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By Dr. Richard Ing

June 19, 2009





When Jesus walked the earth in the flesh, He was not so much against sinners as He was against hypocrites.  What is a hypocrite?   It is somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings but behaves otherwise.  (Webster’s Dictionary)  It is somebody who points to others and says, “They are sinners;” while at the same time he has the same sins and shortcomings in his own life.  He pretends and even fools himself.  The Pharisees of Jesus’ day preached the law, but never obeyed it.  “Do as I say, not what I do!”


We can intercede for the people, “confessing and repenting for their sins,” thinking that we don’t have sins but identify with the sins of the people by saying “we have sinned.”  We think that we are noble because of it.  But we are hypocrites.  The sins of the people are truly our own sins too.


We repent for their sins of idolatry.  Yet, we are idolaters too.  We place our family, friends, jobs, hobbies and worldly things ahead of God.  We worship and cling to the good life and want more.  We put our family, kids and friends before God.  Most of the people in church spend minimum time supporting church activities and maximum time doing their own thing.  A good number have never been to Tuesday night or extra meetings for fifteen years.  True, the intercessory prayer warriors are more diligent than others, but still fall short.


We repent for the evil and lack of concern for others; yet millions of babies are murdered each year through abortions and we spend very little time personally feeling sorry for them.  We never pray for the souls of the innocent babies and never spend time talking to others about how God views abortion as murder.  We hardly ever war against abortion and murder among us.  We don’t give a hoot about the government barring prayers in schools and couldn’t care less about the homosexual issue.  In fact, most Christians voted for a President that favors equal rights for homosexuals and opens doors for homosexuals to teach our kids their alternate life style, who openly promoted or was sympathetic toward late term abortions, same-sex marriage and stem cell research using human embryos.  What we get is what we wanted


 We are hypocrites.


We pray for a great harvest of souls.  When the preacher says, “Even if we send a million missionaries to China and spend a million dollars to save just one soul from hell, it would be worth it,” we nod in approval.  Yet we cling to our wallets and money and refuse to go on the mission field to save souls. Most will not even support those that go on the mission field.  Yes, the intercessors in the church are probably more generous than others in church, but still fall short.  To be truthful, we are lukewarm Laodiceans but pretend to be red hot for revival and harvest.  Supposedly, that’s why we intercede for others.  Yes, we may be warmer, but we are all still far below the line on the graph that says, “HOT!”


We repent for others as being unloving and selfish, but we too fail to help feed the poor and widows and orphans, even in our own churches.  We really don’t care.  We give only what we don’t need to support our hobbies and good life.  We don’t trust God.  We repent of the sins of others that love of the world and give minimum time to the work of God.  Yet, even intercessor warriors are not pressed to go all out for God.  We all have our worldly comforts, limitations and excuses we have gotten used to.  We seldom preach on street corners or walk the neighborhood passing out tracks; yet, we want God to forgive those other Christians out there who don’t.


We repent of the sexual sins of the people, yet we turn a blind eye to our own lusts and sexual sins.  We repent for others who worship strange gods, yet we do nothing about it.  We do not tell others about how evil Hawaiian gods are or Buddhist gods and other demonic powers posing as deities.  We repent for their sins but we let them do it.  We are afraid to confront.  Some of us are still bound by Christmas and Easter and doctrines of devils.  We expect God to move in a sovereign matter while we sit back and watch like spectators at the Super Bowl.


We repent for the deadness in the church and the compromising attitudes; yet, we are guilty of the same things.  We allow Jezebel to rule our lives and the lives of others.  We lack the humility, submission and obedience and the desire to be rid of all evil spirits.  We think, “Not me.  I don’t have spirits.”  Yet, many of us are filled with Pride, Jezebel, Ahab and a host of other evil spirits.   We are hypocrites.   We need to take the mote out of our own eyes before we can take the splinter out of our brothers’ eyes.


We lack a true burden for the unsaved.  We don’t really care.  Yet, we act as if we do.  We ask God for a great harvest.  At the same time, we haven’t brought anyone to church for over ten or more years.  Our lack of fruit betrays us.  We have many opportunities to preach the gospel of salvation, but don’t.  We need to pray that God will set our own hearts afire before we can dare ask Him to set the hearts of others on fire. We are hypocrites, modern Pharisees. 


We pray against greed and ask God to forgive the people.  Yet, we are bound to the world ourselves.  We cannot separate ourselves from the good life and we see the signs of the end of the world all over the place, but we refuse to change.  When the pastor asks, “How many of you believe the end of the world is almost here,” over 90% of the hands go up.  But they lie.  If they truly believed it, they would be preaching on the streets, telling everyone about Jesus before it is too late. 


Our hearts are hard and stagnant.  We don’t want to suffer, yet we ask God to change the hearts of others, knowing that God changes through chastening, trials, tests and sufferings.  We are hypocrites.  We ask God to revive the hearts of the people and we repent for the lack of zeal in the church.  Yet, we are guilty too.  We lack zeal ourselves.  We talk the walk but fail to walk the talk. 


We blame the politicians, the government and the Supreme Court.  Yet, we let them do whatever they want.  God will hold us responsible.  Most churches and Christians refuse to confront evil.  We just want to be left alone to live the good life.  We look at Christians in other churches and say, “All they want is entertainment and the good life.”  But we too love to be entertained.  When the pastor gets serious and holds more prayer and fasting, people leave the church rather than participate.  Yet, Jesus said that he who would follow Him must carry his cross daily.


We want the Holy Spirit to move and do miracles to save our family and friends.  But the Holy Spirit is waiting for us to move so that He can work through us.  We act like we want to save others, but we have had infinite occasions to share Jesus with others, and we neglect or refuse to do so.  Our neighbors are still waiting.  We have millions of excuses, but act as if we will move like wildfire if only the Holy Spirit will do miracles.  God will not move if we will not move. 


Daniel, the prophet, interceded for the people of Judah and asked God to have mercy on his people.  He was only one man but he was the holiest man in the entire nation.  In the midst of much persecution, he stood almost alone in his persistence and diligence in worshipping God.  He risked his life.  He stood in the gap because he had favor with God.  He had favor because he was without fault before God.  Only one who is holy, sanctified and sinless can dare to stand before God and intercede for another, much less stand in the gap for the world.


Before we can repent for the people, we need to know our own sins and shortcomings, humble ourselves, confess and repent of our own sins and unrighteousness, our lack of zeal and our own lukewarmness.  We may be a little hotter than others, but we are still lukewarm to the core. 


Intercessors are not ordinary people.  They must stand in the gap and pay the price for the sake of others.  They are warriors for God.  But first, they must themselves be sinless and without fault before God.  All the fasting, praying, crying, travailing and begging will do little good if God has turned His face away from us because of our own sins and unrighteousness.


We should be repenting for ourselves.  How can we intercede and repent for others when we have the same sins and shortcomings?   How can we stand in the gap when we are among those that create the gap?  We can’t see our own sins. We need to cry for ourselves first.  Multitudes are falling into hell while we pretend.

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