Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Settle Out of Court

 

“Too many hypocrites in the church!” 

One of the chief arguments people make for rejecting Christ is that there are too many hypocrites in the church. I’m not saying that there are no hypocrites in the church; for if we are trying to appear more spiritual in church than we are at home, we are hypocritical. But in the full sense of the word,  a Christian is not a hypocrite.  He may be weak and carnal, but he’s not a hypocrite.  A genuine Christian has confessed he is a sinner, lost and unable to save himself.  He has put his trust in Christ alone for salvation.  He may be a pathetic Christian who brings shame to the cause of Christ and be chastened in this life by His loving Heavenly Father;  but by the grace of God he will one day be in Heaven, sanctified, glorified and sinless. 

A hypocrite, on the other hand, is not a Christian.  His “Christianity” is simply an act.  He has learned the language of a Christian, but underneath his disguise is a proud, self-righteous, wicked heart.  

Saul of Tarsus was such a man.  Though he did not claim to be a Christian; he claimed to be a good Jew, despising Christ and  hating and persecuting Christians.  In  Philippians 3 Paul shares his testimony. In verses 4-6  he tells us of his proud, self-righteous, hypocritical life before he met Christ.  Then in verses 7-14 he glories in Christ and in the wonderful salvation Christ has given to him.   Prior to Saul’s conversion,  he was a Jewish Pharisee and Jesus had labeled them all as hypocrites in Matthew 23.  

Unbeliever, you are the hypocrite! 

If you will compare Matthew 24:51 with Luke 12:46 you will find that in God’s eyes, unbelievers are hypocrites.   If you are an unbeliever, quit looking at the weak, stumbling Christians within the church and look at your own wicked, unbelieving heart.  Your whole life is a sham.  You are the hypocrite.   Jesus’ message of Luke 12:54-59 is addressed to you. This is basically what He is saying to you in this passage. 

You are able to look at weather conditions,  predict a storm and take precautions before the storm, but you do nothing to prepare to face the coming storm of God’s wrath when He judges you for your sins.    When you have done damage to someone or to their property, you are wise enough to see you are going to face a law suit and an expensive trial. So you take steps in advance by attempting to settle out of court.    

So you should be wise enough and honest enough to admit you are a guilty sinner who will one day face God and be condemned to hell.  That’s the condition of all of us  for all have sinned and come short of God’s glory and His holy standards.  Romans 3:23.  

Judgment Day is coming! 

If you continue through life rejecting the salvation God offers you through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus,  you will ultimately face His fury and be condemned to eternal hell.  Read the terrifying account of God’s Judgment that awaits every unbeliever. Revelation 20:11-15.  

Warnings of God’s Judgment abound throughout the New Testament. 

The Bible is clear that we are all sinners and that sinners are going to face God’s judgment.   

John the Baptist warned of it in Matthew 3:7-12   

Peter warned of it whenever he preached.  Acts 2:22-41  3:13-21  II Peter 2:4-6  3:3-12 

Stephen warned of it in Acts 7:51-52.  For such preaching he was stoned to death. 

James warned of judgment.  James 5:7-9 

The writer of Hebrews warned of it in Hebrews 9:27 

Jude wrote about the Old Testament prophet Enoch and his message in Jude 14-15 

The Apostle John gives us the most solemn warning in Revelation 20:11-15 

Jesus, who took our judgment and condemnation  on  the cross, warned us to trust Him and thus escape that Great White Throne Judgment, over which He will one day preside. See John 3:16-18, 36  5:24 

The Apostle Paul had the most to say about the judgment. In Acts 17:30-31 Paul preached to the Athenians about the certainty of a coming judgment in which The Lord Jesus Christ would be the Judge.  

In Romans Paul writes much about the coming judgment. In Romans 2 he teaches that this judgment will be according to four principles. 

1. It will be according to TRUTH. Romans 2:2  Today human courts often fail to discover the truth because of the lack of full knowledge of the case, or because of prejudice.  Jesus’ judgment will be according to truth because He knows each heart and he knows the secret things that men  fail to grasp. 

2. Jesus’ judgment will be according to the deeds of the body.  Romans 2:6 and 3:23  We’re all guilty.  Our deeds are recorded in God’s Books.  See Revelation 20:11-15 again. 

3. Jesus  judges the secret things, including our motives and our thoughts. See Romans 2:16   According to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7  one who has  lustful thoughts is an adulterer. One who hates his brother is a murderer. 

4. Finally, Jesus’ judgment will be absolutely impartial. Romans 2:11  He is not impressed with those who are rich and famous and powerful.  All men, great and small, will one day stand before Him to give an account of their lives;  Jews as well as Gentiles. Romans 2:9,12. 

In the light of that judgment, the sinner stands inexcusable and inescapable. 

First, you will stand inexcusable.  According to Romans 1:20  2:1 and  3:19 you will be silenced.  On that Judgment Day, your mouth will be silenced. You will be  guilty as charged before God. 

Secondly, you cannot escape this judgment.  Romans 2:3   In this world today, guilty criminals  often escape conviction and sentencing through lies, crooked lawyers and money.  Today people plead the 5th Amendment, they post bail, they have connections.Law abiding citizens as well as the victims of their crimes are sickened and disillusioned by mis-trials and crooked juries and judges who allow criminals to go free.  

Judgment Day is circled on God’s calendar. See Acts 17:31.  No one will escape that day when they stand before Christ whom they despised and rejected.  Years ago when I pastored  among the ranchers in the Sand Hills of Nebraska, I sometimes visited with the ranchers when they were corralling cattle to walk up the chute into trucks to go to market. Often the cattle would run back and forth trying to escape being herded into the truck, but the sovereign rancher who directed the whole thing was persistent until every last steer he had chosen for market was forced into the truck.  So it will be for sinners on Judgment Day. No one will escape.    

Why not settle out of court now? 

If you are a wise person, you will humble yourself before God NOW and admit you are a guilty sinner.  You will cast yourself on His mercy, receiving His gracious salvation through Jesus.  In so doing, you have settled out of court.  You will never face that White Throne Judgment.  Read God’s repeated promises concerning this.  John 3:16-18, 36 John 5:24  Romans 8:1  

If you continue to reject Christ,  your heart will only grow harder and your judgment will only grow more severe.  Romans 2:5 

Don’t wait to face Christ at The Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15.  In this age of grace,  trust Christ now who died to pay the full penalty for your sins. Read II Corinthians 5:20-21 and ask Christ to save you right now and discover the peace and joy of sins forgiven and the assurance of eternal life.  Read John 5:24   and Romans 8:1.  As Jesus pleaded with the hypocrites in Luke 12:58-59, settle out of court right now by admitting your guilt before a holy God and trusting the provision of His beloved Son, Jesus.   If you do not trust Him now, you WILL face Him one day and be condemned to eternity in Hell.  You cannot be neutral about Jesus.  You must  either receive Him now as your Saviour and begin learning how to be His disciple (follower); or else  you have rejected Him and will one day face Him as your Judge. 

 

Advertisements

May 29, 2006 - Posted by | Salvation

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.