And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." Mark 7:20-23 (ESV)
So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matt 23:28 (ESV)
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matt 7:15-20 (ESV)
Certain computers contain the symbol INTEL inside which stands for quality. It sets computers apart. For those who are serious about their computing needs they are particular about which brand of processor they use inside their computers.
The only way a computer could be found with the INTEL inside sticker was if it contained a genuine INTEL processor. Wouldn't it upset you if you bought an INTEL INSIDE computer only to find that it did not contain an INTEL processor but some other make or model? Would it disturb you to find that what was advertised on the outside was not what was contained on the inside? I would bet that you would be very unhappy to have spent extra money for a genuine INTEL product only to find a cheap imitation inside the unit.
You can tell by the way a processor handles information whether it is a genuine INTEL processor or one of the other models on the market. IBM has certain benchmarks when it sets out to produce a processor for general use. These benchmarks are the envy of the computing world and other manufacturers use these benchmarks to determine how their own product compares. No amount of imitation can replace an original.
The same is true of Christians. They wear a label indicating what is supposed to be on the inside. I am afraid that many times what lies inside is not what is advertised on the outside.
Yes you can make an INTEL inside sticker to place on every computer on a store shelf but just because it wears that label does not mean it is the real thing. Many wear the label Christian much like a phony INTEL INSIDE sticker. They use the designer label to fit in among the elite, but when they are taken apart and examined for what is inside they fail to meet the criteria of the genuine product.
Brandishing about the label Christian, without a genuine encounter with God, makes the whole market suspect when others are searching for how a true Christian acts and lives. If every computer manufactured where to contain the label INTEL INSIDE whether it did or did not, it would not make a bit of difference what was on the inside because people were only buying it for the label. When the computer finally broke down and they went to get it repaired then it would matter what was actually on the inside because it is then that the true nature of the product is discovered. It is only when hardships come and problems arise that the true nature of the person can be seen. The designer label is no longer what sets them apart from the others. It is what is on the inside that will make the difference.
Hearing celebrities and rock stars who make a living from promoting hate, lust, drugs and profanity, stand up and thank God for a reward they receive is really disheartening. They are trying to wear a genuine Christian LABEL even though the “stuff” on that label does not live within them.
Wearing designer Christian Apparel does not make one a genuine Christian anymore than affixing an INTEL INSIDE label on a MAC computer makes it a genuine INTEL computer. Using Christian slang and lingo does not qualify you as the genuine article anymore than the fact that Mac's can run windows programs makes the Mac an IBM machine. It clones the actions and the functions, but the processing of that data is not handled the same way as a true IBM machine would handle it.
Speaking like a Christian, going to church and going through the motions does not make you a genuine Christian. How you think and act when no one is looking, determines what is truly on the INSIDE.
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