In continuing my discussions about New Year's Revelations. Another New Year's Revelations for me is to invite more people to church.
I was talking with a man not too long ago about attending church. I was surprised at how quick he was to point fingers at others. "The church is full of hypocrites" and he had his share of being hurt by "so-called Christians." We talked for several hours about what this one had done, what that one had done, how could they be Christian and do that and how he could be a Christian without dealing with that and how he saw no point in attending church with all the hypocrites there.
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My first thought was that I am very thankful God allows hypocrites into the church. While I do my best to serve Him and represent Him to others, invariably, as I am still a human being on this earth, I make mistakes. My mistakes could be from a lack of understanding of what a certain Christian behavior should be or even a not knowing about it. Further, Satan knows my weaknesses and will do his best to let someone else see them too. Even my buddy who has helped me to become a better man of God, has issues. Unintentional as they may be. And, of course, there is always the interpretation of what a Christian is to someone. Many think we are perfect so, there you go- no human on this earth is.
Further, not everyone who attends church is a Christian nor is everyone who professes to be a Christian, a Christian. There is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior that goes into play here and He works to change a person.
In the truest Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "Hypocrite: Full Definition of hypocrite - 1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings hypocrite."
Back to the man I was talking to or listening to, I didn't get much word in edgewise as he talked but had plenty of thoughts I wanted to share but could not because he kept talking so I politely listened.
After we finished talking, he was on his way not hear anything I would like to have shared. He politely acknowledged my invitation to church but essentially left it there and went on his way.
Our conversation provoked a horrible thought within me, "this person is ready to allow someone else, someone else's failures determine where he will spend in eternity, heaven or hell" or so it seems. Regardless of someone else's perceived behavior, or even known behavior, ultimately, you are responsible for this final decision. I didn't like that thought, but there really wasn't more I could do about it. He has to be open to listening to the Gospel from me, a friend, a TV or radio broadcast or by attending a local church. The thought, not in a judgmental fashion mind you, he was willing to allow the influence of these others and their missteps allow him to miss God's greatest gift, salvation and eternal life in Heaven.
If this sounds like you, I hope you will consider God's gift of Salvation He has for you before its too late. I'm not much of a doomsayer, but I will say that according to Scripture, the Lord's return isn't far off. The signs of His Return are evident everywhere. You need to make a decision for eternity.
A great website that will walk you through God's plan, is Peace With God.