For a second, imagine this conversation taking place, maybe it has in your life, or maybe you’ve even said these words at one time:
“Why are you a Christian? You know the church is full of hypocrites. Why do you associate with them?”
How do you answer? What do you say to that? You can’t say that there aren`t any hypocrites in the church. History itself points out time after time all the hypocrites, and there may even be some in your own church. To say there are none is to blatantly lie, and you know that. So what do you do?
Well, I cannot give you a clear cut answer, so don’t expect that of me. I only described a situation, and really, a dilemma that we may encounter. I started thinking about this issue as I read my devotions today. I was reading Revelation 2:1-7,about the church in Ephesus that turned their love away from God. They thought they were Christians, and yet they missed the most important part of Christianity, basing it off of works rather than love. Here are my thoughts. I encourage you to read the passage for yourself and not just take my word on it though.
It is possible to be filled with good works, act like a well behaved Christian, and not love God. “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and they you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless,…you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:2-4. Did you catch that last part? “You have left your first love.” The church of Ephesus left God. God should be our first love, and yet He wasn’t there and many times He isn’t in our own lives as well. We can go through the motions of being a good Christian, that much is clear. We can do and say all the right things. We can fool others, BUT we cannot fool God. God knows our hearts. He knows what is in them. He sees them. He hears our thoughts. There is no hiding from God. And if we do not love God, we are just as lost as the next guy. Love for God must be first and foremost in our lives. It must be central to our lives, otherwise, we ourselves are hypocrites. We say we love God, but really we do not love Him how He requires to be loved, or how He deserves, so in that case, loving God is not part of our agenda. We love God only when it is convenient for us, and that is not love.