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Christian Hypocrisy, Necessary for Evangelism

Hypocrisy – The Problem

As Christians, we desire to offer the Good News of Jesus Christ to seekers in order to provide a higher authority and strength for life’s challenges. Often adults come to a personal relationship with Christ during a time of personal stress. The comfort we offer emanates from the active participation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer (John 14:26). It is based on a change of heart or a turning away from sin and toward a loving God (Luke 13:3). 

However, as we “evangelize” others, OUR lives are on display. Those who know us know we remain sinners, we get angry, depressed, jealous, and prideful. Often, we continue to demonstrate an inability to follow those very principles we promote as the benefits that come from a personal relationship with Christ. We thereby make ourselves to be hypocrites without recourse. 

Hypocrisy – Defined

Webster defines Hypocrisy as – “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not  behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel – especially  the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion”

Simply stated, hypocrisy is when ones behavior does not match what they say is true. 

Hypocrisy – Biblical References

Fortunately, we do have a great example in the Bible expressing the reality of this condition, between what we say and what we do. Paul offers his own frustration in Romans 7. He provides an admission of hypocrisy beginning in verse 14…

  • Romans 7:14-15 – For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Clearly, Paul, one of the greatest examples of an evangelist in the Bible, is not deterred by the reality of his personal hypocrisy, spending his life after the Damascus Road, sharing and teaching the gospel message without apology. 

Hypocrisy – Christians Today

As Christians, we continually break God’s law and, fortunately, He is gracious to forgive us, as long as we are willing to recognize our sin and repent (1 John 1:9). However, that does not change the reality that we remain sinners as we offer to others the ability to resist sin through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 5:17, 6:19). Further, we offer “peace which transcends all understanding” (Phil 4:7), but do not always demonstrate it in our own lives. Finally, Christians, like any other cultural sub-group, are often is defined by our outliers, or those who say they are Christians but do not act at all like they have submitted under the authority of God. 

Hypocrisy – Nothing New

There is no great revelation in any of this for the mature Christian. It is just an acknowledgment that, as believers, we remain in the hands of a loving God who desires the best for us, but recognizes we will never obtain sinless perfection in this life. To acknowledge that we could be harshly treated as we offer the Good News of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world because (1) we sin, (2) because we do not always exist in a bubble of peace, and (3) because we are tagged within a larger group with those we may disagree with, should not stop us from proactive evangelism

God does not call us to hide our faith but to express it as a light to the lost.

  • Matthew 5:15 – Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

He calls us to not only share, but to disciple and help mature new believers. 

  • Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

We must not be intimidated or embarrassed to share the opportunity for eternal life.

  • Romans 1:6 – including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

And, we must be actively looking for opportunities, knowing that God has prepared them in advance.

  • 1 Peter 3:15 – but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
  • Luke 12:2 – Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

Christian hypocrisy is no excuse for resisting evangelism.

AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org

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