When Religion Is Spelled H_Y_P_O_C_R_I_T_E
Behind The Mask
I wish that I could give you an accurate count of the number of churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues we have in these United States, but I can't. Though there are some recorded numbers, I don't believe anyone can. For there are great churches, boasting multitudes of congregants, and there are small churches, tucked away in storefronts and homes, that will ultimately go uncounted.
It is said in different media outlets that about 85% of our population profess to being Christian, which is even more alarming to me, considering the world sees us as HYPOCRITES.
Jesus saw many of the Scribes and Pharisees of His day as HYPOCRITES, and he called them by that name to their faces.
Jesus said that they were the ones who placed heavy burdens on the shoulders of others, while they lifted not a finger to help. They were the ones who did all of their good deeds, only to be seen of men, wanting to be esteemed, exalted, and honored themselves. They lived in a me, my, and I society.
But it gets worse, for Jesus also said they were the ones who would shut up the kingdom of heaven from men, (Being judgmental and condemning )not going in themselves, nor allowing anyone else who would so venture, to enter. They were the ones who would travel over land, sea, and air to make one convert, and when that convert is made, they would make him twice as much a child of hell as they were.
OUCH. That hit where it hurts.
But truth be told, there are still Scribes and Pharisees among us. They live in our neighborhoods and communities. They work beside us at our places of employment. They serve on some of the same boards and committees as we do. They are seated beside us during our Sunday Morning worship experience. Some are even feeding us from the Word of God from their lofty pulpits.
Many go undetected because of their mask.
What we see is Sister so and so, or Brother so and so as they enter the sanctuary. Her dress looks as though it was designed specifically for her. Her hat, bag, and shoes are matching, and her face is flawless, right down to her painted on smile. He even smiles, as he approaches, holding her gloved hand. His suit has to be tailor made, his shirt bears his initials on the collar, and his tie is pure silk. It doesn't take long to notice that his tie, belt, and shoes match the hat he removed when he entered, and he's smiling, from his lips only.
Many Christians have become pretenders. Saying one thing and meaning something else. Or acting in one manner, while living out someways totally different.
What I find really disturbing is, there are far too many who are not true Christians, only Religious people. And not meaning to offend, but some are only Religious on Sunday. And they are in bondage to religion. And being in bondage, they feel that there are works to be achieved, things they must do to be validated, or ways they must act to be accepted. I know this is not going to go down smooth for many readers, but you'll get it if you read on, I pray.
Jesus didn't come down from glory to offer us religion, for religion was already here. Jesus came that we might come into relationship with God, the Father. The Scribes and Pharisees had religion. They knew religion well. But they didn't understand relationship. They felt their deeds ( keeping the law ) and their heritage ( Being descendants of Abraham )would qualify them for a ticket to heaven.
But Jesus looked behind the mask.
Jesus endeavored to make them see and understand that God only wants our heart. He's not concerned with what we're wearing, or the horse we rode up on, only that our heart is pure. Jesus got behind the mask when he told them, " You pay tithes of your mint and cummin, but you've neglected the weightier matters, love, mercy, and justice." Today, all we teach, or demand, is that people pay their tithes, with little or no admonishment towards the first commandment.
Witnessing to a guy one day, and inviting him to come to church, he looks at me and said, Pastor, I study my word at home. I pray in my own house, and I try to treat people right that I meet along the way.I really don't want to go to church. I asked him why he felt that way, and he said to me, I used to travel with a relatively well known gospel group. They were good. Anywhere we performed people would be shouting, dancing, and running the aisles. But when the group would leave the stage, and get back to their hotel rooms, it was Katie bar the door. They would resort right back to their drinking, drugs, and sex. These were all church folk, standing out on that stage, telling people how good God is, and how God has delivered them from sin, and yet they go right on sinning. I don't want to go to church.
The Word of God tells us that the Day of The Lord is going to come as a thief in the night. No one will know the day or the hour. But we must have our lamps trimmed and burning, waiting for our Savior to appear. Remember, none but the righteous shall see God.
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