Clay Center, Kansas – The great Christian leader, Paul of Tarsus, appointed a young man he was mentoring to lead the church in the city of Crete within the Roman Empire. He wrote a brief letter filled with guidance for his task. Part of it was a warning about some ungodly teachers that were doing tremendous harm, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” (Titus 1:16)
This strong, but accurate statement, hits on a theme of the Bible. It springs from a problem in the human heart, that causes one’s words and actions not to align with each other. This type of living is a lie. It is deceptive and manipulative, leading to a lack of personal trust and integrity. It is spiritually dangerous, potentially causing the damnation of one’s personal soul.
Paul received this teaching from Jesus, whom spoke about it when He asked a rhetorical question to His listeners, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46) In other word’s Jesus is asking, “Why do you say you believe in me, but do not obey my commands?” This was also dealt with hundreds of years before Jesus, as God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely . . . then come and stand before me . . .?” (Jeremiah 7:9-10)
All three quotes are statements of contradiction. On one hand, people profess to know God or His Son Jesus through their words or Christian activities, but contradict that profession in how they live. What they say on Sunday and how they live the rest of the week does not match up. They give ample reason for another to question the genuineness of their faith, if they have truly been born again or to wonder about their salvation.
They say with confidence, “I pray”, “I believe”, or even “I have asked Jesus to forgive my sins.” Yet, their life is a walking illustration of a religious conflict when sins like drunkenness, sexual immorality, anger, bitterness, profanity or others mark their life. How can this be? They may respond with, “No one is perfect.” Yes, that is true, but it is no excuse for continuing to do what one knows is wrong, especially while boldly professing Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. This is a hypocrite. A religious actor. It is written, “Therefore you have no excuse, O man . . .”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Please share your comment with Clint at email@example.com and follow his blog at clintdecker. blogspot.com.
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