Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Discerning the modern churches is easy for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. The church which impedes the direct access to Jesus Christ in any way is NOT His church. His church provides and encourages sinners to seek that direct access only.
A simple question to ask those caught up in a false church where they impede direct access is, “if I went to Jesus Christ and humbly pleaded for the forgiveness of ALL of my sins, would He forgive me?”. Only the ultra cult-like impeders would say “no” to that question. So if the answer is yes, then the next question is simple, “why are you proposing to impede my path to Him by your religion?”
Some will say you “need to do this first” or “you need to say this prayer” or “do these good works and then just maybe Jesus will forgive you”. But the TRUTH of the Good News is that Jesus required absolutely nothing from sinners to go to the Cross and die for them for that forgiveness. Paul writes in Romans 5:8 “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us“. By this, Jesus did not wait for you to clean up your act before He would forgive you, or that you would do something to be counted worthy by Him.
From Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodox to many many churches calling themselves “Christian” put up what I call that roadblock to forgiveness while claiming they are the gateway at the same time. The sinner caught up in these systems die someday in uncertainty, “did I do enough to be saved?” is the question they die with. Having believed the roadblock and NOT placing their faith alone in Jesus Christ by that direct unimpeded access, they will someday wake up to a grim reality. That their religion put them on the path to hell and Judgment Day is too late to have figured that out.
Impeders to Jesus Christ will say “you need to have perfect Sunday church attendance, participate in our sacraments, do enough works, do enough good things as opposed to bad things, keep those commandments, and then Jesus might, just maybe will save you”. Whereas the the BIBLICAL Good News teaches DIRECT salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is FINISHED! Salvation is NOT A PROCESS, no matter what these false teachers manning the roadblocks to Jesus try to say.
About every debate I have had with an unbeliever caught up in a roadblock world religion has the same argument. The sinner defends the roadblock and mocks the direct access. It is like a store with a “free water” sign in front, and the person dying of dehydration because they cannot believe the water is free. Because none of their friends and family will drink that water or they were told they cannot drink free water, they die. Total depravity produces an evasion of all logic and all common sense.
Some will sadly die defending that roadblock which they will learn sent them to hell, because by pride they could not go directly to Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. Discern your church! Is it impeding any access by rituals, and negating God’s grace of salvation? If so, LEAVE that church, believe the GOOD NEWS, that Jesus has provided (past tense) for the forgiveness of ALL your sins! If God is drawing you to His Kingdom, you will heed that message. If not, you will stay blind behind a religious roadblock which ends in agony and sadness.