There is a difference between Christianity and religion. Religion is man attempting to get to God. Christianity is God getting to man. Christianity is not just better than all the other religions, Christianity is different than all the other religions.
I’d like to offer three “illustrations” that will help us understand the main difference between Christianity and religion:
First, often it is said, “All the religions of the world are but different roads that lead to the same destination.” That is true. BUT the destination they lead to is Hell! All the religions of the world are equal. They are equally corrupt and vain and void of Salvation. Only in the Name of Jesus Christ is there Salvation. “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is not about being on a road that leads to a destination. Christianity is about already being at the destination. We are already God’s sons and daughters because of what God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ did for us. We are not heading toward some goal. We are already arrived at the goal.
We already have “life, and we have it more abundantly.” Jesus once said, “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” We already have eternal life. The Bible says, “Whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate…moreover whom He did predestinate them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” You are already glorified! You are not on a journey to a better place. You are in a relationship with God through Jesus and that is the better place.
Second, Christianity is a vertical line, not a horizontal line. Religion operates on the principle that there is a bar of judgment. There is a horizontal line of holiness and morality. If you get above it you are right with God, if you drop below it you are wrong with God. Christianity operates on the principle of the Cross. Either you are in Christ by faith or you are out of Christ by unbelief. But that is all. In Christ or out of Christ. Not up or down. Vertical, not horizontal.
Third, do you remember reading about the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis? Ask yourself, why did the people of the plain of Shinar go about to build that great tower? “Go to,” they said, “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” They wanted to unite Heaven and Earth. The Bible tells us that God also wants to unite Heaven and Earth. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven,” Jesus taught His Disciples to pray.
Why then was God not pleased with the tower of Babel? In the sentence above quoted, the builders betray themselves by their words. Let us never forget that out of the heart a man speaks. Notice they said, “Let us build us.” Their main focus was themselves. God was not pleased with the tower of Babel because, just like religion, it was a vain attempt to get to God and displayed not Spiritual Faith but Fleshly Pride.
God would have Heaven and Earth united but He would have them united in His way. What is His way? The Tower of Babel? No! The Cross of Jesus Christ. Not man lifted up to God but God lifted up for men. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
May the Holy Ghost make it clear to us just how different Christianity is from religion. I pray you will get as far away from religion as you can. Come to Christ and accept the free gift of salvation. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is nothing but fear, guilt, and shame in religion.