We are all or have been hypocrites because we have not lived the truth weâ€™ve preached. And that alone is enough to keep people out of church. Iâ€™m not going to church because it is full of hypocrites.
The four men I listed above have all spoken Biblical truths, as have I. They have all done so while living a lie, as have I.
And if we are to follow the logic of those who decry the church because of the hypocrisy, then the Biblical truths we have spoken must be hypocrisy because we have been hypocrites. What other reasons are available for the scoffer and skeptic who stand on the flimsy plank of self-righteousness by refusing to worship the Heavenly Father because His house is full of hypocrites?
In fact while we may be hypocrites for not living the truths we proclaim, the avoiders are too hypocrites. King Solomon nailed them long ago:
â€œFervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; when he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.â€ (Proverbs 26:23-26)
You see, the non-attender is not about to be seen in a church full of hypocrites because at least he or she can say they are not pretending to be something theyâ€™re not. Um, actually…you are. Religious hypocrites are self-righteous by nature and so are you Mr. and Mrs. Avoider. See, although you may not be trying to act religious or holy when you are not, you are trying to act as though you have integrity when you do not. If you are to be believed, youâ€™ve never done a hypocritical thing in your life.
The Random House Dictionary defines hypocritical as â€œthe pretense of having virtues, beliefs, principles.â€ But when you listen to all the reasons Nancy Nonchurch-goer lists for not attending church, she is pretending to hold onto some sort of virtuous beliefs and principles that are actually rooted in selfishness. Jesusâ€™ words that He applied to the scribes and Pharisees apply to all who try to pretend to be someone they are not:
â€œWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead menâ€™s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.â€ (Matthew 23:27-28)
Please understand that I am not making excuses for Christian hypocrites; their damage and dishonor to the Gospel is serious. However, if you have not come to Christ just because of one person who claimed to be a Christian and ended up being a hypocrite, do you not know at least one person who is a believer that doesnâ€™t at least strive to live a holy life? If yes, then what about him or her? Is not their life evidence enough of the aletheia truth of the Bible? And even if you have never known a holy person, do you think that excuse is going to stand as a defense for you before the Great White Throne Judgment of King Jesus?
Oh but Bro Dave I do not believe in that. Fine, but it doesnâ€™t make it any less true or inevitable!
And here is the ultimate irony for the scoffer of Christianity who rails against God because of supposed hypocrisy. He or she considers him or herself as enlightened and erudite because they do not believe in God. Do you know what God thinks of such people?
â€œThe fool has said in his heart, â€˜There is no God.â€™ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.â€ (Psalm 14:1)
Thatâ€™s somewhat opposite of what the scoffers envisions of themselves. Scripture tends to do that; it strips away the false veneer so many of us have, inside and outside of the church, who paint a deceptive coat of civility over our real lives when inside the walls of our homes and lives where nothing but turmoil exists.
It would be a sad tragedy if those in most need of a Savior would reject Him because His house is occupied by hypocrites. The great evangelist Billy Sunday summed it up nicely:
â€œHypocrites in the Church? Yes, and in the lodge and at the home. Don’t hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the mirror. Hypocrites? Yes. See that you make the number one less.â€
Do not forsake the love of Christ because of the whisper of Satan. Do not allow the devilâ€™s subtleties to keep you away from the Saviorâ€™s salvation.
When it all comes down to it; this is simply about you and Jesus.
If youâ€™re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please email me at email@example.com and use â€œPlease add to Devotional Listâ€ as the subject.
Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers