Vol.XIV No.X Pg.1
December 1977

"I'm Satisfied"

Dan S. Shipley

To many, the measure of acceptable religion is whether it satisfies the individual. Few would likely admit it, but we see it in the "church-shopper" whose search for a church is mostly based on personal preferences. We see it in the advertisements that encourage attendance at the "church of your choice." We see it in those who discourage questions and discussions about "their church" because, as they put it, "I'm satisfied". I could see it in the lady who once told me that she didn't want to discuss the Bible any further because she had just joined the Catholic Church and had never been happier.

Obviously, multitudes are satisfied with the course they have charted for themselves in religion, but more importantly, IS GOD? Have men so forgotten the whole point and purpose of life, not to mention religion? The wise man's conclusion was NOT, "Fear God and serve Him as you please", but "Fear God and keep His commandments" (Eccl. 12:13). To emphasize obedience (doing as God pleases) is neither narrow minded nor legalistic. In fact, it puts the emphasis exactly where God put it! Salvation is promised to "all them that obey Him" (Heb. 5:9). Heaven awaits only those who do the Father's will (Matt. 7:21). The apostles were told by Jesus to teach men "to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20). The Bible clearly teaches that men must do something to be saved. But more, that "something" is not left to man's discretion; it must be a doing of God's will as set forth in the N.T.

Saul of 'Tarsus was apparently well pleased with his life as a religious leader among the Jews — but God wasn't. In order to please God, Paul had to make some drastic changes, which he did. His life-ruling aim was to "be well-pleasing to Him" (2 Cor. 5:9). As people-pleasing religion increases in popularity, how great the need for men of like ambition today! What Paul sought, he also taught. He reminds the Thessalonians of his teaching concerning how they "ought to walk and to please God" (1 Thss. 4:1). Perhaps men still need reminding about how they ought to live and whom they ought to please — and who will judge them.