A huge problem we have in the Christian church is that there are hypocrites intermingled among the saints. I thought I would write about the hypocrites and why they can be detrimental to a true believers faith.
TRUE SAINTS ARE NOT HYPOCRITES
First let me start with this. A Christian struggling with sin is NOT a hypocrite. All Christians struggle with sin. There is no one in the church who does not constantly battle his or her sin. Every one of us who are descendants of Adam is born with a natural disposition to sin. All human beings by nature have a sinful heart that naturally gravitates towards that which is unholy. This is true for the unconverted as well as the converted.
The difference is the converted have the Spirit of Christ in them putting to death their sinful nature inherited from natural birth. The problem is, the complete mortification of the sinful nature will not be completed until their earthly body is laid to rest. At that time they will receive a new heavenly body that is compatible with their new nature received in Christ.
So because the true saint in the church still posses their old nature from Adam they will always be prone to sin. A Christian struggling with their sin is not the true definition of a hypocrite.
So if the saints (Christians) aren’t hypocrites, who are the hypocrites in the church?
1 John puts it this way;
“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19
The hypocrites are those who like to be in church, they associate themselves with the church, but in actuality have never met the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ. They have never seen the light of the gospel and although they attend church they remain in darkness.
They like church structure and the blessings and characteristics of the people but they themselves have never come to know the chief corner stone of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A good example of this would be Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts.
Here you see Peter and John filled with the Holy Spirit healing the sick and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The result was mass conversion. The Lord was building His church and thousands of people were getting saved. In Acts 4 we can see what was taking place in this new community of believers;
“And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.”
Acts 34 tells us the new converts would sell their properties and bring the proceeds to the Apostles and they in turn would distribute the wealth among the people so that there was not a needy person in the bunch.
But here come the hypocrites.
Ananias and Sapphira liked what was going on in this church (about 5000 at that time) and wanted to be a part of it. The problem was they did not have a heart for the Lord of the church. They were never converted to Christ by the preaching of the gospel. They were hypocrites. They wanted to be a part of the church but did not want to come in by the way of Jesus Christ.
Remember Jesus Christ said that He is the door to the sheep.
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
Ananias and Sapphira were hypocrites and tried to enter the church of Christ by way of hypocrisy. They would not come through the door so as to be saved but only sought the benefits of salvation. They wanted to be associated with the church but did not want anything to do with Jesus Christ.
So what did they do?
They lied. They sold their property and brought only a portion of the proceeds to the Apostles. Never letting on that they kept the rest for themselves. As a result they instantly dropped dead at the Apostles feet. You can read the whole thing for yourself in the book of Acts, chapter 5.
NOMINAL CHRISTIANS ARE HYPOCRITES
The term Nominal Christian is used to identify those who are Christians by name only. They are not really true converts to Christ (Christians) but only call themselves Christians. A good example of this would be someone who may have grown up in a Christian home and had Christian parents but have never really sought the Lord in repentance for themselves. They are Christian by name only. Christian in the sense that they grew up in the church with Christian parents but the truth is they never received true conversion for themselves. These are called nominal Christians.
I think the term “nominal Christian” is a misnomer. It is better to identify this bunch for who they really are, hypocrites.
You can view this bunch in the same light as Ananias and Sapphira. They enjoy the comforts of the church all the while never entering through the Door themselves.
TARES AND WHEAT
Jesus taught by use of a parable in Matthew 13 that there would always be hypocrites in the church. He taught that these hypocrites would be intermingled amongst the true saints in the church. That is at least until He returns to redeem His church.
Jesus referred to the hypocrites as "Tares" and genuine believers as "Wheat".
The wheat being the genuine crop, the tare being a weed resembling the wheat.
When asked by one of His disciples as to weather they should go through the church and weed out the Tares the Lord responded;
“No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."
So because of our inability to properly distinguish between the hypocrites and genuine believers we are told to wait until Christs return and at that time He will separate the two. Welcoming the Saints into heaven while tossing the Tares into eternal damnation.
Because we are not able to properly identify and uproot the hypocrites we are told to let them remain until His coming. This though was not the case in the early church. Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead at the feet of the disciples. But that was a work of God at that time through the hands of the Apostles.
We are told to wait until Christ comes in judgment.
However this does cause a problem.
You see in this day and age Christs church is overrun with these so-called nominal Christians (hypocrites).
In this seeker friendly era of compromise and political correctness the church is bursting with hypocrites.
Churches are compromising the True Gospel and catering to hypocrites.
For the sake of the good standing hypocrites, the truth has been watered down so as not to offend the majority.
I mean these are good people right? There on the board, there on the worship team, they’re the best greeters ever. But we forget one very important thing;
they don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ!
They may know of Him but they don’t KNOW Him. They have never entered in through the Door of Christ.
So I want to encourage all True believers, to remain Zealous in your calling!
Don’t be swayed by the majority of the hypocrites.
Jesus Christ is either Lord of all or He’s not Lord at all.
You see hypocrites don’t know this. For them Jesus is NOT Lord. For them the church is simply a healthy addition to their lives and they are incapable of being Zealous for Christ.
How can they see the urgency of communicating the gospel when they don’t even Know the gospel? How can they strive in their prayers against the powers of darkness if their not even aware that they are in darkness themselves?
I believe in this day and age the enemy of our souls is quietly putting the Saints to sleep by deceiving them to believe that the way of the hypocrites is true Christianity.
While we must tolerate the Tares we must never compromise the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
....."and upon this Rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it".