“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” Matthew 23- Jesus

The following quotes are from Jesus to the Pharisees:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.“Matthew 23:27

 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” Matthew 23:33

Ouch! Jesus was definitely not a fan of the Pharisees. Why? because they were hypocrites. Luke warm, Christian hypocrites cause a lot of damage to the church. I am constantly worried that I will act in a hypocritical manner. FYI- This blog is part rant and part blog. I am including myself when I say “you” or “we” or “Christians” in the following as I feel its a concern for every Christian to guard against acting in a way that can be viewed as hypocritical by those seeking the Lord.

Why should Christians (men and women) be concerned about this? Well, because for starters God clearly is not a fan of Christians acting this way.

” I know your works:you are neither cold nor hot.Would that you were either cold or hot!So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16. 

Yikes! I would rather be martyred than have God spit me out! People who call themselves Christian but act in the ways of the world are hypocrites. Its been my experience that they are usually lukewarm Christians who are treating Jesus’s sacrifice as cheap grace. Choosing to sin and saying to yourself “oh, God will forgive me” is cheap grace. Going to the bar with your friends on Friday night and getting drunk even though you know the bible says you are not supposed to, is being a hypocrite (especially since its pre-planned usually, not that it makes it better. ) The issue is that as Christians we are to be separate from the world:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.1 John 2:15-16

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matthew 16:26

Why is it so important? well because the world is watching and when those that may be on the verge of seeking God, see a Christian acting this way they get a very bad taste in their mouths and say to themselves “Christians are no better than anyone else, they just say whatever to act like they are better”. Satan loves that. This also is the case of Christians that walk around being miserable and sour faced all the time. What is the appeal to non-Christians to become Christian, if they see someone who calls themselves Christian who can’t have a good time without drinking (or whatever vice) or walking around miserable all the time?. To them its easier to remain Non-Christian and not have a bunch of rules to follow (this is their view).

This means that if you are acting this way you are being selfish and a stumbling block to others. The bible says:

“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:13-23

This means we are to watch what we are doing at all times, make sure that we are reflective of God , and demonstrating concern for others salvation. Therefore, if you are drinking even one beer, and it makes a person stumble you shouldn’t do it. It doesn’t matter that Jesus drank a glass of wine! Stop being legalistic! If you swear and say vulgar jokes on Friday night and Sunday sing hymns and never swear,  it may cause someone to be turned off of Christians as you are acting as a hypocrite, you are being fake, and if that happens you caused them to stumble. The world sees Christians as hypocrites (many just look at the wars started in the name of Christ) and as a Christian its imperative not to add to that view.

Recently I heard someone say “well, Jesus hung out with the prostitutes and money lenders.” First of all, that is one of the lamest excuses to do wrong things I have ever heard. Secondly, Yep, he sure did. But he didn’t look at naked women, he wasn’t buying their services, he wasn’t getting drunk, he wasn’t gambling, he didn’t watch movies he knew were bad, he didn’t go to strip clubs, and I wager that if those around him acted in a way he wasn’t condoning, he would have rebuked them. I also, bet that because Jesus acted the way he always did (Christ like) those he was speaking to probably elevated their own behaviour. How do I know they probably did this? Because I have seen more than once, someone try to act better, swear less, etc. when around people they felt held themselves to a higher standard. How do I know Jesus would have rebuked bad behaviour? Because he rebuked the Pharisees.

Also, Jesus was Jesus and we are not! He could be in any place and not be tempted because he was God. He was aware what the non-Christians were thinking and he was consistent in being himself and preaching the same message. He didn’t act one way one day and different the next. This topic is important for Christian women to reflect on because, how a Christian woman acts and speaks can draw both men and women to Christ or turn them away. It can also impact for good or bad how our children view Christianity. Lastly it can convict our spouses to be better as well.

God Bless

 

 

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