Too many hypocrites in the church
"You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me."’ Matthew 15: 7,8
"The reason I don’t go to church is because there are too many hypocrites in the church."
How often has that excuse been offered when someone has been invited to attend church?
According to the Dictionary, a hypocrite is a person who pretends to have desirable or publicly approved attitudes, beliefs or principles, which he does not actually possess.
According to Christ, a hypocrite is one who pays lip service to God while his heart is far away from God.
God’s word describes three different kinds of people.
The openly profane, the upright and the hypocrite.
The openly profane are those who boast of their wicked ways and actually take pride in the sins of which they ought to be ashamed.
Their condition can be traced to their unrestrained natural depravity.
They have denied the existence of God and as a result of their arrogant atheism, they have cast off all the restraints of His word.
In great contrast, the Bible speaks of the man who is upright.
The man who is upright is one who adheres to that which is right and just.
Perhaps the best description of an upright man is to be found in the words which God used to set forth the character of Job.
"There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."
The two outstanding characteristics of an upright man is that he fears God and he turns away from evil.
He would be the first to admit that he does not achieve this perfectly but he would be quick to tell you that he sincerely desires and puts forth an honest effort in seeking to perfectly fear the Lord and to perfectly turn away from evil.
Christ easily discerned the hypocrisy of many of the religious leaders of His day.
He was quick to warn them that their punishment would be more severe.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation."
The reason for this greater punishment is that hypocrisy is actually a mocking of God.
The hypocrite has convinced himself that he can deceive the omnipresence and omniscience of a sovereign God.
Christ so warned them that they might see the desperate condition of their own selfdeception and as a result, repent and be saved.
He did not, however, ever instruct others not to attend the place of worship because of the presence of hypocrites.
Those who use such an excuse can find no Biblical reason for doing so.