BOOK OF GOD'S PROMISES
J. Stephen Lang
-- The old joke about hypocrites involved someone who said, "I don't go
to church. Churches are full of hypocrites." The punch line was, "Come on in,
there's always room for one more!"
While there are no doubt hypocrites
in the churches, there is no place for them in the Kingdom. God's promises are
for believers, not for those who only pretend to believe. Some of the harshest
warnings in the Bible are reserved for the Great Pretenders in religion, the ones
who act out a life of faith but inwardly deny it.
Smooth words may hide a wicked
heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common clay pot. People with hate in their
hearts may sound pleasant enough, but don't believe them. Though they pretend
to be kind, their hearts are full of all kinds of evil. While their hatred may
be concealed by trickery, it will finally come to light for all to see.
I will not allow deceivers to serve me, and liars will not be allowed
to enter my presence. My daily task will be to ferret out criminals and free the
city of the LORD from their grip.
"I hate all your show and
pretense -- the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I
will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won't even notice
all your choice peace offerings. Away with your hymns of praise! They are only
noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is.
Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living
that will never run dry.
"Take care! Don't do your
good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from
your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about
it as the hypocrites do -- blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call
attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward
they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what
your right hand is doing.
"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like
the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues
where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever
"And when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, who try
to look pale and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I assure
you, that is the only reward they will ever get."
Matthew 6:1-3, 5, 16
worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How
can you think of saying, `Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your
eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid
of the log from your own eye, then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with
the speck in your friend's eye."
"The time is coming when
everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Whatever
you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered
behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!"
"Why do you call me `Lord,' when you won't obey me?"
someone says, "I belong to God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person
is a liar and does not live in the truth.
1 John 2:4
Remember, it is a message
to obey, not just to listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself.
For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror
but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and
forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect
law -- the law that sets you free -- and if you do what it says and don't forget
what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
If you claim to be religious
but don't control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion
is worthless. Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that
we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world
See also Judging.
The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J.
Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.