231. Hypocrites in the Church

“There may have been a breakthrough with my neighbor,” Stan said one morning.

“What kind of breakthrough?” I asked.

“Well,” Stan replied, “for as long as we have been neighbors I have invited him to church services and other events at the church, but he always has an excuse.”

Continuing, Stan said, “Last night I invited him to join us for church service on Sunday, but he said he always plays golf with three friends on Sunday morning.”

“I then told him there is a Saturday night service.”

“What was his response to that?” I asked.

“He said he and his wife usually had dinner at their country club on Saturday night.”

“And,” Stan continued, “he then said, ‘besides, I don’t want to go to church with a bunch of hypocrites.’”

“How did you react to that?” I asked.

“I asked him a question,” Stan responded.  “I said to him, ‘do you know why there are so many hypocrites in the church?’”

“His response was that he didn’t know about that.  He just knew that the church was filled with people who said one thing and did another.”

“What did you say to that?” I asked.

“I told him that the church is filled with hypocrites because that is all that God has to work with.  We are all hypocrites, whether we are in the church or not.”

Continuing, Stan then said, “I went on to say to him that the only question that mattered was the one of where we want to spend eternity, in heaven with a bunch of hypocrites who have sought forgiveness and been forgiven, or in hell with a bunch of hypocrites who haven’t bothered to seek forgiveness.”

“Did he respond to that?” I asked.

“He just said, ‘Oh, I hadn’t thought about that.’”

_____________________________________

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:23.

And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?  Romans 2:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for showing me my hypocrisy in saying one thing and doing another in contrast to what you have for me to be and to do.  Please forgive me all of my hypocrisy and please lead me in an ever-deepening relationship with you so that all that I say is in accord with what you say, and that all I do is in accord with what you say.  Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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