January 23, 2017
Hypocrisy was deeply and continually condemned by Christ. It brought forth His strongest responses. What did Jesus say was at the heart of hypocrisy?
“You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ ” (Matthew 15:7-8)
The Quickness of a Hypocrite's Confessions
A hypocrite has no problem making bold assertions about his belief. He can say almost anything about his Christianity, because it means nothing. He can appear to anyone at first, if they take his words as face value, that he is a true, committed follower of Jesus.
The Distance of a Hypocrite's Affections
But a hypocrite's ""heart is far away from Me,"" Christ says. The issue is always the heart. Does he love Christ with all his heart? Is he drawing near to Him? Even when he wanders and struggles, is there a heart-pull back to Christ? Is there a humble authenticity and passion? Does he love the true, simple things of Christ? Worship, prayer, the study of God’s Word, and witness? Is he quick to come to a business meeting, but absent from the prayer meeting?
The Vanity of a Hypocrite's Worship
A hypocrite's worship is useless. It means nothing to him, (since his heart is not there), and worse than nothing to God. It is merely a show which he performs to try to make himself look and feel a little better. But it is not accepted nor regarded by God. In fact, it is worse than useless because it leads others falsely.
The Humanism of a Hypocrite's Theology
Because a hypocrite is not connected to God, they have no ability to know the real truth. Therefore, they teach what they believe, which is merely their thoughts, twisted by self-centeredness. Since they live for their own self-glory and pleasure, they rewrite the truth to accomodate their lifestyle.
Again, this is disastrous because it makes a caricature of real Christianity. They are not only believing their false religion, but they are leading others astray.
Hypocrisy is deadly. Satan sows ""tares among the wheat"" in the church and can pepper a church with hypocrites. This dilutes everything and can cause the witness of the church to be lost.
We must know how to spot any bit of hypocrisy in our own lives and in the lives of others and deal with it quickly and appropriately.
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