He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
It’s not that I don’t feel like a hypocrite on a relatively regular basis. But for years I have felt like this was my message for the world. Not in judgement, but rather in tender compassion and pleading to the soul playing church on earth, and missing Heaven in eternity.
There’s a vast difference between being in church and being in Christ. But for too long the religious crowd has preached (and I use the term liberally) that all the world is fine, so long as they’re in the building.
When I visited the Philippines several years ago there was a huge church that was the size of a small West Virginia city. It had pointed steeples and ornate architecture that gave it a castle appearance, but not in a good way. It just looked cold and evil. It was the Iglesia ni Cristo (meaning Church of Christ) but not as the American Church of Christ. They believe that they are the one and only true church called out of Isaiah 43:5. It’s a very formalized methodical religion. All who are not a part of their church are Hell bound. according to them. That doesn’t sound any crazier to me than those who preach what many churches are preaching today, which is just show up occasionally, continue living in sin throughout the week, and you’re fine. It causes me to wonder if even the Pastors are saved who preach a message that is anti-relational with Christ.
I can’t help but think that my message today will be viewed as judgmental. But I promise it’s not. My heart breaks for church leadership as well who don’t have a deep enough relationship with Christ to understand its importance and their purpose. They’ve been deceived by this world too.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This is my friend Chuck McDonald’s life verse. Because when he got saved, he became a new creation. And anyone who knew him, seen the evidence in his life. That’s the key, and it’s the missing piece of many people in our own churches. Evidence. They walk out the door on Sunday morning and walk back into the world looking no different. There’s no evidence that church made a difference.
It’s not that the message doesn’t go out of many churches, because it does. There are many, many good preachers. So what makes the difference? Church leadership.
It’s not just the Pastor’s job. What made the difference in my friend Chuck McDonald’s life, and in my life is that there were people who stepped up and took me under their arm as a disciple of Christ. I keep saying it, but I’m not living it any better if I’m honest.
My formative years as a new Christian were spent in fellowship almost every day with people from our church. We had breakfast together at a local restaurant, we spoke on the phone, we were in constant church services of some sort, somewhere. It was amazing! If our church wasn’t holding a revival I was looking for someone else’s.
Does it have to be that extreme? I don’t know. It worked for me. And it worked in the days of the Bible.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Steadfast, in doctrine, in fellowship, breaking bread and praying! Glory to God if only we had that kind of time.
Well, in this modern day of technology, do we not? We can be across the globe, and still be in constant fellowship, and yet we don’t.
I joyously speak with my friend Dewey Moede from New Mexico most every day. He is who God sent into my life to follow up where others left off. You too are that person who is in need of a Dewey, or perhaps you are the Dewey.
My point being is this; we should be living our lives, wherever we are for Christ. So that people know we’re there for them and that a relationship with Him and them is an important part of our everyday.
I’m not about what denomination is over the door, I’m about what your relationship is with my Lord. Are you truly a brother or sister in Christ?
Only those who are will be Heaven.
Just give me Jesus.