Here is a common scenario: someone finds out they have a fatal illness with only months to live. Then a dear friend gently suggests that it’s time for the sick person to “get right with God.” But the person responds by saying, “No, I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I ignored God for most of my life, and now that I’m dying and afraid, it would be selfish and wrong for me to go running to him.”
Imagine a different scenario: a man discovers that his roof is leaking. His wife tells him to call the roofing contractor located a few blocks away. But the man responds by saying, “No, I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I ignored the roofing contractor the whole time we’ve lived in this house, and now that the roof is leaking, it would be selfish and wrong for me to go running to him.”
Obviously, it’s neither hypocritical, selfish, nor wrong to call a roofing contractor when your roof starts leaking. But not making a call in that situation definitely would be foolish -- unless you enjoy watching your ceilings and furniture and carpeting get ruined by leaking water.
When your roof leaks, you call a roofing contractor. Why? Because he is in the roofing business and he knows how to fix leaks.
If you find out you have a terminal illness, you should call on God. Why? Because He’s in the eternal life business and He knows how to get you to Heaven.
Yeah, but what about the hypocritical aspect of this situation? If a person ignores God their whole life but then turns to Him when they get real sick, isn’t that being two-faced and selfish?
Not really. Yes, it certainly would be better for people to be close to God during their entire lives. Here are a couple of reasons why: First, there are tremendous benefits to having a relationship with the Lord throughout your life, such as peace of mind, joy, knowing that life has a purpose, and the confidence that God will keep His promise and give the gift of eternal life in Heaven when you die. Second, having a fatal illness with only months to live can be a blessing in disguise, at least compared to other ways that people die. For example, a man who has a massive heart attack and is dead before he hits the ground never has a chance to “get right with God.”
The main reason it is not hypocritical to seek God when things are bleak is because God is our loving Father. If a youngster falls and scrapes her knee, and then goes crying to her mother, does the mom say, “Oh sure, you ignore me when you’re out playing with your friends. But now that you’re bleeding you come running to me. You’re a hypocrite, kid!”?
Of course not. A mother’s love is so powerful she only wants to comfort her child. God is the same way. When we’re hurting and we run to God, at that moment all He cares about is comforting us. It doesn’t matter if we’ve ignored Him for the last 40 or 60 or 80 years. His parental love is so powerful, the past is forgotten.
It’s best to enter into a loving relationship with God sooner than later. After all, as Scripture says, “No one knows the day or hour.” Some people never get that chance.
But if you or a loved one ever have to face the tragic situation when a doctor says it will be only a matter of a few more months, don’t let your pride get in the way and claim it would be hypocritical to get right with God at that point. Turning to God right then and there would be the most comforting and joyful thing you could do. And spending eternity in the paradise of Heaven is pretty terrific, too.