April 1, 2022 — Hypocrites in the Church

“I’ve been inviting one of my neighbors to church just about as long as I’ve known him,” Stan mentioned to me one morning.

“Are you still inviting him?” I asked. “Or has he accepted your invitation?”

“Still inviting,” Stan said with a sigh, “but there may have been a little breakthrough the other day.”

“What kind of breakthrough?”

“The last time I invited him to go to church with us on Sunday morning,” Stan replied,  “my neighbor said he has a set tee time at the golf club and always plays golf with three friends on Sunday morning.”

“Then what? I asked.

“I told him there’s a Saturday night service.”

“How did he respond to that?”

“He said he and his wife usually have dinner at the golf club every Saturday night.”

“Lots of excuses,” I commented. “But you mentioned there may have been a breakthrough. What was that?”

“Well,” Stan replied, “after he gave me his Saturday night excuse, he surprised me by saying something like he had no interest in going to church with a bunch of hypocrites.”

“A bunch of hypocrites!” I repeated. “What did you say to that?”

“That’s the possible breakthrough,” Stan said with a smile. “I asked him if he knew why there are so many hypocrites in the church.”

“What’d he say?”

“He said he didn’t know why there are so many,” Stan replied, “he just knows there are a lot of people who go to church and say one thing and do another.”

“Probably true,” I commented.

“Sadly, yes,”  Stan said. “But then I told my neighbor I think that the church is filled with hypocrites because that’s all that God has to work with. We’re all hypocrites, whether we are part of the church or not.”

“I went on,” he continued, “to tell him that the only question that I think matters is 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.”

“How did he respond to that?” I asked.

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

“Do you think he will?” I asked.

“I’ll probably find out every time I invite him to church,” Stan said with a smile.


Bible verses to consider:

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.

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

Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him in whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without the preacher? Romans 10:13-14.

And why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for so loving the world that you gave your only begotten Son to save all who believe, and that “all” includes me. I confess that too often I am a hypocrite by saying one thing and doing another, often the exact opposite. Please forgive all of that hypocrisy and please help me to live this life you have given me to live exactly as you intend by pursuing an ever-deepening personal relationship where I grow in my knowledge of you and Jesus, along with how to live without being a hypocrite. You know how much help I need. Please provide all of the help you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Do you believe there are so many hypocrites in the church because that’s all God has to work with? Why or why not? How about you? Are you a hypocrite by saying one thing and doing something else, sometimes the exact opposite? If so, why is that? If you sense there may be some need for changes in your Christian walk to avoid hypocrisy, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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