Today, I would love to discuss burning issues that most people could not identify to be part of us. And to a larger extent, they affect and disturb us from becoming who we should be.
Oxford dictionary defines ‘hypocrisy’ as a behaviour in which somebody pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have. In another words, hypocrisy is the behaviour or presentation of one’s personality that is contradictory to the real personality. Hypocrite is a ‘person who deliberately claims to be what he or she is not, but in the original Greek word means a play-actor’.
The act of hypocrisy is so much in existence around us, although some are difficult to identify, but the truth is, it exists. Another critical truth is that hypocrisy exists in areas that naturally man would not expect. A good example is the ‘spiritual hypocrisy’.
In my search for understanding of truth, I have discovered that a large number of spiritual persons or leaders fall in the world of spiritual hypocrisy. These are people seen to have certain spiritual standards but indeed they do not possess such assumed standards. Funny it may sound, that those people involved in this category might not even be aware of their position in the spiritual world. Some are leaders, workers, pastors, deacons and some general overseas.
I don’t want to be the judge of peoples’ life, but the Bible explains that by their fruit we shall know them. I do not write this to criticise spiritual leaders but to make us see and understand more about the world we live in. There are some unconscious lifestyles we practise which act as agents against our real identity in Christ. So, this article is to help us build our spiritual life, that is, each and every one of us, can identify our wrong and correct them when we still can. This is the point where we can make this place (world) a platform for spiritual achievement.
In the beginning, man fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. And since then, men have been in the prison of sin, condemned to death, and controlled by the devil. In the prison of sin, man found it difficult to fulfil the original plan of God, and God was so grieved. God therefore made another plan for the redemption of man from the wages of sin. Moreover, the role that man is expected to play is to believe and accept Jesus as the only way to regain the lost position in God.
Fortunately, thousands of souls have surrendered their lives to God and are enjoying the promises of God and at the end, live forever with God in heaven.
However, it is pertinent to note that a lot of people who claim to be born again and being led by God’s spirit will at the end be cast into hell. Oh! How hard will it be if after spending a reasonable time in the house of God, a man will find himself perishing in hell? God forbid. But the truth of the matter is, it is not everyone who goes to church that will actually see heaven, simply because, it is not everyone that will give what it takes to see heaven. Christianity is a journey and not a destination. The reward for faithful Christians, who remain perfect to the end, is heaven. Most people think that they are already a candidate of heaven immediately after they confess their sins at the point of conversion. Unfortunately, they do not know that what guarantees the success to heaven is determined by how a man lives his life and how he finishes it on earth.
God help us.
In my quest for more understanding, I have discovered that many churches of today are ‘sick’. Sick in the sense that, there are churches that some or all part of the church are experiencing a spiritual deterioration. We have allowed the ‘end-time’ pressure of the devil to move us to a path we ought not to move. I have seen churches where their objective is mainly to gain more people to the assembly, where some are of the orientation that this will bring increase in the financial income of the church. Jesus says, take heed least you fall. We need to be sensitive to the devices of the enemy.
There is no crime in praying for increase in church membership, but the motive is what justifies it all. Do we invite people to Jesus or to the church? What is our motive of the invitation? Today, we have misplaced out priority. We see invitation and evangelism to be the same. What a situation!
A friend of mine asked me what is going on, I answered immediately by saying ‘the church is joking’. I can see churches not serious with what they do. I can see churches acting as if they were on a stage of drama. I can see pastors acting as a pastor and not being a real pastor (Shepherd) in practice. I can also see workers acting in their various departments. Is the church a Williams Shakespeare drama stage?
Workers in church do not also possess the right motive for their activities in the church. I will love to say that a lot of Christians do work for God with their whole might but do not actually walk with God. Meanwhile, the basic thing required from all Christians is to walk with the Lord. Christians are expected to make their relationship with God to be an ‘every-moment’ relationship. We take much of our time to get too useful for God and spend little or no time to build our relationship with God (in personal prayer and fasting, Bible study, and so on). Most times we do not even know what God is saying. Possibly we are not to function in that particular department we are, but elsewhere. Take a good look at this, will you expect me to pay you a salary for a job you do for me in which I did not employ you? That is, the job is a voluntary one. Most times, we expect great reward from God, when we voluntarily decided to function where God did not ask us to.
There is a difference between activity and ministry. The task we carry out in church which is not in the accordance with God is merely an activity. When we work in church with a wrong motive, it is merely an activity. When we work tirelessly, not because we see ourselves as an instrument of and for God, but because we want to gain popularity; to be called a serious worker or to gain certain promotion in church (Matt. 6:2), we are only rendering an activity. On the other hand, a ministry is a call. A ministry is a humble service which is a gift of God (Col. 4:17). Also remember, that what so ever the ministry is, or what so ever the position you acquire in the church, you cannot be success in such ministry without the strict direction of God. We must learn to work and walk with the Lord in all our workings for him.
I know of leaders who hear God speak. They can easily identify the voice of God. This is because they have spent large number of their time to build a close relationship with God. In spite of this, I also know of pastors who do not hear from God. They pray hard that God should speak. But is God dumb? No and never! God speaks every time. But why don’t we hear him? Maybe we are spiritually deaf or we are not listening or He (God) is far from us. You cannot walk with God and God will not speak with you (a father to son or a friend to another friend discussion). If you hear nothing from Him, then the problem is from you. Instead of fight God to open His mouth to speak, why not check yourself to know where you are wrong.
Another issue that I love to point out is the issue of people who are tired of their sins, decided to come to God, prayed for forgiveness of sins, surrendered their lives to God, but do not give a total submission to God. Born again? Yes, but not in total submission to God. These are the people that after their conversion, they still allow their pre-existing principles to govern them. They allow their education and experiences in life to define their life against the direction of God, through the Holy Spirit.
I once wrote:
“Real Christianity is letting go of everything about you (including your principles, visions, desires and faith) at the point of salvation, and letting the new spirit of truth, which is of God, takes control of everything that makes you you. Not only at this point can the real newness of life come into a reality.”
To perfect our Christianity, we need to give a total submission to God and let His spirit be in total control of us, that is when we can be assured of a perfect life in God.
It is however serious, that some so called Christians present themselves as ones called out of darkness into the light of God, but in a critical perception, are not different from people still in darkness. Today, we must check areas, in which we are hypocrites, pray for the mercy of God and make a decision of change and a progressive relationship with God.
I have so much to say, but in time, we shall discuss more. I pray that the spirit of God come richly into our lives to direct and give us the life that He (God) had desired for us.
I employ you to write your views or comments or contribution or any form of encouragement that Christians around the world can also learn from your words.
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