Let’s pretend that we are living in the first century in Jerusalem. We are watching the events of Acts 2 as they unfold. This chapter details for us the beginning of the church. This is the church or kingdom that was prophesied (Is. 2:1-4; Dan. 2:44; Joel 2:28; Mt. 3:1-2) It is the kingdom Christ promised to build (Mt. 16:16ff; Mk. 9:1). As Peter preached the first gospel sermon under the Christian Dispensation, those listening were “pricked in their hearts” by the preaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. They “said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter answered, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38). Then verse 47 states, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Now, here is the question. “To which church did the Lord add the saved?” Was it to the Roman Catholic Church or maybe one of the major Protestant Denominations? Perhaps it was one of the hundreds of smaller groups that exist throughout America today. Please consider that the Lord could not have added souls to these bodies! None of these organizations existed in the first century! These organizations came into existence hundreds of years after the events of Acts 2! There was only one church then and only one church now (Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 4:4; there is one body and that body is the church).
Recently a man with three wives has come into the public spotlight. On national television he spoke about the marriages and how he feels about each wife. While this may seem unimportant to some people we need to consider what the New Testament teaches on this subject. Continue reading “Multiple Marriages by Leon Brashear”
Maybe you have heard people say that “there are too many hypocrites in the church”. Is it true that there are hypocrites in the church? Yes! By the church we do not refer to denominations or any man made religion. We are referring to the church of Christ which was bought with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Are there hypocrites among us? Yes, most likely there are.
As Christians we need to face up to this fact and learn how to discuss this with souls we are trying to reach with the gospel (1 Pet. 3:15). We need to help others understand that this is not a good reason for failing to obey God.
A hypocrite is one who pretends to be something he is not. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a hypocrite as “a pretender; one who pretends to be better than he really is.” In Greek plays the word hypocrite referred to individuals in a play who wore a mask and pretended to be the character the mask represented.
Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of many who opposed him, especially the scribes and Pharisees (Mt. 6:1-2, 5, 16; 23:3-4, 13-15, 23, 25, 27, and 29). In Acts 5 the husband and wife team of Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of hypocrisy. They sold the land and pretended to bring the full amount to the apostles while actually keeping back some of the money. Their sin was in lying to the Holy Spirit and God punished them severely for their sin! We must help our friends and family members who have been turned off by the inconsistency in the lives of a few members. We must make them see that the sins of a few hypocrites are not a picture of the whole church. Our friends would not want us to reject them as a friend because one of their family members was an outlaw and ended up in prison. If you and I are good friends would you want me to judge your whole family because one or two of your family members lived on the wrong side of the law? For those who are hypocrites, the sobering reality is that not only are they lost in their present condition but they also are causing others to stumble. Yes, a hypocrite is a stumbling block. Remember, the ones we are trying to teach are often weak in Bible knowledge. They need to be taught the gospel and once they obey they will still need the milk of the word as they begin their new life in Christ (1 Pet. 2:2; Mt. 28:19-20). New Christians need all of the help we can give them and they do not need any stumbling blocks in their way. If you are not a Christian please do not let one or two hypocrites keep you out of heaven. Remember, you do not want to let anything come between you and God. While you may be bothered and even grieved about the hypocrisy you see in others, do not let it cost you your soul (Mt. 7:21-23; Lk. 6:46; Jn. 14:15).