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Is Changing Religion a Sin?

Did you join your faith by choice? What does the Bible say about changing religion? Is it a sin to question your religion and convert to a different one?

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I am a Catholic and I’m confused regarding the matter of changing religion. I was told that it is a sin to leave one’s religion for another. Is it really against the law of God to change one’s religion? 

Jeffrey Lou Naral

Philippines 

Brother Bob Pellien: Thank you so much Jeffrey for your question. 

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Brother Bob Pellien

Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: We understand that just thinking about this question—it really reveals a dilemma that you and not only you, even many others, find themselves in that dilemma. It’s like on one hand they’ve grown up maybe in a particular religion. However, they find themselves no longer wanting to associate themselves with that religion. They feel pressure then, from their family, but on the other hand they want to live life in accordance to God’s laws written in the Holy Bible. So what is one to do? Since the question you posed Jeffrey was, “Is it really against the law of God to change one’s religion?” Well, it’s the law then of God that should be the basis of making the right decision. 

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It’s the law of God that should be the basis in making the right decision

Brother Bob: Not just surrendering to family pressures, surrendering to peer pressure, any other kind of pressure for that matter, nor to one’s own personal preference—or what you or anyone feels is comfortable. Let’s understand first, why is it that we should not just use what seems to be right in deciding on a religion; seems to be what’s convenient, what’s comfortable, what seems right. 

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Question: Why should we not just use our feelings when deciding on a religion?

Brother Bob: Let’s read God’s law for the answer to that opening question. And we turn to Proverbs 16:25; wherein it says this: 

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

[Proverbs 16:25 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: As we have read here, it’s a biblical truth that what may seem right can actually be very, very wrong. It can be, in fact, so wrong that it will lead to death instead of salvation

All religions are the same…or are they?

Brother Bob: And since well, Jeffrey this is the case one cannot avoid having then the responsibility to examine thoroughly their religion. Why so? Examining religion is necessary because, well, they’re not all the same. And therefore cannot possibly all be correct or all be true. 

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Examining religion is necessary because not all religions are the same and therefore cannot possibly all be correct or true

Brother Bob: Now the quick answer to your question is well, ”Is it really against the law of God to change one’s religion?” Well that all depends on the religion that one is in and the religion one is planning to change to or join. If after examining one’s religion you discover that you’re not in the true religion, but in fact are in a false religion, well then changing out of that false religion would not be a sin, but rather a must. One must get out of a false religion and enter into the true one, of course. Well, that’s the simple direct answer. But so how, first of all, then does one examine their religion? 

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Question: How does a person examine their religion?

Brother Bob: Compare it with God’s law written here in the Holy Scriptures—the Bible.  For example, what is one of God’s laws that He gives to His people in the true religion? It is one of the things that [have] to be examined, Jeffrey, which we can read of course here in the Holy Scriptures. Let’s do that precisely recorded it is in Exodus 20:3-5:

“You shall have no other gods before Me, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

[Exodus 20:3-5 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: Because God’s law states clearly that His people shall not bow down or serve any carved images whatsoever. Therefore, anyone who hears this Biblical verse, and if you Jeffrey or anyone else viewing this program, if you are in a religion that has images that are bowed down to, prayed to, served; you’ll be able to realize, then that your religion is not the true religion according to the Bible. Therefore to change out of that false religion, it’s not a sin. In fact, the sin would be committed, if you would stay in that false religion especially if you have already heard God’s law about that.

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A sin is committed when one stays in a false religion, especially after hearing God’s law

Finding the right religion

Brother Bob: Is there a biblical example of one who made such a change in religion, and what is the true religion that one should change into? Apostle Paul is the example. Apostle Paulhere we can see, what was the religion that he grew up in? 

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What was Apostle Paul’s religion?

Brother Bob: We can read the answer recorded here in Galatians chapter 1. Let’s read in verses 13 and 14. Here’s what it says there:

You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I went after the Christians mercilessly, hunting them down and doing my best to get rid of them all. I was one of the most religious Jews of my own age in the whole country and tried as hard as I possibly could to follow all the old, traditional rules of my religion.

[Galatians 1:13-14 Living Bible]

Brother Bob: Here we can clearly see dear friends that well, Apostle Paul did not start his life as a Christian at all, but rather, he began his early years in the Jewish religion. In fact not only was he so devoted to his religion, but he opposed other religions like Christianity and he hunted them down and tried to get rid of all Christians—those who followed our Lord Jesus Christ. Did he remain in the Jewish religion? Did he say things maybe like, “Well you know I was born in this religion. My mother was born in this religion. My grandmother was born in religion. This is the family religion, this is the tradition; this is our family tradition. I have to remain in this religion because of that.” Did he think like that? Did he talk like that? Well, we can read here in 1 Timothy, chapter 1 verse  12; something that that Apostle Paul wrote. In it he said:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.

[1 Timothy 1:12 New International Version]

Brother Bob: Here dear friends, we can notice we must notice something. We can see that Apostle Paul not only changed his religion, but he was even thanking Jesus Christ for considering him worthy of appointing him to serve in that true religion, giving him the strength that he needed in order to be part of the true religion. But it said he was appointed. He was thanking the Lord for appointing him into the service.

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Apostle Paul was appointed to be a minister in the true Church Of Christ

Brother Bob: Where is it that he was appointed to serve in, in the first place? in 1st Corinthians 12:28. Also written by Apostle Paul was this: 

And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

[1 Corinthians 12:28 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: As an apostle, he was appointed in the Church. Now although there are various churches today that, well, they all believe that they are the church of the Bible; it’s obvious that they are not the one and the same. 

Is there a true church?

Brother Bob: Each has different names, different set of beliefs, different basis of faith, and each will claim that they have the Spirit of God, all trying to convince people to join with them. But what does the Bible warn us about, advise us to do in order to not fall into false religion in the first place?

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Question: What is the Bible’s advice for us to not fall into false religions?

Brother Bob: Here’s what’s recorded by Apostle John, this time 1 John chapter and what’s recorded here in verse 1, reads like this: 

Dear friends, don’t believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God. Test them all to find out if they really do come from God. Many false prophets have already gone out into the world, 

[1 John 4:1 Contemporary English Version]

Brother Bob: It’s clear here, dear friends, that we should not just believe anyone and everyone who claims that they have the Spirit of God. 

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We should not just believe anyone and everyone claiming to have the spirit of God

Brother Bob: We have received an instruction, as we have learned also earlier, that even though there are those who believe with all their heart, they may have full conviction that they have found the right way to serve God, but it could actually be the way to death instead of salvation. 

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It could be the way to death instead of salvation

Brother Bob: Now here we’re learning the instruction that there’s, well, because there’s a lot of false prophets that have gone out into the world so the instruction was very clear, just like we were speaking earlier, we have to examine the religion that we’re in. Here, the Apostle John said, “Test them. Examine them.” Why? Find out if the spirit they have is truly from God. Find out if they are in the truth. 

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Find out if the spirit they have is truly from God

What Church has the true religion?

Brother Bob: So as we have been doing so far and always, we have to use God’s law, written here in the Holy Scriptures to identify the true Church, which would be therefore the true religion. What Church is the true religion that Apostle Paul was appointed into, which he preached all about in the first century and wrote so much about in his letters? 

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Question: Which church was the religion that Apostle Paul was appointed into?

Brother Bob: Ephesians chapter 4. Apostle Paul went on to identify it. In chapter 4 verses 11, and 12, he said, 

And He appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets; some to be evangelists, others preachers or teachers. The common object of their labor was to bring the Christians maturity, to prepare them for Christian service and the building up of the Church Of Christ,

[Ephisians 4:11-12 New Testament]

Brother Bob: According to the law of God written in the Bible, Apostle Paul preached all about; it is the Church Of Christ that is the true Church. The Church Of Christ that is the true religion. So Jeffrey and all those who may have asked questions very similar to Jeffrey’s question, if one is then already inside the Church Of Christ taught by the Bible then leaving the true Church to join a false religion of course then would be considered a sin. Likewise if one learned that their current religion is not in accordance with God’s law then remaining in that religion, which is equivalent then of course to ignoring God’s laws, would also be a sin. Therefore leaving one’s religion, if in fact it is a religion not according to God’s law, to join the Biblical true Church Of Christ just as what Apostle Paul did, as we read earlier, it’s not against the law of God, but rather it is in accordance with God’s law. 

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Leaving one’s religion (one not according to God’s law) to join the true Church Of Christ is not a sin but a commandment of God

Brother Bob: It’s following His commands. This is what we should believe because that’s in the Bible. 

Dear friends when you are ready to learn more about the fundamental teachings found here inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Church Of Christ, please visit incmedia.org/a> because there you’re going to find various series of programs like this, all dedicated to answering your spiritual questions and uplifting your spiritual life.  

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Learn more at incmedia.org

Brother Bob: You can also follow our Facebook pages at IglesiaNiCristoNewsandUpdates as well as IglesiaNiCristoMedia

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Follow us on Facebook:

/IglesiaNiCristoNewsandUpdates 

/IglesiaNiCristoMedia]

Brother Bob: To view more of our shows and see how the Church gets involved with the community, you can learn about that by going to incgiving.org.

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Learn more at incgiving.org

Brother Bob:  To find a house of worship that’s nearest to your place visit iglesianicristo.net.

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Find a house of worship near you: iglesianicristo.net/directory

Brother Bob: If you have questions that you would like answered here on this show, email them to answers@incmedia.org.

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answers@incmedia.org

Brother Bob: Thank you, Jeffery, for your question, and thank you to all of you joining in this program. We’ll see you again next time on That’s in the Bible.

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Is Changing Religion a Sin?