One of the things that really struck me lately is the amount of Christianity being professed in this world, with a total lack of spiritual fruit to back it up. I heard a sermon last week where the pastor made a reference to imagining that God must be “… sick to death of those pretending to love Him, go to church, and then spending the other 6 days of the week faking it …” and it really got me thinking: How exhausting must it be to live this double life? How can someone live a life that says one thing, and then spends all of its remaining time defending what it said while continuing to live however it wants? It really reminds me of the adage, “Do as I say, not as I do”, and has me very discouraged lately with this ridiculous display in the church.
For example: How can we praise the Lord during a Sunday service and then spend the lunch hour afterwards talking about what so-and-so was wearing, what they are doing, how they are living, etc., without feeling totally condemned for these actions? Another that comes to mind is those who seek to tear apart fellow believers who have found happiness just because they don’t agree with it; yet go home and ask for God’s blessing on their own life filled with sin just as bad as the ones being gossiped about? To me, it really screams of a confusion that cannot be backed up scripturally, and must be birthed of evil. On that note, even Jesus told the Pharisees (see John 8:44) who lived lives they thought were of sound doctrine that “… you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.” and I firmly believe this is what we are dealing with today throughout all churches.
As I read the scriptures what I see is an abundance of the prophets, apostles, disciples, and even Jesus Himself proclaiming that none are perfect, none have arrived, and that none are worthy … yet God still sent His son to die for us.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
So, this leads me to my quandary: How is it, with a verse like this, we can continue to call ourselves Christians and yet live in complete disdain of one another because they do not meet “our approval”? Who are we to grant approval? Who are we to think we have arrived and can now pass judgment?
I remember when Job complained to God about how things were going and God’s response is nothing short of a complete smack-down to the arrogance of Job. In the book of Job, chapters 38 and 39, we see the righteous anger of God displayed to the creation daring to question the Creator. We see God lash out at mankind’s arrogance … but most importantly following that we see Job’s answer to the Lord when God demanded a response:
Job 40:4-5, “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer – twice, but I will say no more.”
I believe that today, God is looking for men and women who are willing to serve Him in complete submission, in quiet reverence, and who do not elevate ourselves to being judge over others. God is looking for servants who DESIRE to seek Him out. Not robots … not clones … but honest men and women who want to see Jesus revealed in their lives without condemning one another.
So the challenge to the church today is simple: Where is the submission to the Lord? Where is the reverence? Where is the obedience? We must stop playing church and start acting like the Church – for anything less represents the creation telling the Creator that it knows better … which puts us on dangerous ground with the only One who has the authority over our lives … JESUS!