The Greatest Deception – Part 2
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)
It grieves me that in the twenty-first century there are still “Christian churches” that won’t welcome men and women of another race even though Christ died for them. You can try all day to explain it away, but you can’t escape the evil and hypocrisy of it.
No wonder the Spirit of God is a stranger to so many churches across the land. He was sent to tenderly draw people to Christ, yet some congregations are shunning part of the world Christ died for. This sin —and there is no other word for it— is at the top of the list of things holding back spiritual revival. Pornography, immorality, and materialism are ugly sins that have slain their thousands, but who can measure the damage done to the kingdom of God by barren, bigoted churchgoers? How could God send showers of blessing upon unrepentant congregations who practice loveless discrimination?
I fear that so-called “fundamentalists” are often the worst culprits when it comes to this kind of hypocrisy. They proudly thump their Bibles and spend time hunting for anything that smacks of heresy. Unfortunately for them, they may one day be revealed as the worst heretics of all.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4:20-21).
As I travel around the country, I witness firsthand the spiritual hardness and bigotry that disgraces the name of Christ. I write about it here with deep sadness because God’s kingdom suffers reproach on account of the absence of Christlike love among his people. At the judgment seat of Christ we will all have to give an account of our own fruit bearing.
If you recognize yourself or your church in what I have said, find a quiet place to be with God. Humble yourself in his presence and ask him to purge you of all that is unkind and hurtful. May all of us seek his face today for a personal revival that will bear fruit to the praise of the glory of his grace.
-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from Breakthrough Prayer)
Read 1 John 4:16-21.