The word means someone who is saying one thing while doing another. It’s frequently used in religious circles. The word normally refers to someone who attends church and “looks” spiritual but, they are doing things during the week that are not “spiritual.”
In Acts 5, the Bible says that a man and his wife, Ananias and Sapphira, sold some land and had a scheme to get some attention.. to look holy… when in reality, they were being hypocritical. Ananias went to the apostles with PART of the proceeds except, he told the apostles it was the full amount. Simon Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit and kept some of the money for yourself.” As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor, dead.
Three hours later, his wife came in… not knowing what had happened to Ananias. Peter asked, “Was this the price you and your husband paid for the land?”
Sapphira responded, “yes.”
Peter rebuked her and the Bible says she died instantly.
Ok… let’s try to get a picture of this scene… people are standing around watching this and they have just seen two people die, on the spot… for lying to God.
Folks, I am thankful God is not causing people who are hypocritical to die today because the Coroner would be busy in most churches on Sundays. What was the purpose of all this? God was protecting His church. The church was very young and the power of God was being experienced with all the people being healed. Ananias and Sapphira wanted the attention Barnabas had been given when he donated money to the church but, their heart wasn’t right.
Everyone of us are hypocrites because none of us are perfect. But we should strive to be right with God. Will we ever be totally pure? Not until we get to heaven. But, it should bother us when we aren’t.
Hypocrisy is one of the reasons we aren’t winning more people to Christ. The world sees how we live and, at times, the arguing and squabbling in our churches, and they want to part of it.
God wants us to be holy… not hypocritical Let’s strive for holiness.