'And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,' says the Lord. Then the Lord said to me, 'Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.'
But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' And he answered, 'I will not;' but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, 'I will, sir;' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?
Rebellion is open defiance. Treachery is secret defiance. Neither is good, but is one better? According to God, rebellion. Why? Although it's wrong, at least it's honestly wrong... as opposed to dishonestly right. Because a pretense of righteousness is hypocrisy: the sin Jesus hated.***
In The Parable of the Two Sons, the first son openly defied his father. Later, he regretted it, repented and obeyed. Within it, God is clear: a remorseful rebel can be forgiven.**
'If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land' (2 Chronicles 7:14).
'Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the Presence of the Lord' (Acts 3:19).
Actors, models and talent for Christ, our world is full of rebels. Some are selfish scoundrels who refuse to follow rules for no good reason. Others are disillusioned dissenters who refuse to follow phonies for a very good reason: they see no truth.
Reach out to them, because you carry the Truth. At first, your words will mean less than your actions. But when they regard you as real, a relationship begins. As it grows, you fulfill your destiny, because God has...
'Given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the Word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us' (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
By your successful performance, rebellious outsiders may become repentant insiders: new creations in Christ.
To Be Continued...
P.S. As for treachery (secret defiance), leave it to God. 'For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light' (Luke 8:17).
* Previous AMTC Devotion Series: Rebels Without A Cause: http://amtcdevotions.org/rebels-without-a-cause-part-1-the-story-line
** The Parable of the Two Sons: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+21%3A28-32&version=NASB
*** The entire Chapter of Matthew is a denouncement of religious hypocrisy: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+23&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Outsiders series.