Hypocritical Oaths

The Lord is having me look this morning at the subject of hypocrisy, and he is leading me to read Matthew 23. But, it is a very long passage of scripture, so I am going to summarize it in a list of the characteristic traits of hypocrites, and then I will share Jesus’ words of correction and rebuke to them, too. They:

• Preach, but do not practice
• Do their deeds to be seen by others
• Love the place of honor and distinction
• Like the praise of men for their accomplishments
• Shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces
• Are not bound for heaven nor do they allow others to enter
• Make their followers twice as much a son of hell as they are
• Are blind guides to the people because they are spiritually blind
• Are blind fools! Are blind men!
• Tithe, but neglect justice and mercy and faithfulness
• Clean outside but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence
• Are like whitewashed tombs – appear beautiful outwardly, but within are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
• Outwardly appear righteous; within are full of hypocrisy & lawlessness
• Are snakes, a brood of vipers who won’t escape hell
• Kill and crucify the Lord’s true servants and messengers
• Abuse and persecute the Lord’s true servants and messengers
• Stone those that the Lord has sent to them with His words
• Are NOT WILLING to come under the authority and protection of God

So, these are people who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but who do not follow that profession of faith with repentance or obedience to Jesus Christ, nor do they submit to his Lordship over their lives. Their profession of faith is, thus, lip service only, for their hearts are still given over to their flesh to do what their evil hearts desire.

They are also people who sometimes preach to others about how they should live, but they do not practice what they preach. But, they mainly believe, live and preach a cheap grace gospel which soothes the sinful heart with all kinds of notions of how God looks at them, which are not biblical at all, but which are made up in the minds of hypocritical liars.

So, they think that God smiles on them when they are living in open rebellion against him, and they feel comforted by his grace which they believe covers over all their sins. They feel they have a special kinship with God, even though they deny him as Lord of their lives by how they live.

But, the Bible says if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in practice) in darkness (sin) that we are LIARS who do not live by the truth. And, it says if we walk according to (in agreement with) the flesh, we are going to die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity. And, it says if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we are going to reap decay (death). It is only those who sow to please the Spirit, who from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 6:7-8).

So, this is how they make their followers twice the son of hell as they are, because they convince them that they can live hypocritical lives and still go to heaven when they die. They teach them that they can profess faith in Jesus Christ, but that they can continue in their sinful practices, and that God still smiles on them, comforts them, cuddles them and even forgives them and gives them hope, although that is a false hope because it is based in a BIG FAT LIE! The lie says you don’t have to repent of sin or obey Christ.

They believe that if they make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ that they are now saved from their sins and heaven is their eternal destiny. But, they forget what the Bible teaches about salvation from sin. The Bible says we must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to his righteousness. It says we must walk (in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. It says we must leave our lives of sin behind us, be transformed in heart and mind, and we must follow our Lord in obedience (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 2:24).

These who are hypocrites are good at looking good on the outside, though, because they want people to think well of them. They want to impress people that they are on the right path. So, they will fake righteousness, and they will fake repentance, and they will lie about where they are, or they will smooth it over and make it sound like it’s not as bad as it really is. Or, they will make themselves out to be the persecuted when they are the persecutors, or they will have a hundred excuses for why they are still in the sinful mess that they are in even though they have known the way out.

So, they will give off an impression of righteousness while they still continue in their secretive sinful practices. So, they can’t lead others to salvation from sin or to changed hearts and lives because their hearts and their lifestyles have not changed. And, because they are trying to hold on to their sinful lifestyles, while they are claiming God’s blessings upon their lives, they will go after and they will persecute those who are teaching the truths of God’s Word and his true gospel of salvation, and they will chide them for holding to the truth and will accuse them falsely of not being loving like God is.

So, let’s now look at what Jesus told these hypocrites with regard to how he viewed them and how he viewed their relationship with him, too. And, look at what he told them, too, with regard to what that meant for them for eternity. They:

• Will not enter heaven
• Need to clean the inside of their lives, that the outside might be clean
• Will not escape being sentenced to hell
• Are sons of hell, of the devil, not sons of God
• Are hypocrites – meaning that they profess what they don’t live

And, let me take this one step further. If a hypocrite is one who professes faith in Jesus Christ but lives the opposite, and so continues in sinful practices willfully, knowingly, blatantly, habitually and sometimes even premeditatedly, even to the destruction of others, what do the scriptures teach should be our response to that, in the church?

It says we are not to tolerate it. We are to grieve over it. And we are to put out of the church the one who does this so that the church, as a whole, will not be infected with this sinful rebellion against God, thinking that God is ok with that. But, it doesn’t stop there. It says we, as the church, should not associate with those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are knowingly living in rebellion against God without true repentance. We are to purge the evil person from among us, not coddle him in his sins.

[2 Thess. 3:6-14; 1 Co. 5:1-13; Eph. 5:1-21; Rom. 16:17-19]

We, as the body of Christ, need to start holding people accountable for unrepentant sinful practices which go on and on without change. And, we, as the body of Christ, need to stop coddling them in their sin, too.

And, now let me define repentance here. It is not sin, confess, sin, confess, recycle all the same sins, the same attitudes, the same lies, the same behaviors, the same abuse, the same fakery, and the same manipulations repeatedly over and over and over again. The Bible does not call that repentance. It calls it living and walking in (making a practice of) sin.

True repentance is leaving our lives of sin behind us to follow our Lord in obedience. It is a walk of daily putting to death the deeds of the flesh and daily taking up our cross and following Jesus in obedience to his commands. It doesn’t mean we will never sin again, or that there won’t be occasional bumps in the road. But, it means we stay the course, and we are being changed into Christ’s likeness, and we aren’t repeating the same old sinful practices over and over again. So, don’t be fooled by the lies!

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

 

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