HYPOCRITES

THE PRETENDERS
Ezekiel 33:30-33

INTRODUCTION
A. The word hypocrite is used more often with religious people than any other segment in our society
1. The hypocrisy of people is as old and established as the human race. Someone once said, “A hypocrite is a saint abroad, and a devil at home.”
2. The trouble with hypocrisy is that many do not view it with the same contempt as God does
3. May have the mentality: “Its not hypocrisy—just a little disobedience.”
4. From a Christians perspective there are two types of hypocrisy:
Hypocrites within the church
Hypocrites outside the church
Which is worse?
5. Have you ever heard someone say, “I would not go to a church full of hypocrites.”
B. The importance of this topic is seen in the number of times the word is used in the Bible: Hypocrites (20), Hypocrite (11), Hypocrisy (6)
1. Hypocrite comes from the Greek word hupokrites and means an actor of pretender; can be defined as “two-faced”
2. A hypocrite is one pretends to have Christian virtues – his main concern is his own agenda and concerns
3. It is important to remember that one bad word can cause many to think us a hypocrite – and throw shame on the church; therefore:
1) Matthew 5:16
2) 2 Corinthians 3:2
4. God detests hypocrisy. Notice just a couple of passages proving such:
Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25
Here it is clear how Jesus feels about hypocrisy
5. To help us understand what is often entailed in hypocrisy let us turn our attention to Ezekiel
C. Ezekiel was a prophet of God, a mouthpiece of God, who found himself in Babylonian captivity
1. Ezekiel was Israel’s communication with God
2. Ezekiel was addressing the great “pretenders” of his day—hypocrites
3. He was suffering the consequences of the wrong doing of others
4. What is also sad is Israel was in their present predicament because of their failure to listen—and still, they refused to listen
This is a great problem in our day
Many have a life full of pain, but refuse to listen to God’s remedy
5. Ezekiel addressed the “great pretenders” of his day in Ezekiel 33:30-33

DISCUSSION
A. “As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses” (33:30a)
1. There were talking about Ezekiel behind his back while pretending to be his friend
The were mocking him – putting him down
Scoffers
Backbiters
Gossipers
Slanderers
b. Many today do similar things calling the faithful legalists, judgmental, or “rule followers”
2. It is important to realize that those who would be a hypocrite in this fashion bring shame upon themselves. Why?
a. Note Acts 8:3; 9:4
b. Matthew 25:40
c. 1 Peter 2:9 … Christians are a royal priesthood!
d. Hypocrites who mock God’s priesthood are mocking God
e. God will not hold guiltless those who attempt to make His word and His ways appear foolish
B. The hypocrites say, “Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord” (33:30b)
1. Hypocrites strive to portray a form of godliness as long as it works to their advantage, and accomplishes their own personal interest – Just “making a show”
a. Titus 1:16
b. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
c. Many are pretending to be godly but ridicule a “Thus says the Lord”
2. Since the 1960s more and more hypocrites have been leading others to reject the authority of the Scriptures
a. Jude 3-4
b. Change agents –
3. They pretend to be interested in God’s word while working feverishly to undermine it
a. Matthew 15:7-9
b. Many ridicule the idea of “rule keepers”
If there is any religious law—then there are rules
That we are not to be “law keepers” is a ridiculous notion
C. “And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.” (33:31)
1. These hypocrites gathered before Ezekiel pretending to be followers of God and supporters of the prophet and his preaching, but had no intentions of following God’s commands
a. What ever their motive was – it was not obedience – they did not intend to listen
b. Mathew 13:13-15
c. Luke 6:46-49
d. Acts 28:26-27
2. The number today is mind-boggling who profess to be faithful members of the church, while inwardly sneering and rebelling at the mission and purpose of the church
The goal of many is to change the church into a mere social club designed to meet their “heart felt need”
In principle their demand is like that of the people of Isaiah’s day… Isaiah 30:10
It is sad that many would rather hear a lie than the truth of God’s word
Many have the mentality: “Tell us what we want to hear or we will leave.”
Proverbs 12:14
Jeremiah 10:23
D. “And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it” (30:32)
1. Again, these Hypocrites were acting as faithful, saying, “O, Ezekiel you are a wonderful man, faithful, and proclaim God’s word wonderfully.”
a. But again, their were only words – they refused to listen – refused to heed the message
b. We think you are a great speaker , but we will not listen
c. How often does this happen today where people love the preacher but refuse to listen and adhere to the words he has spoken from God’s word
2. Another angle that might be seen here is that of hypocritical preaching
a. 2 Timothy 4:3
b. Many preachers by their persuasive speech and magnetic personality lead many in apostasy
c. Their sermons are filled with “feel good” stories, but containing little or no scripture
It is true that has a pleasantness to it
Psalm 119:103
But notice also… Revelation 10:9-10
The sweet word of God becomes bitter to us when it instructs us to make a change
d. Sadly, many are as Jesus describes… Matthew 23:27-28
CONCLUSION
Hypocrisy must be avoided at all costs. We must not:
Mock God’s faithful
Be play-actors in our Christianity, or be-little “law keeping”
Be disobedient
B. In the Day of Judgment which would you rather hear:
You Hypocrite, or
Well done good and faithful servant

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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