“But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 NKJV
We have many hearers of the Word; yet, few doers of the Word. Multitudes live in the realm of mental ascent. They believe that the Bible is the Word of God; yet, they disallow any authority of His Word to take place within their hearts.
I’m sure all of us can think of the perfect example of a hearer. For some of us, maybe it’s simply looking in the mirror. The Christian who is able to quote Scripture and look impressive in front of a crowd; yet lacks discipline and obedience in their life is living in dangerous territory. This may seem judgmental, but it is in love. “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” (1 Corinthians 5:12 ESV). Exposing the "hearers" is a tough truth to speak on, but nevertheless, it is truth. We are called to be men and women of God. We are to be examples of Christ when we enroll into His schooling. Simply stating truth is not enough; we must act upon it.
What a terrible tragedy it is that we have multitudes running around with the name “Christian” and living like the world. No wonder we have so many who bash Christianity; they see the hypocrisy within the church and ourselves! We are all hypocrites at the end of the day, but the difference between the genuine believer and the false convert is the continued work of sanctification. The genuine believer is striving to be more like Christ and live like Christ than they are going through the motions and enticing their selfish desires.
The idleness of American Christianity is damning our generation. When people see no change within a self-professed believer, why then must they believe that there is a God? It’s time to hold the body of Christ accountable. It’s time to stop allowing masses within the church to be polluted with the deceived mindset that “I can live in my carnality during the week and come to Church on Sunday and worship God. Surely that is enough.” That is not enough; but sadly, many churches are neglecting the obedience factor of the Word of God. Those whose Christian lives are solely based on an hour or two of church for the entire week have most likely deceived themselves. They pretend to love God, but they blend in perfectly with the world.
God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV), ““Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”” What does the Lord see when He looks at your heart? What streams of water flow through your vessel? Is your water rich in the Spirit, or polluted by your own carnality? We must assess what we are living for with an honest, truthful heart.
I commend the professed Atheist who says, “Though there be proof of God, I would rather live my life the way I choose.” Better to be him than the so-called Christian who says “I love the Lord” and lacks any evidence of change within their heart or lifestyle. At least one is honest with themselves and the world, rather than deceptive and mendacious.
Body of Christ, we are called to be set apart. There is a day coming when we will be tested. When darkness arises, God will see who truly stands. May we choose this day to serve the Lord our God. May we not deceive ourselves into thinking we are on the way to Heaven; when in fact, we are not. Let us be hearers AND doers, for “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13 ESV).