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APPEARANCES

April 7, 2016

Thursday

 

Matthew 23:28

 

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

 

 

LESSON

 

The Jerusalem Jews whitewashed grave markers just before Passover to alert pilgrims to their presence. They did this so these strangers would not unknowingly touch one, become unclean, and therefore be ineligible to participate in the feast. It was not so much the whitewashing that made them attractive as it was the monuments themselves that were attractive. Jesus compared these “whitewashed” monuments to the Pharisees. Both appeared attractive, but both also contaminated people who contacted them. Pharisaic contamination precluded participation in the blessings that Passover anticipated, namely, kingdom blessings. Jesus’ mention of “lawlessness” is significant. The Pharisees prided themselves on punctilious observance of the Law. Ironically, their failure to understand and apply the Law correctly made them lawless in Jesus’ view.

Do you know the hardest people to be saved?  I think it’s the unsaved person who has gone to church for a long time.  It’s the person who can’t admit they have never accepted Christ, because they have too much already invested in the façade.  It’s easier to go on with the charade and keep everyone fooled than to have to actually admit that you had been living without Christ in your heart and as that He has not been Lord of your Life!  The poor Pharisees were in that same boat.  They couldn’t let everyone know that what they were doing was just a performance.

That they were really not perfect. That they were not really able to follow all the laws.

That they were liars and hypocrites. They did their best to impress everyone and missed the point.

I’m not talking about backsliding or eternal security.  I’m saying that there are, no doubt, people who have attended church their whole life who are white-washed tombs who have never truly accepted Christ. And it’s such a shame, because there is a way of escape.

 

Memory Verse: 1 Timothy 2:9

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