by Jerry Branch

The Horror of a Hollow Confession
Jerry Branch
Matthew 7: 21-23

When God directed me to this passage of scripture I knew I was in trouble, because I knew I was going to have to scrutinize my life. I knew I was going to have to deal with my own hypocrisy.

Because there have been times when I have preached on prayer, and yet my own prayer life was lacking. I have urged people to witness when I was not an exemplary soul winner. I have urged people to submit to the lordship of Christ when I knew my surrender to Him was incomplete.

I want people to think I am a good Christian, but all too often I am a Pharisee. I have made clean the outside of the cup and platter, but what is on the inside doesn't always match up with the outside. I may look the part of a staunch believer. I have my Bible marked up with the best of them. I give tithes and offerings as the Bible commands. I believe in the absolute inerrancy of scripture. I am sometimes severe in my judgment of others, but lenient in judging myself. I say that I am a man of faith, but I often make provision for the flesh, fearing that God won't come through.

I sometimes wonder what the Lord will say of me at the judgment seat of Christ, where believers will be judged to determine their eternal rewards. But this passage is even more direct and frightening than that. Jesus is talking about people who come to church, sing the hymns, put their money in the plate, serve as greeters, ushers, choir members, committee members, Sunday School teachers and even preach the Gospel, but who are not saved. They are living a lie. They have deceived themselves. They are counterfeit Christians. Frauds. Charlatans.

You can't drink from the devil's cup on Saturday night and from the Lord's cup on Sunday morning and think you are a Christian. A hypocrite is a cloud without rain, a blossoming tree without fruit, a star without light, a shell without a kernel, a well without water, and a manikin without life. ...

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