|by Clint Brown
A member of the Lord's church had been out of duty for several years when a concerned brother asked him why he quit the church. He said, "I've come to realize that they're all just a bunch of hypocrites!" The brother had undoubtedly had some bad experiences with the brethren and must have concluded that the church was no longer worthy of his presence. His reasoning is all too common among many today who grope for excuses to serve themselves rather than the Lord. But how does this reasoning stand the test of truth?
First, not all the brethren are hypocrites. This brother may certainly have witnessed some unfortunate things happen in the brotherhood but he is wrong to make such a blanket statement. The hypocrisy of some doesn't condemn the whole (Rev. 3:4). Besides, our eldest Brother has never been, nor ever will be a hypocrite (Heb. 2:11; I Pet. 2:22).
Secondly, his quitting the Lord makes him a hypocrite, too. He becomes every bit what he himself condemns (Rom. 2:3). He is under the obligation to honor and glorify his Creator and instead he is shoving it back in God's face by disobeying His word (I Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7). Ah, consistency, "thou art a jewel."
Also, he is failing to obey Matthew 18:15. If your brother sins against you, you go and tell him his fault between you and him alone, don't just quit! This brother's thinking not only makes him a hypocrite, it will condemn his soul. We are taught to love one another (I Thess. 4:9). When a brother is caught in sin, we show our love for him by rebuke and encouragement (Gal. 6:1; II Thess. 3:15), not by abandonment.
Finally, our brother is only compounding his problem. Instead of having to spend a few hours a week with "a bunch of hypocrites," he is now going to spend an eternity with them. The servant whom the Master finds unfaithful at His coming will "appoint him his portion with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt. 24:51). Yes, the Judgment will weed out those who searched the brotherhood for any and every excuse to not faithfully serve the Lord.
Take this time to honestly ask yourself this question: "Am I faithfully serving the Lord, or am I looking for an excuse where there isn't one?"
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