped foot within a church. Yet, it was such people that formed a deep, and spiritual relationship with Christ.
For what is a church? A church is a group of people, gathering togeher in God’s Name. You do not have to go to church, a synagoge or mosque in order to believe in God. Jesus tells us this, ‘Turn over a rock, and there you will find Me…Speak of Me in My Name, and I shall be with you.’
Yes, having a deep and personal relationship with Jesus is of much more importance than the Christian religion – or indeed any religion. For religion – all religions – are man-made and can be twisted to suit our own ends. But, Jesus shows us the way, through an act of faith and prayer.
‘Be not like those false priests and pharisees, who pray loudly as if to say look at us, at how good we are. But rather, when you pray, pray in secret, and God, your Father, who sees all in secret, will reward you openly,’ This is the true meaning of having a relationship with Christ. A true, personal relationship with Jesus, means taking up your own cross and following Him.