"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." - Matt 23:27-28 (NASU)
Jesus reserved his harshest words for the Pharisees, because they were supposed to be beacons of Godliness, drawing people into a right relationship with God, but their actuations did exactly the opposite.
Today, Christians are supposed to be light to this world. Jesus exhorts us to "Let your light shine before men..." Sadly, nay despicably, however, there are Christians who would rather spew out self-righteous statements that do nothing to gain others for Christ.
This is in no more evidence than in the wake of calamities such as hurricane Katrina (or the Tsunamis of the recent past). There are Christians who have the gall to declare that Katrina was a judgment of God. Try to tell that to a survivor who is homeless and grieving over the loss of life and property, and see if you can turn her to God.
The Bible I'm reading tells me this: "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" - Romans 2:4 (underline mine). It's the kindness, not the wrath or judgment of God, that leads people into repentance.
We're all sinners and need the saving grace of our Lord Jesus, and those who have received that grace must now reveal that same grace to others, especially those who are hurting and in need. It's easy to make summary judgments when you're high and dry. But remember that the very person who had all the right to stay high and dry came down from his heavenly throne to heal those who were low and downtrodden.
Jesus was the embodiment of the Good Samaritan. It is for the sake of the world that Christians should follow in his footsteps. Indeed, there are countless who have. Yet, it's the few who would adamantly choose to reveal hellish reality by being modern-day Pharisees.
To them I repeat the words of the Messiah: Shame on you!
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Thanks for this.God's mercies endures forever.If only we run to Him in true repentance, then He's willing to forgive after we confess our sins to Him.Good writing, keep it up and God bless you.
Love sent, Justus
We can never ignore or try to play down the wrath or judgment of God. What about Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt; Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed; Ananias and Sapphira falling down dead within an hour of each other after withholding the money due to God? Many would agree that America as a nation has turned away from God in terms of Government policy - abortion laws, no prayer in schools, "gay" marriages etc.