Two Kinds of Hypocrites

A common smokescreen for people rejecting the Gospel is this one; Too many hypocrites in the church. Is this true, and is it a valid reason for rejecting the Gospel?
First, what is a hypocrite? It is basically a person who holds a certain standard, but doesn’t live up to that standard. It also could be a person who professes to believe in a specific thing, yet his or her actions show that he or she really doesn’t.
Are there too many hypocrites in the church? No one can say for sure. Churches, many times, hold different beliefs from each other, so it is hard to know which standard the alleged hypocrite actually believes in. On the other hand, if a person is assuming that God’s standards are the criteria for defining a true Christian, there can be a sense of hypocrisy in every person who professes to be a Christian, because no human being can live up to God’s standard. (This is the whole reason for the Gospel)!
One type of hypocrite is defined by Jesus in the Bible. It is the person who holds a high, Godly standard, but doesn’t realize that he himself doesn’t live up to that standard, while criticizing, or putting others down, because they don’t live up to that standard. If such a person held a high place in the religious social structure, such as the synagogue of Jesus’ day, Jesus had some harsh words for that person. In Matthew 23:28, Jesus says to the religious leaders of His day, “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (NIV). The religious leaders looked righteous to the people on the outside, but their hearts were really very wicked. God looks at the heart. People only see the outside usually, until the wickedness has come to fruition in the person’s life. This kind of person doesn’t have a relationship with God, nor does he or she want one. They don’t think they need one because they believe they are basically good. They are not humble and are deceived into thinking they are representing God.
The other group of hypocrites are simply the people who have come into a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, yet are weak in their faith, or are very young in their experience with God. We could look at them as ‘baby’ Christians. They have truly come to Christ in repentance and faith, but have not developed well spiritually. There could be a number of reasons for this. One is, as already mentioned, that they may be new believers in the Lord. They are just beginning to live a new life in a new way. They have a long way to go before Christ is ‘formed’ in them.
The Corinthians were such a group of people. The Apostle Paul addressed them sharply because of what he was told that was happening in their church. They were completely out of control. They abused the spiritual gifts and they abused the Lord’s Supper. They did a lot of things really wrong. But Paul reminded them of who they were in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says” Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
So there are two different types of hypocrites that the Bible talks about. One is the non-believer who believes that he or she is living up to God’s standard, while he or she really isn’t at all, and looks down upon other people who have obvious sins, while the other is the true believer who hasn’t yet grown in his or her faith, or perhaps has fallen in sin or has even gotten stuck in a sin (Galatians 6:1,2). This is a good reason for discipleship. We tend to look at the fallen Christian and want to leave him there. We want to make sure he or she learns a good lesson from his ‘disobedience’ and we don’t want to ‘enable’ him or her in their ‘sin’.
So then, is this a good smokescreen for a person to use who wants to reject the Gospel? What do you think? Does the opposing person have a better way of salvation than Jesus provided?
We are all going to stand before God, one day. On that day, God will either welcome us into heaven, or, He will send us to hell to be punished forever (along with the true hypocrites). We will not be able to reason with Him by saying, “I didn’t put my trust in Your Son, because too many people that I know of, who believed in Him were Hypocrites”. We are not responsible for what the hypocrites do. We are responsible, only for ourselves, when we give account to God for our own lives.
We can look at hypocrites and be turned off to the Gospel. Neither of the two groups of hypocrites has the ability to measure up to God’s standards. But neither can the one who is using the ‘hypocrite’ as an excuse for not repenting and turning to God. Could it be a misunderstanding of what the Gospel is all about, in the first place? Could it be that people believe that we are capable of measuring up to God’s standards by our own power and strength? It could be as simple as thinking that we can be good enough to go to heaven. Or, that we really have to be pretty evil for God to send us to hell. If you want more information on the Gospel and what it means (how to be saved) please go to: http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com or http://test4gp.wordpress.com
Please leave a comment if you have a question or want to add something more to this article. Thanks.

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