Merriam Websterâs dictionary defines hypocrite as: a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.
Hypocrisy is Satanâs greatest sermon; hypocrites are Satanâs greatest preachers.
In my estimation there are few things that are as effective for turning people off from being a Christian than hypocrisy. Jesus showed great mercy on the Samaritan woman who had five husbands and was living with a man who wasnât. He extended mercy to the woman caught in adultery when He said to her, âneither do I condemn thee.â However, when it came to the hypocritical Scribes, Pharisees and Priests, Jesus really laid into them. He had no problem openly calling these men hypocrites. If you look up the word âPhariseeâ in some dictionaries you will find two meanings for the word. One meaning is that a Pharisee was a member of a Jewish religious group that followed the Torah. You will find a second meaning for the word Pharisee to be a self-righteous hypocritical person. This definition came about by the observation of the hypocritical life that the Pharisees lived. They said one thing, but did another. Jesus plainly described them.
âSaying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.â (Matthew 23:2-3)
One of the biggest complaints that heathens have against the church of Jesus Christ is the rampant hypocrisy they see in those who profess to be Christians. Even worse, is when they see it in those that are ordained ministers. One reason for that hypocrisy, at least here in America, is we have far too many people that claim to be Christians that are not even born again. They cannot help but to live a hypocritical lifestyle to some degree, especially if they are trying to be religious. Those that are born again are promised power over sin, those that are not born again have no power over sin.
âBut as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the
sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:â (John 1:12).
No matter how much a lost person may hate hypocrisy, they canât help but act in hypocritical ways at times. For the true born again believer, we have power over sin and therefore hypocrisy must be far from us. The devil is waiting around every corner ready to expose every Christian that acts in hypocritical ways. People hate hypocrisy. They hate it when a Christian preaches to others how they need to quit acting like a sinner, but then will go and live like one themselves. Jesus said of the Pharisees:
ââ¦ Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisyâ (Luke 12:1).
Jesus had no problem openly reproving the Pharisees. He spoke out, not just to His disciples, but to the multitudes of people of just who these Pharisees were:
âFor they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders;
but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingersâ (Matthew 23:4).
The scribes and Pharisees were quick to make up their own rules and use them to oppress others, but for some reason they never intended for those rules to apply to their own life. The Pharisees were very judgmental of others, but thought judgment would pass them by. The whole twenty third chapter of Matthew is a record of Jesus warning the people of the scribes and Pharisees and exposing who they were. Jesus even resorted to name calling, something you would think is strictly forbidden for any Christian to do. However, He wasnât calling them anything that wasnât true. Jesus called them blind guides, fools, whited sepulchers full of dead menâs bones, serpents and a generation of vipers. It might be hard to see Jesus in this light, but He did not tolerate open hypocrisy.
Seven times in the twenty third chapter of Matthew, Jesus said âWoe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!â It is clear to see how much Jesus hates the sin of hypocrisy. Jesus also gave a very strong warning to those who are hypocrites.
âWoe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnationâ (Matthew 23:14).
Saint of God, let me get right to the point. You can fool people, but you will not fool God. He knows your heart, He knows your mind, and He knows exactly how you live your life. Do you pretend to be something you are not? Do you try to portray yourself to have a greater love and devotion for God than you do? If you have been living a hypocritical life, God knows it, and with great grace He is willing to forgive you of your hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy doesnât just offend God and irritate people, it is one of the most destructive things when it comes to raising children. I have pondered on why God gives us children while we are so young. You would think that we should have children toward the end of our lives when we have so much more wisdom. Although it may take more energy than wisdom when it comes to raising children (ha ha). It can seem overwhelming for a young couple to be given a child, which is such a wonderful gift from God, and face the responsibility of raising it. Mom and dad can feel so proud of their young one and yet feel so inadequate when it comes to raising the child. I want to give you some advice since I am a father that raised three boys. You may fail your children at times during those child rearing days, but one of the greatest things you can do for your children is DO NOT LIVE A HYPOCRITICAL LIFE. DO NOT BE A HYPOCRITE. Be the same in church as you are in the home; be the same when you are with other believers as you are with your family. I canât help but to believe that hypocrisy by parents, especially dad, has caused more children to hate Christianity than any other thing they could do.
One thing that hypocrites do really well is talk spiritual. They quote scripture and say all kinds of spiritual things to get the attention of others, but yet their hearts are far from God.
âHe answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from meâ (Mark 7:6).
I wonder how many proclaiming Christians are in church Sunday morning, singing the praises of God and offering up worship and then the rest of the week are living for the devil. That is called hypocrisy and again I will say, God is not fooled. He will reject those songs of praise and worship. Fellow believer, walk in the light God has given you. Be true to God and your fellow man and you will not have to hear, âWoe unto you.â