What do you believe in?

A question we often get is the following:

Why are you based in Poland as missionaries? Poland is a very religious country, isn’t it?

And that’s right. Poland is certainly a religious country… only the question is… what do they “believe” in? And that is an exciting question. Let’s start with some numbers:

  • 94.2% of Poland’s population is affiliated with a religion
  • 92.9% of the population identified with Roman Catholicism in 2015.
  • 36.7% of Polish Catholic faithful attended Sunday Mass in 2015.
  • 3.1% do not belong to any religion.

And now what we often experience:

When we ask someone, “who is God”? Then they often have a picture of that. The answer is often “The Creator” or “The Almighty”.

But watch out…. Then you can ask them the following question: Who is Jesus for you?

And then it gets exciting….. The answers vary roughly from “the son of Mary”, “the son who died on the cross” and “God’s son”.

And yes, those answers are correct…. But let’s face it… if that’s “all”… then there’s “something missing”.

Then we start to dig a little further…. And you ask them if they are sure they will go to heaven… then it gets even more exciting… because the answer is never, or seldom: “yes”. The answer is often: “I pray a lot to Mary so that I get to heaven” or “I do the best I can and hope that God will let me in” or “I hope my children pray a lot for me later so that I don’t have to be in purgatory for too long.”

And then we go a little deeper: When was the last time you read God’s Bible? And then the answer is often: never. Or rarely… or “when i was in school…a long time ago”.

Wow…..just wow…

And then we come back to the question: isn’t Poland a very religious country?

Yes, religious it is, and most people definitely believe in “something”. But that you are only saved by your faith in Jesus Christ, by God’s grace, NOT by your own actions and that it is a gift from God, that is a VERY different issue….

For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory.

Ephesians 2:8-9

And that you can be 100% sure that you will then go to heaven, that is an enormous step further away… let alone the rest… that Jesus is no longer hanging on a cross, but is alive, that you have a new future and freedom with Him if you believe that, that there is a certain future for you…. That’s a different matter….

So yes, in Poland many people believe in “something” and are religious, but the definition of “faith”… is exciting… very exciting…. Let’s put it this way… there is still A LOT to do on this side… a lot. There is quite a difference between religion and a living faith in Jesus Christ. And this is not only a question for people from Poland, but a global question. One will bring you nothing (or worse…), the other will bring you eternal life.

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