Believers everywhere are confronted with those who talk a lot about God and godliness, but whose lives are lived in a cauldron of indifference to those same sentiments. It is very confusing, and cynicism inducing, to see some of those who are deemed paragons of virtue, get arrested, charged, and convicted just like the common criminals in the street.
Truth be told, the more some people pontificate their virtues, the more they try to conceal their true self from scrutiny.
Such as happened just recently in London, in the United Kingdom, is quite revealing.
Jimmy Savile, the popular disc jockey for British Broadcasting Corporation, television presenter, media personality and charity fundraiser, for many decades was seen as a "white knight" by the establishment. Hordes of screaming, infantile, feckless young people gathered in their thousands to get on to his programme. Whenever he spoke, he was always a model of decency, warmth and goodness, so much so that the British establishment gave him a Knighthood in the 1990 Queen's Birthday Honours.
But Jimmy Savile was a mighty hypocrite, and a lecherous beast most vile.
"After his death, hundreds of allegations of child sex abuse and rape finally emerged, leading the police to believe that Savile was a predatory sex offender, and may have been one of Britain's most prolific sexual offenders" Wikipedia, 23 May 2014.
This is not to condemn a vile man for his evil past, since, let us be fair, we are all sinners and in need of God's grace and redemption.
No, this is to focus on something more important, and to jog us out of our somnolence, and awaken us to how we can sleepwalk our way into giving support to those who wish to destroy what we hold dear.
Jimmy Savile was massively popular, even the Catholic Church bestowed on him honours, for he was a Roman Catholic, and he turned out to be a two-faced monster; showing one face in public and the opposite in private.
This is about naked hypocrisy in general, institutional hypocrisy in particular, that is practiced day in and day out, in order to deceive you and make you a part of their wickedness, yea a tool, of their desire to keep people unenlightened. It's a playbook to damn souls, and they resort to it time and again, because people are negligent in pursuing the truth for themselves; they can't be bothered to think for themselves and are led like sheep to the slaughter.
Because of hypocrisy, believers are aligning with people whom they think are friends but in truth they are fierce enemies. Friends will never seek to destroy you, but enemies might, and anyone who is an enemy of the cross of Jesus Christ cannot be a believer's true friend.
Jesus Christ dealt with hypocrisy in his Sermon on the Mount like this:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)
Hypocrites may talk, and sometimes talk real pretty, but they never do God's will.
It is impossible to do God's will by doing that which God condemns. You do not uphold Biblical principles, and the laws of God, by breaking them. Preaching and teaching in defiance of established Christian theology are not signs of dedication to God, but aberrant theology, leading souls away from God. True believers live in obedience and submission to God, and the Holy Bible.
Here is what Jesus Christ said about submission to his lordship and how he tied it into friendship: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14)
Jesus made it clear that you can be his friend ONLY if you do his commands. You are not Jesus' friend because you go to church, or pay substantial tithes, or do any number of things that may please the world. What Jesus requires is obedience to his commands.
So what are his commands?
Jesus' commands are many, but here is one that is very important, and so many believers are tripping over, and never seem to get right.
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34)
The command to love one another is universal, and every child of God, from wherever in the universe, is my sister, or my brother, and merits my love. When my fellow believer, anywhere in the world hurts, I also hurt, because in Christ we are one. As believers, we really need to understand, and practice this, day in and day out, for it is vitally important.
My fellow believer in far away Asia, or Africa, or Antarctica, is my friend, and my fellow travelling companion in Christ, and far more to be desired as a buddy than my next-door neighbour, who derides God, and thinks Christianity is foolishness.
Believers need to understand that your colour, your nationality, your ethnicity, your social status in life, your church affiliation and denomination, and all these factors of identification matter zero with God.
What matters to God is that you are adopted into his family and you therefore have a particular and blessed status in him. The Bible sweetly puts it like this, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:4-6)
Everywhere in the world, those who, because of their adoption through Christ, cry Abba, Father, are my sisters and brothers in Christ; and therefore, my friends. And the least I can do, because they are my friends, is to reach out to them, offer my true love and show Christian solidarity and, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." (Romans 12:15)
The world is full of people who have ill-will towards people of faith, and especially towards Christians, so it is necessary that Christians band together, and pray, and support all Christians across the globe, as they, like us, fight the good fight of faith.
Those whom are branded as undesirables, and even as threats, are not necessarily so. Believers need to be guided by God, and not by self-seeking, degenerate leaders, who have a passion for denigrating everything Christian, so that they might be elevated in the eyes of the liberal, anti-Christ, morally challenged, vocal segment of society.
Here are four leaders; as a believer identify the ones that are your friend.
1. President Obama, United States President, a liberal Christian who promotes same-sex marriage and is a strong endorser of homosexuality.
2. President Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, a committed Christian and a defender of the poor, a strong critic of same-sex marriage and a diehard opponent of homosexuality.
3. President Putin, President of Russia, a conservative Christian, a strong opponent of same-sex marriage and homosexuality and a defender of traditional moral values.
4. Prime Minister Cameron, United Kingdom Prime Minister, a conservative, strong believer in same-sex marriage and homosexuality who excoriated Africa to promote same-sex marriage and homosexuality or risk U.K's aid being withdrawn.
If you are one of those believers that think a good living standard, perhaps your version of democracy, and the freedom to do as you like - flood the airways and television screens with obscenities and pornography, reduce performing arts to sex-shows, etc., - are what matters most in life, then it will not be surprising if you do not know who your true friends are.
The Bible also gave this powerful and necessary command, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)
I am struggling with a mighty, backbreaking, spiritual load, same as you are, and I need some help, from someone who cares, and will show himself as my true friend. It is crucial that I get that help, less I perish, but my judgement is poor. I am betwixt a rock and a very hard place, so who will help me? This is the heartfelt cry of some believers.
With God's help, and through his ineffable grace, He will elevate you to the place where your eyes are opened and you will discern who your true friends are. And just like the episode Jesus mentioned in Luke 10:30-37, your true friend will be identified, but it will, in all likelihood, not be who you think.
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013