Karl Marx, in his famous book Capital, wrote Religion is the opium of the people. He meant that religion is misused by capitalists and churches to keep the proletariat ignorant and willing to kowtow to the rich. I would like to rephrase this and conclude that (empty) religiosity is the drug of the masses. Why do I say this? Because people keep rejecting the real efficacy of Christ's sacrifice. They lull themselves asleep that they do not really need the Lord and they that do affirm that they do, either believe in a false gospel or a Christendom that is so watered down that in practice the truth has been sapped out. The Pharisees in the Lord's time and the scribes were such people. You hold the keys of the Kingdom, but you do not enter and those that want to enter you prevent from doing so. Nowadays things are not much better. The Sadducees, on the other hand, were like modern pastors that deny the spiritual world of angels and eternal life.
The religious world, from Hinduism via Islam to Catholicism, is a Babel like a spiritual candy shop, in which anything goes. There is something for any taste. And new dainty morsels are developed all the time. Some are the rage and some last, being adapted over time. But since the then religious and so-called civilized world rejected Christ, hanging Him on a cross, the Lord only appears to true believers. If somebody possesses my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me and he that loves Me will be loved by My Father and I will love him and I will manifest Myself to him. After His resurrection, therefore, the Lord only appeared to His disciples and after His Ascension He only shows Himself spiritually to those that seek Him. Yet He also appears in the dreams of many unsaved people that they may believe. We live in a world that lies in the wicked one, according to the first epistle of John. A world alienated from God. Both the religious world and the so-called civilized world. In both worlds it comes to repeated clashes when they fight one another and among themselves. They are kept busy by a zillion tricks of the devil.
In this short article I limit myself to the religious world. The Lord taught us that when we pray we should not use repetitive phrases like the heathen. For they believe that they will be answered through their wordiness. This because these phrases have become hollow from wearing out. From Hindus via Muslims to Catholics (from Roman via Orthodox to Coptic) and also Protestants and Evangelicals, they become high through repeating their things like dancing Dervishes. The Evangelicals and Charismatics get high on their so-called praise music. The Prostestants on repeating the Mosaic law every week again, or whatever it is they poison themselves with. The Catholics repeat time after time the Ave Maria, pray for us sinners. When will they at last learn to pray for themselves!? According to the Bible the Holy Spirit Himself prays for us with ineffable sighings. Therefore we do not need supposed saints and a supposed eternal virgin to pray for us. The Hindus have their mantras and also the Muslims have their prayer chain. Sects like the slaves of the Watch Tower Society and the Mormons have the routines of their knocking on doors, their magazines and their baptisms for the dead rituals. They are all full of mere religiosity. Empty religion. Fake belief.
As far as money is concerned, the amount of gold, silver and jewels amassed in temples in India and Asia and what they rake in every day, must come to trillions over time. Do not forget Mosques either. As to the Roman Church, they must have cashed billions with the false doctrine of purgatory alone. Many rich Catholics have paid for hundreds of years to have that church perform mass for them while they are in purgatory. Then the money that has gone into cathedrals, churches, shrines and monasteries and many orders with their treasures. Many hospitals in the Western world are run by Catholic foundations, besides the companies, lands and properties this church owns. I do not say this out of animosity. The secular world is not better if you are in the know. I myself am not any better. (Of course Catholics have always been doing a lot of good as well as far as that is concerned). People pay lots of money for the wellbeing of their souls, whereas they reject the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ...
I know of a Christian, H.L. Heijkoop, who believed that only 1 in 100 people are saved. This because it says that there is more joy in heaven over one sheep that is found, then over the 99 others. I give the impression of believing that heaven will be empty in comparison with hell. Not so! The honor of a king is in the number of His subjects. Satan wants to drag people into hell, but also in this respect he will not turn out the winner. Thou hast prepared Me praise out of the mouths of little children and babies. The death rate among babies and young children, almost from the beginning of time, has been so high that there is a humanly immeasurable chorus in heaven singing the praises of the Lord continuously! Also abortion rates are high. And, at the end of time (see the book of Revelation) a multitude of people that no one can count, will be saved. But, yes, in our days billions are lost. Strive to enter the narrow gate, for many seek it, but few find it. The Lord looked on the multitude and saw that they were like sheep that are troubled and cast on the ground. And He said: Look, the fields are white for harvest, pray therefore the Owner that He pushes harvesters into the fields.
Therefore, we should preach true conversion and the pursuit of a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, God the Son. I am not saying that I am better. The Lord, thanks God, has His faithful in all denominations. But I am saying that the majority of Christendom is made up of nominal Christians that are either ignorant and naïve, or they are wolves in sheep clothes. Watch out, I send you out as sheep among the wolves. Christendom has miserably failed, but Christianity not! We all, also myself, fail, but the message of the Lord keeps transforming people and He renews our inner being day by day. I am not implying that you therefore should become my follower, as if I would know it all better. I hold out what the apostle Paul spoke: Become co-imitators of me! Let us not reject Paul because we dislike his radicalism. Let us follow his example and orient ourselves towards the Lord, like him, in His footsteps. If we persevere till the end, we will not be disappointed to eternity! The Lord, like a good shepherd, knows the lives of His sheep and He deals with us both individually and as a flock. Let us remain faithful, not becoming worldly and not becoming exaggerated, like true salt and as a light on a mountain.