Then & Now - Week of September 21

"What's Wrong With Religion" 
John 3:8-13

Nobody was more serious about his faith than Nick. He was the most popular and powerful spiritual leader in Israel. He took religion very seriously.

He was the Pope.

He was Mother Theresa.

He was the Dalai Lama.

And yet Nick had no clue how to get close to God. Its typical religion.

You see, Jesus didn't come to establish another religion. He didn't come to offer another set of bullet points. More 12-step programs.

What Jesus offers is something so completely radical, it stunned Nick. And it still confounds religious people today.

Jesus, who was God in the flesh, came to offer transformation. Rebirth. New Life.

Religion says that you, by yourself, can somehow pull yourself up from your bootstraps and please God by your good works. But as you know, this is a recipe for failure. You, in your sinful condition, cannot please God.

No, Jesus transforms you from the inside out. He gives you His Holy Spirit who empowers you to overcome temptation and live apart from sin.

Nick eventually rejected religion and embraced Christ. Maybe you're like Nick. Maybe you're tired of religion. What Jesus Christ offers is so much better. It's a living, breathing, relationship with the God of the Universe.


  1. Why is religion so empty?
  2. Am I pursing religion or a relationship with Jesus Christ? 

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at