Have you encountered a hypocrite? They’re easy to run into these days. When you figure out what they are, the good you first saw is canceled by what’s on the inside. People who profess to be religious seem particularly agile at pretending to be what they aren’t. Religion is fertile soil for hypocrites.
To the earnest sinner seeking answers, Jesus was kind and compassionate. But He had little patience for the façade of the phony Christian. He called religious hypocrites “white-washed sepulchers (or ‘tombs’).”
If you’ve let a hypocrite keep you from Jesus, I pray you won’t allow it any longer. As you navigate our current culture, whenever you encounter hypocrites, remember: “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
God sees right through those things people adorn themselves with to look good. Even followers of Christ can be guilty of hypocrisy, myself included. “Faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord, there’s none in me.”
How will God judge these great pretenders who look so good and perform so well? We measure ourselves by other people, but God uses a higher standard—Himself.
He measures hypocrites three ways: by the truth (Romans 2:2), by their deeds (Romans 2:6), and by the Gospel (Romans 2:16).
Truth. No disguises.
“Hypocrite” in Greek means a stage actor or pretender. In Jesus’ time, actors wore masks. If their characters were supposed to be happy, they put on happy masks—they wore disguises. Paul says hypocrites will be judged by the truth. God will pull off their masks. No pretense—truth will be the standard.
A hypocrite has three fatal flaws in his thinking:
Flaw #1—“Outward appearance is all that matters.”
The hypocrite thinks if he pretends to be righteous, he will be righteous. But he’ll be judged by truth. Outward appearance won’t matter.
Flaw #2—“If I’m not having trouble, I’m right with God.”
Blessings don’t mean what you think they mean. If people experience trouble, it’s not necessarily because God judged them. And if you are currently out of trouble, don’t think for a moment God won’t judge you. God gives blessings to bring you to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Flaw #3—”Delayed judgment means I’m okay.”
No, one day judgment will come (Romans 2:5). You won’t escape (Romans 2:3). God will ask, “What did you do with the blessings I sent?”
How will God judge us?
We’ll be judged by
Our actions. Every person is guilty before God (Romans 3:23).
Our attitudes (Romans 2:6-7). Some are seekers. Others are scorners. If you come sincerely, you’ll find God, because He is standing at your heart’s door.
Our advantages (Luke 12:48). Millions have never heard the name of Jesus. You have. How tragic to go to Hell from an air-conditioned church.
How we responded to the Gospel (Romans 2:16), the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Without being born again, you cannot even see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). Whatever the race, place, or face, it’s a matter only of God’s grace. Who you are means nothing. It’s whose you are. He provides us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ when we put our trust in Him.
It may shock you to learn that God the Father doesn’t judge anyone. He has entrusted the prerogative of judging to His Son (John 5:22). The same Jesus who wants to be your Savior will one day be your Judge. I beg you to come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Either way, one day you will meet Him, if not in salvation, then in judgment (Acts 17:31).
In agony and blood, Jesus died upon that cross for you, but the hypocrite wraps himself in robes of self-righteousness and will not receive Him. One day God will reveal the hypocrite’s heart. Through open doors, his repressed secrets and sins long forgotten will be revealed. God is keeping books on every idle word, every thought, every deed.
Some people who aren’t hypocrites hear the Gospel and reject it because they’ve seen someone who claims to be a Christian and say, “If that’s a follower of Christ, no thanks.” That’s not a follower of Christ. They may die and go to Hell because they decided “All Christians are that way.” Friend, they’re not all that way.
Put your eyes on Jesus. If you let hypocrites keep you from Jesus, you’ll spend all eternity with every one of them in Hell. Give your heart to Jesus. Give Him all your life. Don’t be whitewashed, be washed white by the blood of Jesus.
If you’re not saved, cast yourself on the mercy of God. He wants to save you today. He’s knocking at your heart’s door. There’s no one so bad he can’t be saved and no one so good he need not be saved. Simply pray, “Lord Jesus, I need You. Today I open my heart. Right now, I receive You as my Lord and Savior. I yield You my life. I trust You, Jesus, to save me.”