One of the greatest leadership messages ever preached by Jesus was Matthew chapter 23. It was perhaps, His last greatest preaching message.
By anyone’s standard, if Jesus were to preach at some of these leadership meetings of today, the whole crowd would be ready to stone Him and crucify Him the same day without a trial.
Today, there are many preachers that walk up to their pulpits and do not think about repentance and receiving forgiveness for their own sins.
They perform their sacerdotal functions on impulse. As “professional pulpiteers, “ we know how to do what we do blindfolded. We know just what to pray to get the right kind of feel before we assume the podium. We preeeeeacccccch with ease.
After it’s all over, we go back to the cave of dead man’s bone, the pastor’s study. We unzip our robes and place them in our garment bags. When we get home we take our suits off to prepare to take it to the cleaners. Our Bibles, well….we put it back on the bookshelf until next week.
As we walk to the cars, under security escort, and drive off, it’s back to business as usual.
We watch women lustfully, fantasize about having sex with them other than our wives, or worse, we have sex with our wives, thinking that it’s the woman we lusted after in our wicked unrepentant minds. Or worse, we make excuses like, “I forgot something at the church, I’ll be back.”
That’s code for…. Rendezvous with sister Suzie Q or mister Sonny Q for adultery, fornication, homosexual, or bisexual sex.
Hot under the collar? Blushing?
This is the heart of the hypocrite.
The man or woman of God that you thought was right before God.
Or this is the man or woman of God and you already know that this is what’s up, and you are ok with it. They are just human.
Or, child molestation and sex with minors. Plenty of these kinds of perverts.
And don’t forget the porn watching, self gratification, commonly called masturbation pastors, preachers, praise and worship singers, dancers, and deacons.
Oh. And don’t forget about the deft defying music minister that floors the people every week but is found in the hotel room with a praise and worship leader or worse, a male praise and worship leader. Or, perhaps, hanging out miles out of town with another homosexual person.
Some of the greatest pulpiteers live like this every week and it’s a wonder that they are ever standing before people. Call it the fumes of His mercy. Many of us think that this is not happening but let’s not fool ourselves. The sexual immorality of our times has crept into the church and we have yet to see massive repentance.
For now, the church is addressing same sex issues with vigor unlike at anytime. However, behind all this is the vast majority of people that still live closet lives. Not just homosexuals.
We are talking about people and leaders in the Body that think that now that the spot light is off of them, they can carry on without detection. It’s strange that all of a sudden, the issues of our day could be used as cover to keep Secret Sexual Sins a secret.
But this is precisely what is happening.
Never judge a book by its cover but we can’t trust the cover any longer.
Week after week, I came to preach and the heart of the hypocrite was bigger than life in me. If I could preach other sermons, pretending to be right, knowing full well I was wrong, then I could continue in my sin of porn and masturbation.
You kind of figure that if you are married, there is no need for this sin, but it is very easy to fool yourself into thinking that you need to do this because you need it.
Without going into too much detail, from 1998 to 2008, porn was a regular thing in my life; no relapse. From 1976 to 2009, habitual masturbation was a regular thing in my life, with a few relapses since then.
There came a point in my life where if I am going to please the Father completely, I need to stop and not be hypocritical about it. The worst kind of preacher is a hypocritical preacher. We have no business handling the Word of God if we cannot live by the Word ourselves.
So, I made a statement that if I go down this path again, that’s it for ministry. I will not step down. I will stop and leave the ministry for good, never to be heard from again. While repentance opens the door for a return, I would never even entertain the thought of returning if sin comes back into my life.
I can’t teach others to stop if I can’t stop.
Therefore, I must do my “due diligence.” Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs or flows the issues of life.”
If I can’t keep my heart, then I am in the wrong business. You can’t help people when you refuse help for yourself. That’s why it is important that we measure our lives based on our willingness to keep His commandments, for His commandments are not burdensome.
Leaders are held to a higher standard and if we fail this standard, it is deemed by others as permission to sin. That’s why we must do everything in accordance with His Word. I do not have time to play Internet or FB games. It distracts me from concentrating on the Word of God for me. Sermons is not what I am building. Life building is what I am building.
And yes, I lead a boring life.
Me and God.
The enemy doesn’t want me to have any success at destroying what almost destroyed me. Therefore, if I come across serious, you better believe that I am deadly serious about what I am doing. The devil would love to have my name back in his trophy case. MY name was removed by the grace of God and it will stay off of that trophy.
You can go ahead and be a hypocrite. No one will stop you. But one thing that you have to look forward to. Accountability before the throne of God.
The power to live a victorious life begins with acknowledging that you need help. You need someone that can show you how to take the Word of God and apply it to your own life. It took me a long time to take the Word and work the Word for me. I have not yet apprehended as Paul said.
I am still learning some things about me and the Lord is showing me what I need to do to make sure that I am right before Him. The focus is on me. God knows how to help His people, and He knows how to help me. So it makes no sense trying to help others if the Word can’t help me.
But to help others, The Hypocrite must have its funeral preached, burial detail standing by, twenty-one guns salutes sounded, firing party firing its volleys, taps played, flag presented. Depart forever. Never to return.
As the 10th anniversary of a dark day approach, once again, the families that were left behind will mourn their loss on this day of infamy. It was an interracial tragedy. No one race of people suffered alone.
It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day when two airplanes struck the north and south towers.
Two more aircrafts, destined for another deadly assault were racing to hit their targets. One crashed, in what was called utter confusion, into the Pentagon. Sheer fortune on the terrorist driver of the craft. I refuse to call him a pilot because it would put him in a class of the skilled pilots that were killed that day before the planes crashed.
The other aircraft crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania but not by the will of the terrorist driver by choice. There were selfless heros on that plane. All were heros because they knew that one way or another, their precious lives would end, and they didn’t want the terrorists to succeed.
I was on the roof of my father’s apartment building after the first plane struck the north tower. Just before the first attack, my wife drove our daughter to school. I ran to our usual voting district to vote, I came home, and went to bed. But for some strange reason, I turned on the TV.
It was just after 9 AM when the most horrible pictures flashed on the screen.
Smoke was billowing from the north tower of the World Trade Center.
I had put on some clothes and went to the roof to get a bird’s eye view of the “accident.”
If you’ve been inside the World Trade Center, it was awesome.
When I was training to be a teller for Manufacturers Hanover (I know, this is going back in time), we had to ride the elevator to get to the training floor. Riding in these elevators is like riding an airplane. If you are not used to it, your brains along with your heart, falls into your belly. The “G” or gravity force going up nailed you to the floor. Going down was like riding in an airplane with almost zero “G’s.” Your ears would “pop” in either direction.
When you go to the 79th or 80th something floor (I don’t recall which floor), you transferred to a local elevator. As you looked out the window, the sky is the limit. You could see for miles. On days that it would rain, you were in the rain clouds or above it. On windy days, both towers would take turns swaying.
My sister went to the towers one day. On that particular day, she observed a bird flying towards the building. It hit the window. Beak first and slid down like in the cartoons.
On occasion, there would be “gospel concerts” on the grounds of the WTC. Yeah, God was there using His people to get people saved from their sins.
I wondered who listened and who refused the gospel of Jesus Christ?
As a young teenager in Junior High, we would look out the window and see the cranes assemble the towers. It was magnificent. Sometimes we forget that one day, people would work in these buildings because the structures tend to overshadow the fact that humans would one day occupy these buildings.
As I was taking pictures on the roof on that fateful day, I looked up and two planes flew over where I was standing. They were flying unusually close. At that time, the FAA had not given the order for all aircraft to land.
I mentioned the word “accident” because a few years before 9/11, a plane flew around to go up the Hudson River to land in LaGuardia Airport. This airplane was under 1,500 feet and was turning towards the south tower when the air traffic controller ordered the pilot to turn right and climb to 3,000 feet. 3,000 feet is the holding pattern altitude for certain situations at that time.
The plane barely missed the tower.
For a plane to hit the north tower, I thought at first, that this was definitely an accident. Pilot error or instrument error.
As an Operations Specialist in the Navy over 30 years ago, we are not air traffic controllers, however, depending upon ship assignments we are to know the rules. On board the ship that I last served, the USS Savannah AOR4, we had CH-46’s onboard, and we had to qualify on “vectoring” the helicopters towards the ship in low visibility situations to land on the flight deck astern.
There is IFR and VFR rules. IFR is “Instrument Flying Rules” and VFR is “Visual Flying Rules.” With the north tower struck by an airplane, how could it be a malfunction with instruments when you can see as clear as day out the cockpit window?
Anyway, I thought that this was definitely an accident until out of the corner of my eye, an ominous sight. It was a United Airlines plane that rapidly descended and struct the south tower. I counted the seconds because sound travels at 1,100 feet per second. It took 2 and a half seconds for me to feel the blast and the heat.
It was then that I knew that we were under attack and that lives were lost in an apparent coordinated terrorist attack on US soil.
The first thing on my mind was, it’s an attack. It’s time to re-up. It’s time to go to war with whoever attacked the US. My wife and daughter didn’t want me to go and cried.
Obviously, I didn’t go but others did.
Some to never make it back.
In a nut shell, here’s what we have yet to learn.
Everything about America isn’t as what it seems. Since the idea of democracy was born, humans without God can be prideful, arrogant, greedy or covetous, lascivious, and destructive. Just that evening after the attacks, both sides of the government stood on the steps to sing “God Bless America.”
At every Yankee game, during the seventh inning, they sing “God Bless America.”
America, God cannot bless us when we live in sin. God cannot bless us when we blatantly snub God by legislating sin called same sex unions. God cannot bless us when pastors are living extravagant lives that poor people dream of having while we preach to them. God cannot bless us when we pastors live secret lives of sexual immorality and permit music ministers to play while they live homosexual or bisexual lifestyles. God cannot bless us if singers that claim to be singing for the Lord watch porn and gratify themselves. God cannot bless us if we are doing all these things.
God cannot bless us while we live any old kind of way.
Church attendance is down because the sinning hypocrites of the world calls the church a bunch of hypocrites and they are mostly right. NO church is perfect, but there is someone out there that is living right, telling the truth, and helping the desperately poor folks in their neighborhoods. Some church is doing the right thing.
According to one statistic, 65% of people view church on the Internet. They never come out to church for 3 basic reasons.
3. Church Hurt.
The terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and economic turmoil that America and the other nations is experiencing is consequential judgment.
Luke 13:1-5 is like reading the Daily News.
The issue is clear. Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
The issue is not just attending church for attendance’ sake. The issue is getting into and developing a relationship with the Father, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the bottom line of the church. To live lives apart from the way the world lives it and to show that we have been changed by the power of God.
To extend and teach by example faith, hope, love, and forgiveness from a non condemning and non compromising position.
The church is not just a “charitable organization.”
The church is an organized organism. We live to please the Lord. We live to worship the Lord. We live to honor the Lord. We live the life of Jesus Christ unapologetically. We tolerate the person, not the sins a person commit.
In Him we live and move and have our being (see Acts 17:28).
God attached consequential judgment as a penalty for the sins man intentionally commits. For instance, when you see a sign that says “Danger 600 Volts. Do Not Touch,” it is there for a reason. Yet, people foolishly touch it. It’s the same with sin. No one escapes the deadly penalty.
End time judgment is God’s direct hand on every man. End time judgment will come later according to the book of Revelation from chapters 4 to 20.
We see evidence of consequential judgment in the OT (Old Testament).
When Israel obeyed the Lord’s commands, they were spared consequential judgment. When they sinned, they would receive judgment. The ultimate judgment was when Israel was exiled to Babylon.
Every year before the death of Christ, the Jews would celebrate the Passover to “atone” or cover their sins.
However, after the death of Christ, there is no longer a need to “atone” for sin (see Hebrews 9:6-15). When we come to Christ and believe that His sacrifice or propitiation forever took away our sins, we have eternal life (see John 3:15-16).
However, because man insist on disobeying the Lord, judgment is meted out as a consequence for sin.
The people of this nation continues to sin before God.
We haven’t learned a thing.
We, as a nation, both inside and outside the church, continue in sin.
All this can turn around if we find a reputable place of worship where the gospel is neither watered down or compromised. Where consecration, dedication, and sanctification to the Lord is the byword of our lives. When sin is no longer excused but washed away by the blood of the Lamb.
Where people can go and hear the unadulterated Word of God. Where a passion for Jesus and a yearning to be close to God is borne. Where true believers incorporate the Word of God into every day living to please God, and with His help and grace, change our immoral ways to live holy before God. Where believers come together to live victoriously over sin and the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the nations turn back to God in repentance with godly sorrow for sin, we could potentially add years to the life of a nation before a definite turn for the worse occurs.
We still have time, but, if we don’t repent, then we haven’t learned a thing.