Isn't it crazy that Jesus tells the majority of the religious leaders of His day that they will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time? Matthew 23:35
I find that statement amazing. He often calls them blind guides leading the blind.
Let's think about this. These people devoted their entire lives to religion and Jesus is telling them they are going to Hell because they are just like their father, the Devil. What made them so bad? They didn't live wildly sinful lives. They went to church regularly. They were faithful to pay their tithe. They prayed. They fasted. How could Jesus tell them that they were following the Devil? That raises some interesting questions and observations in my mind. The Devil attending church regularly? Praying? Tithing?
A peak into another day in the life of Jesus reveals another shocking truth about our holy God.
Luke 18:9 says,
Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:
He talks about two men that went to the temple to pray, one reciting all of the good things he fills his life with, going to church, paying his tithe, he never cheats, doesn't commit adultery, fasts twice a week and doesn't hang out with sinners. A godly man by all appearances, right?
The second man. He couldn't even lift his eyes toward Heaven, instead he beat his breast in sorrow and said to God, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' That's it.
That. is. it.
"You see this broken repentant sinner, he gets it!"
The broken sinner is the one who is justified in God's sight. Not the man striving so hard to be righteous. Nothing we do will ever make us right with God. You can read the accounting in Luke 18:9-14
I fear that our view of God is askew, which makes it all wrong, which is a big deal.
God sees all of our praying, tithing, church going activity as filthiness if our motives are wrong.
Think about this, no matter how many times we go to church every week, how faithful we are to tithe, how many retreats we go to, or lead, how many classes we take, or teach, how many children we sponsor, how many wells we fund, how much money we give away, how many doors we knock on, how many tracts we give away, how many books we read, how often we fast, or how much time we sacrifice.........
We still have much much more in common with the reprobate sinner than with a holy God.
Sometimes I wonder when God says 'Come out from among them and be separate' in 2Corinthians 6:16-7:1 if He isn't calling us out of the critical judgemental attitude that permeates religion just as much today as it did when He warned the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day.
Calling us out to a life of true holiness.