How many Christians do you know? How many are genuine and how many are, well, what you might label as hypocrites?
Many times, the world sees us as hypocrites. Mainly because we are not an example of God’s kindness and love.
I don’t want to be a faker. A pretender. An actor hiding behind a mask. I don’t want to be a Pharisee. Jesus called them hypocrites.
On one occasion, Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees whitewashed tombs. He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure.” (Matt. 23:27 AMPC) Dead men walking. Stinky zombies.
In God’s eyes, all the hypocrites’ outward whitewashing could never camouflage their inward corruption, for their hearts were merely tombs of rottenness. Their outward confession of dedication belied their inward condition of denial! They possessed the bones of the Law but not the flesh of the Word!
What made the veins on Jesus’ neck pop out? His face turn red? His blood pressure rise? The self-righteous hypocrites!
The scary part about being a hypocrite?
1) Not entering the Kingdom.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned the multitude to have a Kingdom-entering righteousness rather than the for-show righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, otherwise, “you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20b NKJV)
2) Being a stumbling block to others.
Jesus delivered a diatribe one day against the deceivers, saying, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so.” (Matt. 23:13 AMPC)
Whoa! Because of a terminal heart condition, a hypocrite not only is denied entrance to heaven but is also a stumbling block for others to enter.
3) Our worship may be a farce.
The Pharisees were adept at offering feigned worship. In their deluded efforts to worship God, they displayed only an external act of worship, while the internal contents of their hearts were of no concern to them. They concluded that, if a person carried out the external rites of religion, even though harboring spitefulness, envy, hatred, and being at odds with his brethren, he worshipped well.
Jesus scolded them, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce.’” (Matt. 15:7-9a NLT)
4) Loss of fellowship with the Lord.
The offerings of a hypocritical heart will not bring one into fellowship with the Lord, for one must “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Ps. 29:2 NKJV) And in spirit and truth.
God desires a true heart of worship and lips that confess His Name positively and in truth, as Jesus said, “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23 NKJV)
If our fellowship is lost, we can always regain it through repentance. However, as John said, “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth.” (1 John 1:6 NLT) Truth!
Oh, how I desire to have a sincere heart and be a true worshipper! May I never give lip service to God while my heart is filled with who knows what. May I never wear a pharisaical mask of piety nor feign my love for the Lord, or feign my love for others, while stabbing them in the back.
I pray, as David did, not to be a stumbling block, “O Lord God…don’t let me be a stumbling block to those who trust in you. O God of Israel, don’t let me cause them to be confused.” (Ps. 69:6 TLB)