How can you know if your religion is really real?
Suggested Daily Reading: Matthew 13: 1-23 (especially verse 21)
The following event took place years ago in the Soviet Union at a time when Christians were severely persecuted. During a Sunday worship service, soldiers stormed in, marched to the front and levelled their guns. Their leader challenged the congregation, “How many of you really believe in your Jesus and want to be with Him? If you do, go stand by the wall on your right and you will receive your wish today. We will shoot you all. Those who do not really believe in Jesus, there is the door. You are free to leave now. You have exactly 3 minutes to decide to leave or to die, starting right now!”
What happened? Some walked out of the door, but a sizeable number went and stood against the wall. After the three minutes passed and all had chosen, the soldiers lowered their guns and their leader spoke to those standing by the wall, “Dear brothers and sisters, we too are Christians. Now that the hypocrites have left, let us worship our God in Spirit and in truth.”
Times of self-denial, times that require putting God above ourselves and His will above our own can clearly distinguish real religion from the outward show of it. The call for self-sacrifice often tests who I really serve – God or myself.
How would you respond if you were worshiping in the church where these soldiers stormed in? Would you walk out the door or go stand by the wall? Is your religion real?