The church of Jesus Christ was born into a world hostile to its message. In its fledgling days it was persecuted by Jews who believed Christ to be a phony Messiah and Christianity a false religion. What proves to give one pause over this initial persecution is the fact that it was primarily perpetrated by the religious leaders of God’s chosen people, not by irreligious pagans. For far too long the saints have been snookered into believing that religion is a friend rather than a foe of the Christian Faith. The truth is; Christianity has never had a more formidable foe than religion.
Contrary to popular opinion, Satan is not an opponent of religion, but its most ardent advocate. The Bible teaches us that he has his own “ministers,” “doctrines,” “synagogues,” “cup,” and “table” (2 Corinthians 11:15; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 2:9; 1 Corinthians 10:21). The only religion that Satan opposes is “pure religion” (James 1:26-27). The only worship he opposes is the worship of the one and only true God. All other worship Satan both proposes and promotes. According to the Apostle Paul, when the world falls down at the feet of false gods, it is really falling down before Satan, the god of this world (1 Corinthians 10:19-21; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
The devil, as Scripture clearly teaches, is behind all false religions, cults, and apostasies. His purpose for them all is twofold. First, by hiding behind them, the devil becomes the indirect recipient of their adherents’ devotion. Unbeknownst to the practitioners of false religions, as well as to all cultists and apostates, when they adhere to their false doctrines and acclaim their false gods, they are really advocating the doctrines of demons and pledging allegiance to the devil. Second, Satan masterfully uses false religions, cults, and apostasies to keep men from coming to know the one and only true God.
Multitudes of religious souls are in this world today without Christ, and therefore without God and without hope (Ephesians 2:12). They are facing the eternal forfeiture of their immortal souls when they are buried in the rags of their own righteousness and religious robes rather than shrouded in the seamless robe of Christ's perfect righteousness (Leviticus 10:1-7; Isaiah 64:6; John 19:23-24; Philippians 3:9).
Many contemporary Christians take solace today in America’s religiosity. They speciously believe that so religious a nation as ours would never permit the persecution of the Christian religion. Smug in this false security that religionists are protectors rather than persecutors of the redeemed, these naive spiritual ninnies are impervious to the impending, unprecedented, and Biblically predicted persecution about to befall us in these United States.
Make no mistake about it; the Bible unquestionably proclaims and Christian history has undoubtedly proven that religionists are, and always have been, the fiercest and most ruthless rivals of the redeemed family of God. After all, the one true threat to all false religions, as well as to all cults and apostasies, is Christianity, the world’s only true Faith.