Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 1 Peter 2:1
According to the Collins Dictionary, hypocrisy is the practice of professing standards contrary to one’s actual behaviour. Thus hypocrisy is more than lying with the lips, it’s lying with one’s life.
The church is full of hypocrites. By that I mean there are people who call themselves Christian but don’t live a Christian life. If you profess Christ on Sunday but your actions through the week are inconsistent with your profession of faith, you’re a hypocrite. If you put on a front with other Christians, hiding behind a mask of religiosity, you’re a hypocrite. If you’re saved, but you’re a lover of yourself rather than a lover of God, you’re a hypocrite (cf. 2 Timothy 3:2,4). If you have a form of godliness but deny its power, you’re a hypocrite, you’re lying to God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:5). If you promised to live for Jesus and be faithful to His church, but haven’t done so, you’re a hypocrite. If you promised Christ your life and have given Him nothing more than scraps, you’re a hypocrite. If you’re always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth, you’re a hypocrite (cf. 2 Timothy 3:7). And if you promised to support the Great Commission but don’t share your faith with others, you’re a hypocrite.
Sometime ago I preached on remembering the Sabbath Day and keeping it holy. After the service a man came to me and said, “That was a great service pastor. From now on you’ll see me in church every Sunday.” I saw him only once after that. He lied to me and lied to God. Hypocrisy is like that, it’s a double lie. It’s a lie with horizontal and vertical dimensions.
Hypocrites won’t get away with their lies. “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” Numbers 32:23. According to a story from Japan there was a man in the Imperial Orchestra who couldn’t play a note. Because he was a man of considerable influence and wealth he managed to secure a place in the orchestra and fulfil his desire to “perform” before the emperor. The conductor agreed to let him sit in the second row with a flute. When the concert began the man raised the instrument to his lips and moved his fingers with the appropriate motions. But he never made a sound. After two years of this hypocrisy a new conductor arrived and insisted on auditioning each musician personally. The fake flautist was frantic with worry and pretended to be sick. But he couldn’t avoid the inevitable. The conductor kept insisting that the man demonstrate his skill. Finally the man shamefacedly confessed he was a fake. It’s from this incident that the expression, “face the music,” is said to have originated. Yes, all hypocrites will one day have to “face the music.”
So if you’re a hypocrite, don’t wait until it’s too late. Rid yourself of deceit and hypocrisy of every kind (cf. 1 Peter 2:1). God’s Word warns that there’s a place assigned for hypocrites “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 24:51.