Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 268
September 25; Acts 25:2; 114/260(III); ‘Religion Kills’
Acts 25:2 Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him,
These chapters in Acts, with Paul in prison, expose the potential dangers of religion. In the case of Paul, Rome was not against him. They really had no interest in the accusations against Paul. He had done nothing criminal for them to be involved. He was imprisoned for sharing Jesus and the religious leaders who were violently opposed to Paul’s message wanted him dead. The high priest and other religious leaders asked Festus, the new governor, to send Paul to Jerusalem. They wanted this so that they could ambush Paul and kill him. This is extreme, but there is at least one sect of a worldwide religion who want you dead if you are not part of what they believe and who they believe in. The Jewish religion was so hostile towards Paul, as they had been towards Jesus out of jealousy. Wherever Paul went and shared the gospel a great number of Jews believed him, which greatly diminished those who followed the Jewish religion. Then when the Jews rejected what Paul taught, he ministered to the Gentiles, which further infuriated the religious Jews. The religious Jews were prideful, greedy and arrogant. Theirs was a legalistic, joyless religion that required those who adhered to its teachings, to obey man made rules that no one could keep, not even those who made those rules up. This is so serious, because it gives those who do not know the Lord a false picture of Him. Jesus is love and is always there to help. Not so religion.