Wednesday, May 31, 2023
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27,28 KJV).
Which matters most—outward or inward?
He had worn his conspicuous, elegant robe to the funeral home. My family members huddled to greet this religious leader in the lobby. Having just arrived, he was ready to perform the “services” for a dearly departed relative of mine. After they had shaken his hand, I watched how he proceeded to break away from the crowd and stroll to a table whereon was a bowl of delicious mints. He selected a candy, popped it into his mouth, tossed the wrapper onto the tabletop, and passed on by. Someone else would have to throw away his trash!
Later, during the “services,” he bellowed a long series of prayers in a book, stumbling over the simplest words and having to correct himself numerous times. It was as if he were racing to see how much he could get through so he could depart quicker. He seemed bored, like it was mindless repetition, something he needed to endure because he had to “play the part” for all the devout souls observing him. While only the Lord knows his heart, it looked like it was done out of religious duty rather than genuine worship of God. If the man was too lazy to discard his own garbage, whatever he believed made no positive difference in his life, so the impression was given it cannot improve anyone else’s condition either.
Remember, dear friends, we can fool some people some of the time, but we cannot fool all people all of the time, and we can fool God none of the time. Dispensational Bible study will empower us to avoid religious hypocrisy, for we know the life of Jesus Christ is manifested in us as we walk by faith in God’s Word to us, Romans through Philemon. What matters most is on the inside (heart faith), not outside (“fair shew in the flesh;” Galatians 6:12,13). Here is genuine, not artificial, Christianity.
*NOTE: Dear Saints, we now close 12 full years of “333 Words of Grace!” 🙂