“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for ______ is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.”
Being “religious” isn’t enough. There are lots of religions. Feeling “spiritual” isn’t enough. There are lots of differing religions that induce a “spiritual” feeling. Confidence of salvation isn’t enough. There are lots of differing religions that create questionable confidence of salvation. Dedication to prayer isn’t enough. There are lots of differing religions that require much prayer.
Sincere Christian leaders today may want us to rely on feelings and inducements and confidence and dedication, but they can be sincerely wrong. If we base our salvation on feelings and inducements and confidence and dedication only, we have zeal, but our zeal is not based on knowledge. Some may defensively call this legalism.
God gave us his Word ~ the Bible ~ for a reason. He wanted us to reason. Hebrews 11:1 says faith is accepting the evidence ~ not wishful thinking. Romans 10:17 says faith comes from hearing/reading the Word of God for ourselves ~ not someone’s sermon. Let us search the scriptures daily for ourselves. And, let us not be afraid to approach our religious leaders and try teaching the teachers. Then their zeal as well as ours can be based to knowledge.