No one likes hypocrisy when they see it in someone else. Don't you think everyone is, at best, put off by someone who looks down on other people; the kind of person who believes they are better than everyone else? That kind of attitude repulses us. Problem is we each are hypocritical about some things, but it’s harder to detect in ourselves. Perhaps the worst variety of hypocrisy is a religious bully, a person who delights in focusing on what everyone else does wrong, but seems blind to his or her own pride and judgmentalism. Ironically, it turns out that those who show resentment and bitterness through their condescending attitude are just as much a child of the devil, just as far away from God as those who blatantly run from God in open rebellion, who wildly express their independence from God in visibly destructive ways.
Shockingly, God seems ready to welcome home to himself both kinds of people. Probably we each tend toward one version or the other of running from God and we tend to be irritated by those who struggle with the opposite variety. Yet God still draws us to himself, to the only “place” we will ever feel completely at home. But he doesn’t just call us to himself. He also draws both kinds of rebels into groups of people he calls churches. What a motley crew we turn out to be!
Which kind of rebellion do you tend toward? Regardless, God welcomes you into his family full of both kinds rebels. Welcome home!
Sunday I'll complete the series Caring for Young People in a Technology Obsessed World. I have argued throughout the series that only the Gospel has the power to dig deep enough into our souls to block the pull of technology and the new ways it can trap us into old ways of sin. Each week I've laid out a part of the Gospel like this:
1. We looked at the question “Who is God?” in a message called All People Everywhere from Acts 17:16-34. (You can get the video for this one at the link.)
2. We talked about “Life=God Centered Living” in a message called Mission Impossible from Mark 10:17-31.
3. Next we talked about “Sin=Self-Centered Living” in a message called Our Default Setting from John 4:1-30.
4. Then we explored Jesus as the way back to God in a message called Actions Speak Louder Than Words from Romans 5:6-8.
5. We conclude Sunday with a message called “Come Home” from Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the prodigal son which dramatically demonstrates God’s compassion toward both kinds of rebels described above.
Eventually we will get the audio to these messages posted. You can see the text, outline, and discussion questions for Sunday's message by clicking here.