I would love to see that invitation on the marquis of every Christian church, wouldn’t you? Zig Ziglar tells of a time he invited a friend to go to church with him. The man answered, “Well, I’d like to go. But the church is so full of hypocrites.” Ziglar replied, “That’s okay. There’s always room for one more.”
Let’s face it. We all are sinners. If we were to appear before the local judge and charged with “talking the talk but not walking the walk,” we all would be behind bars. Even King David, called “a man after God’s own heart,” was confronted by the prophet Nathan about this very thing.
The story cannot be read without being furious at David. He is not content with being an adulterer. Once he finds out his bed-mate Bathsheba is pregnant, he sets in motion plans to lay paternal responsibility on her husband, Uriah. When that fails, David has Uriah killed. Desperate measures for a desperate man, yet he refuses to repent. We pick up the story in 2 Sam. 12:1-6 where God intervenes.
The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
David is clueless as to Nathan’s motive. I can only imagine how the king reacted when Nathan put his finger in the King’s face and announced, “You are the man!” He then reminds David of all God has done for him and explains the repercussions of his actions: This is what the Lord says: “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.”
All of which came true, and all which contributed to David’s repentance.
Hypocrisy is the #1 excuse for people looking for a reason not to come to church…or to Jesus, yet it is a defense that is terribly flawed. As Josh McDowell and Don Stewart write in their book Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith, “Christianity does not stand or fall on the way Christians have acted throughout history or are acting today. Christianity stands or falls on the person of Jesus, and Jesus was not a hypocrite. He lived consistently with what He taught, and at the end of His life He challenged those who had lived with Him night and day, for over three years, to point out any hypocrisy in Him. His disciples were silent, because there was none.”
Every one of us is a hypocrite. That’s because, as the Bible says, we are sinners. The next time someone calls you that, tell them that they are right. But also tell them that the only non-hypocrite to ever live died for your hypocrisy…and wants to do the same for them.