The Olympic Games are now in the history books. Athletes from around the world competed in the games.
In order to get to the games each athlete or team had to qualify. Rules have been set up to govern how the games are played. The United States men’s 4x100 relay team found out about the rules. They had an early pass off of the baton and were disqualified. As devastating as that seems, if there were no rules then it would be chaos because every team or player would be able to do whatever they wanted to win. There would be no fairness in any of the events.
There has to be authority in everything. This is true even in religion. All authority has been given to Jesus (Matt. 28:18). He has set down the rules that man must obey to succeed in running the spiritual race to heaven.
The following statement has been made many times down through the years, "It does not matter what religious belief you follow, as long as you are sincere in what you believe."
If the proceeding statement is true then there is no absolute truth to be known. Mankind could never be united on what God wants because there could be no standard to follow.
This statement if true would make Jesus a liar for He said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32).
On another occasion He said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21).
It does matter what one believes and obeys when it comes to religion.
To further understand about there being rules or standards in religion, notice what Jesus said in one of the last prayers He uttered on earth said, "I have given them thy word; … Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:13 – 21).
The Apostle Paul wrote to the brethren at Corinth, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Cor. 1:10 – 13).
God wants all men to look into His word and follow it so that all can be united in religious thought.
God’s rule book is the only book to follow when it comes to religious matters. Just as the Olympic athlete who wanted to be successful had to follow the rules, so must each person who desires to receive the victors crown that Paul referred to (2 Tim. 4:8). God loves man and wants him to have a home in heaven but the rules must be followed.