Time and time again, like many of you, I have spoken with some “out of duty” Christians. Those men and women who used to be faithful warriors in the kingdom of God. They used to be very active with many good works, and active in all the Church programs. They truly were good people. They had their priorities in the right place. Unfortunately, something happened. ..
We have all heard the stories about why brother or sister so-and-so no longer worships with us. It is because Brother X said or did something that was dirty, underhanded, sinful, and these actions deeply hurt someone else. As a result, Brother Y no longer attends because of the actions of Brother X. and the explanation is often capped with the statement, “I just can’t worship in the same place as that man,” or “I quit going to church because, there are so many hypocrites that worship in that building.” when I hear these statements, it breaks my heart. I believe it breaks God’s heart as well. After all it was God who sent his Son to die, so that the body of Christ (The Church) could be established. In Ephesians 5 the Church is described as the bride of Christ. Husbands, think of how much love you have for your bride. How would you handle someone continually running your brides name into the ground? Now, consider Christ’s feelings toward those who belittle His bride, the Church.
A word to Christians: There is a quote that has been around for many years, maybe you have heard it before, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”-unknown. I believe there to be some truth in this statement. In almost every atheistic argument, book, or article that is out there today,” hypocrites in church” are mentioned. I have a two-part plea for all Christians regarding this subject. #1. Realize how blessed you are to be a member of the body of Christ, and thank Him for that daily! #2. Do not give anyone an excuse to not come back. We have all heard of these stories, do not allow yourself to be on the negative end of one of those stories. If you already have been, go to your brother and make it right (Matt 5:24)
A word to “Out-of-Duty Christians“: Exercise forgiveness (Col 3:13) remember, that you are forgiven, as you forgive others. If we wish to be forgiven, we must forgive. Remember that the Church, is NOT about the people in the building. The Church is about obedience to Christ. Remember that there are hypocrites everywhere! They are walking around wal-mart, but we still go. They are at ball games, but we still go. They are at work, but we still go. They are at family gatherings, but we still go. It seems that the Lord’s Church that Jesus paid for with His blood, is the only thing that we allow “hypocrites” to keep us away from. Let us again place first things first, (Matt 6:33). If you stop going to Wal-mart you will miss out on some groceries, if you stop going to ball games, you will miss some entertainment. If you stop going to work, you will miss out on some money, if you stop attending the Lord’s Church, you miss out on the blessings that are found in Christ.
Let us all strive for unity and peace within the Church, and make this the Church that Jesus died for.
Matthew 5:23-24- So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 18:15- “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Ephesians 4:3- eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
In Him, Troy