Let us review the verses about being pure:
Matthew 5:8King James Version (KJV)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Ephesians 5:27King James Version (KJV)
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Titus 1:6-7King James Version (KJV)
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Revelation 14:1-5King James Version (KJV)
14 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Granted we would have to be saints to be worthy of the level of the 144,000. We can still strive for purity. They say that people who tell the truth don’t have to check the facts on their stories. I personally would be irate at a person who told a white lie to cover his butt vs no reaction at all for someone who admitted making a mistake. It takes a bigger person to admit mistakes.
The verses in Titus 1 in other versions pertain to elders. “Bishop” = “overseer” or “elder” in some translations (for instance Acts 20:28 ASV says “bishop” and most other say “overseer”).
Practice what you preach! Are you “holy” at church and condescending away from the house of worship? Remember we are Christians 24/7. Do you offer childish insults to people who don’t agree with your beliefs or do you belittle and demean persons not of the same faith as you?
Love and hate:
Matthew 5:43-48King James Version (KJV)
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
1 John 3:15King James Version (KJV)
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 4:20-21King James Version (KJV)
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
If your son or daughter came out and said, “dad, I am gay,” what is your reaction? If you would disown or use violence on him or her, would you be worthy in the eyes of God?
How about if your best friend or a relative no longer shares your religious views? Let’s say you were in a family of staunch Catholics, for instance, and you embraced a form of Unitarianism or joined one of those “restorationist” churches. You endure persecution, of course. Fast forward…. your son grows up in your church and decides that he no longer believes in their teachings. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical that you would persecute your own son? Yet there are some religions that mandate shunning family members who leave them and they use 2 John 1:10-11 and 1 Cor 5:13. 2 John 1 relates to someone who preaches a false Jesus; read the entire verse. In regards to 1 Cor 5:13, read verses 9-11; this refers to immoral people. What is more wicked? Being holy in church and swindling people outside? Or finding an anomaly in a church teaching and speaking out about it? For instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Michael the Archangel is Jesus, you find verses in the bible (such as Heb 1 and a multitude), you bring it up to an elder and then you get expelled. Or you believe a certain symbology represents the mark of the beast in Rev 13:16-17?
Romans 2:1King James Version (KJV)
2 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (in short those who judge others according to their own sin).
What comes to mind immediately is the story of the father who is angry of the doctor being late to help his son out. The son survives and then the nurse tells the father that the doctor left his own son’s funeral to help out. Would you feel about 6 inches tall? Or happening on a Facebook chat where two individuals appear to be talking about one’s mother and it turns out they are talking about a dog AFTER you have chastised one of them for bad-mouthing another person. Would you feel stupid?
Helping those who have fallen:
Deuteronomy 22:1-4New International Version (NIV)
22 If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. 2 If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. 3 Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. 4 If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.
Even though this verse talks about donkeys, we can apply it to helping our fellow human being. Think about the story of the elderly “bum” that walks into a restaurant and a much younger person helps this individual out, buys lunch and a fresh set of clothes….. years earlier, she was in the same situation and HE bought her lunch and got her a job. I have a story about one of my subordinates having a drinking problem 30 years ago. It feels nice to get a thank you for turning somebody around.
Matthew 18:21-22King James Version (KJV)
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Matthew 6:14-15King James Version (KJV)
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (this passage is right after “the Lord’s Prayer” in Matt 6:9-13).
Do you hold a grudge to someone that has lasted years? I have a story about a classmate who believed gossip about how I supposedly told people I “had my way” with that person. Well….. about 14 years ago, we met on an AOL chat and exchanged for about 2 hours and it came out that both of us were harassed at that time. I might note that we have been very good friends since then.
Is one ready to give his or life to Christ? Literally.
Revelation 20:4-5King James Version (KJV)
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Bottom line: examine yourself.