Fraud – That’s a word that usually conjures imaging of the police taking someone away in handcuffs, as they as suspected of trying to con someone else out of their money or possessions. i.e. they’ve been caught pretending to be someone or something they are not, to gain possession of things which don’t belong to them.
Those caught acting fraudulently are arrested and punished for their behaviour, and may face a custodial sentence in prison or be ordered to do community service.
But tonight I want to talk about another type of fraudulent people – those who claim to be Christians, and act as Christians when at church or with other Christians, but when they are not with other Christians, they do not behave or speak as Christ would have. i.e. They are in fact fraudulent Christians!
I’m sure we can all think of occasions when we have witnessed people who say they are Christians, not behaving as a Christian should. I’m also sure we can all think of occasions when we ourselves, have not behaved as we should have.
Thankfully, unlike those who break the law, God doesn’t punish us when we do or say things we shouldn’t. In fact, he does the opposite, he forgives us. God forgave us yesterday, and has forgiven us today, just as will again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, etc.
Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.Colossians 3:13 (The Passion Translation)