In Matthew 15:7-9, Jesus said “7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
Well, don’t get offended, but many of us worry more about what people think rather than what the LORD thinks of us; and may follow trends and/or ordinances set by man instead of God’s commands.
And, one reason some people don’t attend church services is because our behavior does not always reflect the teachings of Christ. And Jesus said it well in verse eight above, that some honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. Sadly, many don’t realize they can have a real relationship with Jesus, through God’s Spirit, who dwells in our hearts when we repent of our sins (remorsefully turning away from that old sinful life) and turn to Jesus, inviting Him into our hearts, fully realizing we need Him and truly wanting salvation. He knows our hearts.
And you and I can tell where one’s heart truly is, too, using His method of discernment, taught in verses 18, 19 & 20 of Matthew 15, “18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”
He also gave us another way to discern what’s truly in a persons’ heart, by looking at the fruit a person is producing. The fruit is what we do, not what we say. Luke 6:42-45
You see, many people talk good, and posture well in public, but what about at home? I’m not pointing fingers. If I were, my thumb would be pointing at me! We’re all guilty of misbehaving and thinking wrong thoughts. I’m merely pointing out that Jesus knows us inside and out. And even though we are as we are, He is merciful, quick to forgive and slow to anger. He came to heal and save.
“10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:10-13
Last week I challenged you to find “I know you not.” Well, here’s one: Luke 13:24-30
“23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.”
There will be a judgment (see Revelation 20:11-15). But read verses 28-30 again.
It says “ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God” so that means by our faith in Christ Jesus we will get in, but some will be “thrust out.”
Well, why? Why will some be thrust out? And “there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” Why?
Could that mean some posturing Christians who confidently attend church each Sunday may barely get in last? And some believers, who don’t go but actually LIVE humble, giving lives, caring and helping others, (like Christ taught us) may get in first? Perhaps their “fruit” is good and their hearts are truly seeking God? Selah