Get off the Religious Treadmill

unnamed(Guest post from Lucas Shipman, see video below) What is the “religious treadmill?” It is works based salvation; the lie that we can earn our way into the presence of God. Billions of people are stuck in this false system with no hope of going anywhere. They are spiritually running in place. 

Here are 3 reasons why humanity loves the religious treadmill:

It’s all the work, with none of the risk. Our culture is obsessed with the idol of safety. Religious treadmills are safe – you never run into a mountain to climb or a river to cross on a treadmill. They keep us out of God’s light while making us feel like we are really going somewhere.

We are in control; the speed, the incline, it’s all about OUR performance and OUR ability. In a performance based world, the radical gospel of grace is not a popular idea.

Just about everyone else on planet earth is on one too. Most of us consider the religious treadmill to be “normal.” Many of our churches are partially to blame as well. When “give money and be nice” comes out of our pulpits more than the Gospel, we should not be surprised that people think they need to earn their way to heaven.

The call of Jesus is to give up on ourselves and trust in Him alone for salvation.

Paul unplugs the religious treadmill in Ephesians 2:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

And a few verses later,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

No one can boast. No one deserves to be saved. Yet every day, saints return Home by the blood and grace of the Lamb. Let us marvel at the wonder of His love for us. May our feet be on the mountains proclaiming the Good News (Isaiah 52) and not on another hopeless treadmill of works.

The religious treadmill says, “earn it.” Jesus says, “come to me.”

Let’s call people off the treadmill of works and out into the world they were created for.

 


 

 

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