Matthew Chapter 23, beginning in verse number one, the Bible reads, "Then spake Jesus to the multitude and to his disciples saying, 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not after their works for they say and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be born and lay them on men's shoulders. But they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.'"
The subject that I want preach on this morning is the subject of hypocrisy. Now, if any chapter in the Bible is the hypocrisy chapter it would be this chapter. Over and over again Jesus says, and verse after verse, "You're hypocrites! You hypocrites! Scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, hypocrites." Almost every verse, once you get into the meat of this chapter, uses the word, "hypocrites." So I wanted to go through some of the things in this chapter and warn you about the danger of being a hypocrite and also warn you about other people who are hypocrites.
Now, first of all, let's get some definitions of hypocrisy from this chapter. There are several definitions that we can find right here in the chapter. First of all, in verse three, the Bible says, "All things, all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works." And then here's the key, "For they say and do not." So the number one definition of a hypocrite here is someone who says one thing and does another. They say and do not. For example, this would be somebody who tells you that you need to be reading your Bible everyday and then they're not reading the Bible everyday. Or they tell you, "Hey, we need to be out soul winning. We need to be out getting people saved! We need to preach the gospel to every creature." But they're not actually doing that work, themselves. They tell you to do a lot of good deeds and good works, but they don't participate in it themselves.
Look at verse five. Following up with that, the Bible says, "But all their works they do for to be seen of men." So when they do actually do the work, it's only to be seen of men. They talk a real big talk, but they don't walk the walk. If they do walk the walk, it's only to put on a show to be seen of other people. This is what a hypocrite is.
A hypocrite is someone whose basically an actor. They're pretending to be something that they're not. Their goal is to be glorified by men and to be exalted by those around them. What's the motive for being a hypocrite? The motive is to make people think that you're a wonderful person, when you're not. It's to make people think that you're a great Christian, when you're not. That's the goal. The goal is to be glorified and exalted of men. Look what the Bible says in verse five. "But all their works they do for to be seen by men: they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the boarders of their garments, and love the upper most rooms at feats, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."
Now, elsewhere, when Jesus is making a very similar speech to this, in the book of Luke, he talks about how they love to go in long clothing. That's the term he uses. Here he talks about them enlarging the boarder of their garments, but in Luke it's worded as going in long clothing. You'll notice how many religious leaders and clerics of our day will go around in long clothing, don't they? They basically will walk through the airport, or wherever you see them, in long, flowing garments.
They have these gowns on that really look ridiculous if you think about it. They're not really practical clothing. But you see Catholic priests in that kind of garment. You see the Orthodox priest in that kind of garment. You see the Jews wearing those kinds of garments sometimes. You'll see Muslim Imam's in these long, flowing garments. What's the purpose of wearing that kind of clothes? There's only one purpose: to put on a show to the people around you.
Hey everybody! Look at me. I'm a holy man. I'm a man of God. Putting on a robe and tying it with a weird hood or something, looking like, you know, you're from Star Wars or something. Basically, the point is just so everybody sees you and says, "There's a guy who is just a really spiritual leader." That's why they turn the collar backwards and put on the funny hat. It's all to be seen of man and Jesus is warning against this.
When Jesus was on this earth he did not wear a funny hat. He did not wear strange clothing. He basically dressed like a normal person. In fact, when he was in the garden of Gethsemane the only way he could be identified was that Judas would give him the kiss of betrayal, because of the fact that he looked like everybody else. He looked like a normal person. That's why they had to say, "It's the one that I kiss." Because otherwise they wouldn't have known him from anybody else. He just dressed like a normal person.
But hypocrites, people who want to be seen as very holy and spiritual will wear these strange outfits, long, flowing garments, collar turned around backwards, whatever. It says they love these titles. These are the type of titles that they love: rabbi. Then, here's another title they like: father. Look what the Bible says in verse number 9. "Call no man your father upon the earth: for one if your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be called masters: for one is your master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
One of the ways to avoid hypocrisy is not to exalt yourself, but to humble yourself. Don't go around wearing certain clothes to show people how spiritual you are. Don't go around with fancy titles to impress people. We're suppose to be humble and glorifying of Jesus Christ, not calling our-self names that exalt us too much. Now, it's amazing to me how people will just disregard this clear teaching of scripture on not calling people Rabbi, master, or father. Now, the Catholic church, what do they call the priest? Father. Something that Jesus specifically prohibits here. Then, what do the Jews call their leaders? Rabbi. Now, they don't believe in Christ anyway. But then you have this messianic Juadism that comes along, where basically they claim to be a Christian but then they still call them self Rabbi when Jesus specifically said, "No."
It's amazing to me how people will try to argue with this stuff. You'll try to show this to someone whose Catholic and here's what they'll come at you with. Oh, well you call your dad father. That's because he is my father! It makes sense to call your dad father because he is your father. Okay? But the Catholic priest is not my father. Neither is the pastor my father. That doesn't make any sense. Obviously when he says here not to call any man father upon the earth, for one is your father, we're talking spiritually here. Now, even so, let's say, for example, that the Catholics are right when they come at us when they say, "Well, you call your dad father." Do two wrongs make a right? Even according to that ridiculous logic, then I would just stop calling my dad father. But I'm not going to violate Christ's command here and call some priest father. I'm not going to call some messianic teacher, Rabbi. It's wrong. We shouldn't use these terms.
Now, I've asked ... Somebody said, 'cause I'd attacked Jonathon Con for calling himself, Rabbi, and here's what they said, "Oh, well he doesn't call himself Rabbi. He calls himself Rabbi Jonathon Con and that's different." They said, "That's three words. Rabbi is one word. Rabbi Johnathon Con is three words." This is the kind of nonsense where people just don't care what the Bible says, but they're just entrenched in what they believe. They just can't let go of Judaism. They can't let go of Catholicism. They can't ... How can anybody look at this scripture and walk away thinking that we should call ourselves, as religious leaders, Rabbi or master, or father. But people will say this, "Well what's the difference between calling yourself pastor and calling yourself Rabbi? Hmm?" Well here's the difference: God told us not to do the one! He sanctioned the other! Any questions?
If God in Heaven says, "Hey, I gave you pastors and teachers." Then you have pastors and teachers. If he says, "This is the bishop, this is the elder." Then you have a bishop and an elder. If he says, "Here's a deacon." Then you have a deacon. But if he says, "Don't be Rabbi, master, and father." Then you don't go by those names. Pastor, teacher, bishop, elder, deacon, these are good terms. Master, Rabbi, father are blasphemies terms. Any questions? Here's what they'll lie and say, "Oh, Rabbi means teacher." Wrong! What does the Bible say right here in the passage? It says in verse number eight, "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master." So what does Rabbi mean according to the Bible? Master. When Jesus resurrects from the dead in John Chapter twenty and is faced with Mary in the garden of the tomb there, then basically she says to him, "Rabboni!" Which being interpreted is master.
Rabboni means my master. Again, we let the Bible define itself, not Christ rejecting Jews to tell us what Rabbi means. The Bible says that Rabbi means master. Now, it might seem repetitive here that he says not to be called Rabbi, not to be called father, and then he specifically says not to be called master. Now the reason why is because Rabbi is in a foreign language. Okay? Jesus here is speaking in the Greek language. The New Testament is written in Greek. If you read this in the Greek New Testament there's a Greek word for master. He's saying don't use that word. Then, there's the word Rabbi, which is the Hebrew word for master. He's saying don't use that word either. In reality, he's telling us twice not to be called master. He's telling us twice not to be called Rabbi. Basically he's saying don't call it in this language and don't call it in that language. Our equivalent, today, in English would be, don't be called master in English and don't be called Rabbi and don't be called father. These are not appropriate titles for a religious leader. An appropriate title would be pastor, teacher, beacon, deacon. Those are appropriate Biblical titles.
Why would someone want to call them self these titles that are specifically prohibited by God? It's because they're a hypocrite. A hypocrite is someone whose outwardly pretending to be spiritual but on the inside they're not. How could you be anymore of a hypocrite to call yourself a man of God and Christian teacher and then use titles that Christ specifically prohibited in a chapter about hypocrites. That shows what's going on in your heart. You like those fancy titles because you're a hypocrite. You like to be exalted and lifted up and given these lofty titles that are too high for you, of master. If a slave called their master, Master, that would make sense 'cause he is their master. But you know what? Is the pastor of the church your master? No. That's a little bit too far, isn't it? When you're calling a religious leader Master? Or when you're calling him Father? It's not ... I don't want to take the responsibility of being your father, all right? It's a little too much.
The Bible here is talking about people who lift themselves up. Jump down the verse twenty-five. What is a hypocrite? Number one, a hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another. Number two, a hypocrite who does all their works to be seen of men and exalted. Look at verse twenty-five. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." This is what hypocrisy is. On the outside you're clean. On the outside you look good. But that's where it ends. On the inside you're rotten. That's what hypocrisy is.
Go to Matthew chapter number six. Matthew six. What is it to be a hypocrite? It is when you do your works to be seen of men. Here's a chapter that also uses the word hypocrite a lot. Matthew chapter number six, beginning in verse one. "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." Now remember, he said of the hypocrites in Matthew twenty-three, he said all their works they do for to be seen of men. Here he's telling us, as Christians, we're not false prophets. We're not evil, rotten people. We've saved, born again Christians. But he's warning us and saying to us that we should take heed that we don't do our alms before men to be seen of them, otherwise we will have no reward of our father which is in Heaven. Even we, as Christians, can fall into the trap of hypocrisy like the unsaved Pharisees. That's why Jesus even told his own disciples, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." He spoke of their doctrine.
He said in another passage, Luke twelve, he said, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy." Now what is leaven? What would we, in modern time refer to as leaven? Yeast is normally what people would use to leaven bread. Leaven is that leaven multiples and spreads. So the phrase goes a little leaven leavens the whole lump. If you've ever made that Amish bread where you keep passing the dough along and it keeps on going and going and going, this is testament to the fact that the leaven keeps on multiplying. It's living, it's bacteria. It's not exactly bacteria, but anyway the thing about it is that leaven is something that spreads and multiples exponentially.
God is warning us about hypocrisy and he's saying that even if we're saved, we can be leavened by the hypocrisy of people like the Pharisees, evil people. Where we start act the same way and do the same things as these wicked unbelievers and as these false religions do. He says unto us that we need to take heed. What does take heed mean? Be careful. He says, "Look, be careful that you don't do your alms before men to be seen of them." He's saying we need to examine our hearts and think about when we do good deeds are we doing it so other people will see what we're doing? Or are we doing it because it's the right thing to do and we just want to please God. That's what it comes down to. Is our goal to please God in secret? Or is our goal to please man openly. That's what's going to stop us from being a hypocrite. When we realize that the only person whose opinion matters is really God's opinion. That's who need to worry about pleasing.
It says here not to do our alms. Alms, in the Bible, if you study that word consistently means the same thing. It's talking about giving to the poor. It's not talking about tithing or giving offerings at church or anything like that. This is talking about giving to the poor. Alms would be when a poor person needs money and you give them money. This could be a person begging by the side of the road and you give them money or this could be someone that you know that's just down on their luck, maybe they need some groceries, they need a little bit of help financially. That would be alms. It's when you give to the poor.
God says that when you do your alms ... Look at verse two, "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." Now, this seems kind of hard to imagine that anybody would do this, but I believe that Jesus is being literal here. I think that at that time there were people who would literally, when they would see a beggar, they would sound a trumpet and say, "You know, I just want to let everybody know I'm going to help this guy out. I'm going to give him some money or something." That's just ridiculous, isn't it? God saying, "Don't sound a trumpet when you're doing something good." Basically, in our day, this would be going around and telling everybody about it. Oh, yeah, I was able to help this person out. You know, Facebook update your alms. Hashtag almsdeed or whatever. You're giving out your alms or helping people or whatever. He's saying if you do that he says we have no reward of our father which is in Heaven.
Wouldn't you hate to go through life doing a bunch of good deeds and then get no reward? Can you imagine going to work all week and then it comes payday and it's like, sorry you don't get a paycheck. No paycheck for you. But I worked all week! Sorry, you don't get a paycheck. But that's what God's saying. If we do our good deeds before men to be seen of them then we are losing our heavenly reward, the Bible says. God is saying, "You have your reward right now."
Let me tell you something, the glory and praise or man and the accolades that we get on this earth is really an empty reward. Wouldn't you much rather have the reward that God's going to give you in heaven then to get just the empty praise and the accolades on this earth? It's not worth it. He says, "Don't sound the trumpet before the." He says at the end of verse two, "They have their reward.But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret," Verse four, "and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." We need to help people from the bottom of our heart because we want to help them and because if you give to the poor the Bible says you're lending to the Lord. Not because we just want everybody to see how generous we are.
Look at verse number five. It says, "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." What's he saying? Obviously the Bible does talk about praying publicly. There are examples of praying publicly. The Bible says, "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting." But what he's saying is that the real prayer that God's going to reward you for is the prayer that you do in secret, when you enter into your closest, and you pray to the Father in Heaven because you believe that he hears you and that he's going to do what you ask, not because you're putting on a show.
I'll tell you how to identify people who are hypocrites. It's because they go around putting out this really, over spiritual, facade. You run into people like this where you run into them and every word out of their mouth, "Hey, brother Anderson! Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. God Bless you, my brother. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." You know? They basically just talk a big talk and everything is just so overly spiritual. When they pray they like to make these really long prayers. The Bible talks about that in Matthew twenty-three. We'll get to that. It says that they, for pretense, they make long prayers. Now, I'm all for long prayers in your closet, by yourself. But public prayer is not a time for big, long, flowery, fancy prayers because that is just to be seen of men. That's just to be glorified of men at that point.
You'll notice that when they have these phony events like these presidential prayer breakfasts or these, you know, the White House. Anything our government does, hypocrisy. They'll have these big events and people will literally get up to pray and they'll get out notes to pray. When you're praying from notes, that's not prayer. Why do you need notes to pray? Because it's not coming from your heart. Because you're just getting up and making a show to be seen of men and you have your reward right there: everybody thinking that you're so wonderful.
Look down, if you would, at verse sixteen. He says, "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as what? the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." This is the person whose going to put on the sack cloth and they're going to disfigure their face and look like they're really suffering. They're fasting and telling everybody about how they're fasting. That's not the purpose of fasting.
The purpose of fasting is between you and the Lord, not to put on a show. I've even heard about people talk about the fact that they did a forty day fast. It's like, look, first of all, I'm never going to do a forty day fast. If I did a forty day fast I'd probably be dead. Now, some peoples bodies could probably handle that. I don't think mine could. I've heard about people who've done forty day, 'cause they're people in the Bible who've done a forty day fast. But even the Hindu Gandhi did more than a forty day fast. That's not going to get him into Heaven. He's in hell. He's a Hindu. He's not a Bible believing Christian. I've heard Christians talk about the fact that they had done a forty day fast where they just drank nothing but water for forty days and forty nights. Look, I'm going to tell you this. I'm never doing a forty day fast but if I did I wouldn't tell anybody about it. Can you imagine going through that and then losing your reward? 'Cause it would be such an ordeal to go through such a thing and then to just go around telling everybody about it and then you just lost your reward. That's sad, really sad.
Here's the thing. The Bible talks about when you fast and I believe ... people have asked me what I believe about fasting and I don't want to talk too much about it 'cause it's outside the scope of the sermon, but fasting is biblical. To just go without food and drink water, it is biblical. But here's the thing, the most common fast in the Bible is fasting for one day, fasting 'til sundown. A lot of times you'll see a three day fast.
Fasting doesn't have to be this extreme thing of forty days and forty nights, fasting for a week. It doesn't even have to be this extreme thing where you're fasting every week or something, okay? But when you fast it should be something that's between you and the Lord. It should be something that's not openly put on display, that you brag about. Honestly, fasting could just be skipping a meal. Skipping a meal, skipping a days food, skipping a few days.
Honestly, fasting is not bad for you. Some people will try to say, "Oh, fasting is really unhealthy and dangerous." That's really not true. Your body doesn't begin to go into a starvation type mode for a couple of days. The first few days without food, your body is just fine. There's no harmful effect to that, whatsoever. Going beyond that, your body has mechanisms to cope with it and deal with it and so forth. Fasting is a good thing to do. It's a whole other sermon of itself. It is biblical. But it should be something that's done privately and we should anoint our head, wash our face, look sharp, and look like everything's fine. But inside we're going through the affliction of fasting. But that's another sermon.
Now flip just one page over to chapter seven of Matthew. I want to show you another definition of hypocrisy. So far we've seen that hypocrisy is when you say and do not. Number two, hypocrisy is when you do your works to be seen of men. Everything you care about is what people think of you and putting out this outward facade.
I'm going to tell you something. I'm very suspicious of people who are, I call, hyper-spiritual when they get around you. I'm all for being godly and being spiritual. I'm talking about people who are putting on a show of just how godly and spiritual they are. This is often the sign of a hypocrite, where they really lay it on thick with the praise the Lords and hallelujahs.
If you would, look at Matthew Chapter seven and let's get a third definition. Verse one says, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." This is where a person judges other people for being guilty of something when they are even more guilty than that person.
This is actually very common. Why? Because when people feel bad about themselves they like to take other people down a notch to make themselves feel a little bit better. That's why this is so common, this Matthew seven scenario. People have a great big beam in their eye and they're trying to remove the mote from someone else's eye. Often, people will pick apart and criticize other people to make themselves feel about about their own failures and their own short comings.
Let me give you some examples of this. There are people who will criticize every church in their area. There's no good church. Right? They don't even go to church. So here's the beam in their eye, not going to church, when God commands us to go to church. It's not optional. Then, they're trying to pick apart every little, tiny thing that's wrong with the churches in their area.
Here's another example. People will often criticize a church like ours when we go out and get a bunch of people saved. We'll go out and knock on doors and bring a bunch of people to Christ. Here's what they'll say, "You didn't follow up with those people. You didn't disciple them." They have, basically, this big beam in their eye of not obeying Christ's command to go out into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, not obeying Christ's command to go out into the highway and hedges and compel them to come in, not obeying Christ's command of teaching all nations, baptizing them and so forth. Here's what they'll say, "Oh, well you didn't follow up with those people." They're not even reaching anybody! They don't have anyone to follow up with 'cause they're not even doing the soul winning!
I've even seen it to the point where they literally acted like it'd be better not to get people saved at all then to get people saved and not follow up. What kind of a perverse thinking is that? They criticize our small town, soul winning program where we'll go into a small town and knock every ... We'll just show up in a small town, knock every door, try to give everybody the gospel and then go home. Oh! But what are these people going to do? They're like sheep having no Shepard! At least they're going to go to heaven. Somethings better than nothing, hello! The first step is getting people saved.
I'll be honest, our church isn't big on follow up. There, I said it. We go out and win a lot of people to the Lord and we don't spend a lot of time following up with them. I'm not against follow up. I'm all for follow up. If you, in this church, want to go and follow up on the people that you win to the Lord I think that's great. I'm all for it. If another church is real big on follow up, great for them! I'm not going to judge them. I think that's great. That's wonderful. But I want somebody to show me, in the Bible, where I'm suppose to go back and keep following up with someone who refuses to come to church. Can somebody show me that in the Bible?
I have all kinds of scripture on going out and preaching the gospel to every creature, going to every house daily in the temple, and in every house they cease not to teach and preach Christ. But if I sit there and give someone and invitation to church and I say, "Look, you're saved now, you need to get in church. Here's your follow up, Buddy. Follow up service number one: Sunday mornings at 10:30. Follow up number two: Sunday nights at 6:30. Follow up number three: Wednesday nights at 7." I'm sorry, I just don't like going back and begging people to go to church. Now, I've said it before. I'll get on my knees and beg someone to get saved. But I won't beg anybody to come to church.
Honestly, to sit there and criticize somebody for going soul winning and not doing the follow up is just ridiculous. It's just nonsense. But you hear it all the time. Someone even likened it unto giving birth to a baby and throwing it in a garbage can or something. That's ridiculous, okay? Following up is great. But honestly, the reason I quit following up on people is because I found that follow up is a waste of my time so I quit doing it.
If someone else is having success with it, power to them. But I found that when I would go back to follow up a lot of times the people wouldn't be home. Then I drove all the way out there, nobody is home, I end up wasting a bunch of time. Or I get there and it's like, why are you here? We already talked. I know where your church is if I want to come, I'll come. Don't call us, we'll call you, type of a thing. I got away from it.
Here's what's funny. They'll criticize you for what you do. You go out, win people to Christ, baptize them and then they'll criticize that. Well, you didn't baptize them right because you're suppose to baptize them at church. You're suppose to baptize them into the local church so you can't baptize people.
What about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch? He basically ... Here's Philip's follow up. Philip is basically told by the Holy Spirit to go out into the desert. He's preaching. He's talking to people in the city. The Lord reveals unto him that he's suppose to walk out into the desert. This is in Acts chapter eight. Philip starts heading into the desert and doesn't really know why. But then, there's a chariot crossing the desert. He sees this chariot, so he goes running towards the chariot. In this chariot he sees the Ethiopian eunuch and he was a very important man. He's an important servant of Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. He's sitting and reading the Bible.
Obviously, this is God's will. God told him to walk to a certain place, doesn't really make sense humanly speaking, but when he gets there a guy's reading the Bible. He's reading in the prophet Isiah about Jesus, Isiah fifty-three. He says to the Ethiopian eunuch, "Understandest thou what thou readest? The eunuch said, "How can I, except some man should guide me?" Philip hops into the Chariot with him, goes over all the scripture with him, teaches him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He ends up believing on the Lord, Jesus Christ. He says, "See, here's water. What [inaudible 00:32:06] to be baptized?" He says, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." He answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God." He stops the chariot. He gets out. He baptizes him in the water by the side of the oasis, in the desert. A little bit of water? Here's some water, dunk him, and then just when it was time for follow up literally a miracle takes place and he's literally just warped out of there.
Basically, he's just gone. Philip is just gone. The spirit of the Lord whisks him off. The Ethiopian eunuch is looking and he's gone. So the Ethiopian just keeps on heading for Ethiopia, where he was going. He's rejoicing and praising God. He's saved and now he's got the Bible and he's got the Holy Spirit inside him and a Bible in his hand. He's got what he needs right there. To sit there and say, "Oh, he's a baby in a dumpster." What was the Ethiopian eunuch a baby in a dumpster? He seems like he had what he needed there.
Now, that example, right there is showing us, for a reason, that sometimes there's a time to travel to a weird place, get somebody saved, hopefully baptize them, and you know what? It's not always going to be practical for you to continue training that person because of geography.
Our church, we knock doors and go soul winning in places that are kind of far from our church sometimes. Sometimes we travel to these distant towns throughout Arizona and you know what? It's probably not practical for those people to continue coming to church. But our philosophy is that if there are people in a town that are never going to hear the gospel unless we go bring it to them, because there's no soul winning church in that town, then it's our job to evangelize that town like a Missionary. Take a little missions trip and go win some people to the Lord, that's our job. We just want everybody to hear the gospel. Even if they never come to church, it's still a soul saved. It's still a soul that's going to be in heaven for eternity.
Ideally, they would get baptized and serve God and everything. But even if they don't, it's better than nothing. It's a start. It's step one. They got saved. It's an Ethiopian eunuch situation. But it just blows my mind how people who don't go soul winning will criticize. Well, how are you going to follow up with those people? Well, you don't have any problem following up because you're not doing any soul winning! You just want to attack the people who are doing something good for God.
Or people will say this, "Oh, you guys aren't evangelizing homos." Then they're not evangelizing anybody. Here's what I've often said to people, "You know what? I've accidentally given the gospel to more homos than you've given the gospel on purpose to homos." Because of the fact that not everybody wears a sign that says, "I'm a homo." Okay? Oh! You guys are so hateful towards homosexuals! You're not going to reach them! What about the other ninety-seven percent of the population that we're reaching?
The people that will criticize us for that are usually not doing any soul winning, whatsoever. They're not even knocking a single door. They're not going out there in the heat and knocking doors and preaching the gospel with a Bible in the hand and a tear in the eye. But they have such a bleeding heart and say that we don't love people. The preaching is too harsh. You don't love people. Let me say this, if you're not preaching the gospel then you don't love people.
Isn't that hypocritical? Isn't it hypocritical to say, "All these churches are wrong!" You're wrong, 'cause you don't even go to church! Oh, well you know, you're doing a wicked thing by winning people to Christ and then not having a Bible study in their house every week like a Jehovah's Witness. It's like, you don't even win anybody to the Lord and you judge me? Look, I'll be judged by someone whose at least a soul winning.
I remember when I first did soul winning, everybody who did zero soul winning would tell you how to do soul winning. Seriously. I remember when I first started soul winning, I'd go out soul winning and I remember being taken aside by people that I knew saying ,"Well, what do you tell to people when you go soul winning?" I'd say, "Well, here's what I tell them." Wait, wait wait. That's all wrong. I remember I said this many times to somebody. I said, "You know what? Why don't you show me how to do it. We'll walk out this door right now and you show me how to win someone to Christ." They'll say, "Oh, you can't talk about hell." And "You're scaring people." And blah blah blah. It's too confrontational and this and that. Well, show me how to do it.
But the hypocrisy of someone who doesn't go soul winning tell you how to be a soul winner. For example, I remember when I uploaded a video many years ago of the soul winning demonstration, where we just recorded a little demonstration where we show how to win somebody to the Lord. Then we said, "Hey let's do some other ones!" So we uploaded like a Jehovah's Witness demonstrate. How to win a Jehovah's Witness to the Lord. Then we uploaded a demonstration, How to Win a Pentecostal unto the Lord. We showed different variations on it. Somebody said to me, "Why don't you make one on how to win Mormons to the Lord?" You know what I wrote back to that person? As soon as I win a devout Mormon to the Lord, then I'll make that demonstration.
The bottom line ... And look! I would love to see a demonstration on how to win a Mormon to the Lord. But I want to see it from somebody whose succeeded at it. Thank God, since I said that I have won a couple of devout Mormons to the Lord. But they were all Mormons who'd become a Mormon in like their thirties, a little bit later in life. But it's hard. The ones that are born and raised Mormons, they're tough to reach, right? But can you see how ridiculous it would be to make a video where I demonstrate, here's how you do this, and I can't do it? I've failed at it. Isn't that ridiculous? That'd be like how not to win Mormons to the Lord. It's stupid.
But this is what a hypocrite would do. They'd upload a video, saying, "Hey, here's how you do this." Then, they don't get it done. Wouldn't it be hypocrisy to do that? To say, "Oh, let me show you how to do it. Let me teach you a thing or two." And then they're failing. It's like every divorced person will tell you how to fix your marriage. Don't make the mistakes I made. Then they tell you. Or people, I don't wan to go off on that.
But anyway, people will give you all this advice and judge you when they have this big beam in their eye. There is a time to judge, but we need to make sure we have the beam out of our own eye first. Then, we can see clearly to remove the moat out of our brother's eye. Otherwise, we're a hypocrite. Beware of the hypocrisy that, basically, gets on other people for something, when you have issues yourself.
Sort of like the preacher who weighs three hundred pounds and he's going to preach against smoking, because it's so bad for your health. You're thinking to yourself, that's not good for your health either. It's getting quiet in here. I'm just saying! It's true though. I mean, it's not good for your health, is it? There's nothing wrong with preaching against smoking. But here's the thing, if we're going to preach against smoking then we need to make sure that we're not destroying the temple in a different way. Right?
Another example of this, and if you would go to Romans chapter two, another example of this could be people who are really against drugs, but then they drink. I mean, what's the difference. They drink alcohol, but they're really against drugs. But really, that's hypocrisy. That would be hypocrisy. Which brings me to my forth definition of being a hypocrite.
Number one was when you say and do not. Number two is when you do your works to be seen of me. Number three is when you judge others, when you're actually more guilty than them. Number four is basically the hypocrite who has rules that don't make sense. Inconsistent rules where your sin is wrong, but my sin is okay. Sort of like it's okay to be a glutton, it's okay to be slothful, but it's not okay to smoke cigarettes. Or those drugs are wrong, but my drug, alcohol, is fine. That's hypocrisy.
If you're going to say that drinkings fine than smoking pots fine. What's the difference? In some ways, alcohol can even be more harmful than drugs because of the fact that, and I'm not downplaying how bad drugs are, I'm totally against all drugs, but people die from drinking alcohol all the time and at a much greater rate. If you think about it, because first of all if you just keep drinking, and keep drinking, and keep drinking, you'll die. It'll poison your blood stream. You can die from just binge drinking.
Drinking too much in one sitting can kill you right then and there. You can literally drop dead when your blood alcohol concentration gets to point two percent. You're drunk driving at what? Point eight or something? But when it gets up into the twenties or thirties, depending on how well somebody can hold their liquor or whatever, but you get to a certain point and you can actually just fall over dead from having so much alcohol in your system. Not only that, think about all the people that are killed through drunk driving. Think about all the people who commit suicide under the influence of alcohol. It's deadly, it's sinful, it's wicked.
The Bible talks more about being drunk than it talks about drugs. But yet, people are quick to condemn drugs and then they give alcohol a free pass. That would be hypocrisy. Look at Romans two, verse one. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Look at verse number twenty one. It says, "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?"
Go to Matthew, chapter fifteen. Matthew, chapter fifteen. See, hypocrisy often takes the form of man made rules that don't make sense. Man's rules, man's wisdom, that don't make sense. Where my sin is okay, but your sin is wrong, when there really isn't any difference between the two. Look, if you would, at Matthew, chapter fifteen. The Bible says in verse seven, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
What made them hypocrites? The fact that taught for doctrines, the commandments of men. Now, look down at Matthew twenty-three. Flip over to Matthew twenty-three and look at verse sixteen. In the hypocrite chapter, Jesus goes over some of their rules that didn't make any sense. He says, "Woe unto you," in verse sixteen, "ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?" Well, to them the gold was better because of the fact that the love of money is the root of all evil and they were obsessed with money. The Jews today are not like that at all, though.
It says in verse number eighteen, "And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon." He's pointing out the hypocrisy of their rules that don't make any sense.
Here's another example I was thinking about, how hypocritical our nation is today, because of the fact that abortions legal, right? But then, they'll turn around and let's say a pregnant woman wants to have a natural birth when they think she should have a C-section, or she wants to have a home birth when they think she should have a hospital birth, or, let's say, she wants to bypass some of the testing, some of the prenatal tests that they do. Here's what they'll say, "You're endangering that child. Court order the C-section. Court order the syphilis testing.
Here's the thing, a lot of people don't feel the need to have a syphilis test when they're married, and monogamous, and they know they don't have syphilis, and they know their husband doesn't have syphilis, and they know they've been exclusive with each other so they're not really worried about syphilis. Then it's like, they're getting in trouble with CPS for turning down the syphilis test. It's going to be court ordered because they're endangering that child.
But, wait a minute, if you just said, "Well, I want to kill the child." That's okay. Think about it. They'll say, "Oh! You can't have a home birth in this condition. You're endangering that child." But could I kill it? Sure. I mean, think about how dumb that is. They're so worried about the safety of that child, right? No, actually they're worried about making money down at the hospital. Syphilis test, cha ching. Genetic screening, cha ching. C-section, cha ching, cha ching. Just making money, that's what they really care about.
So here's a hypocrite, the essence of a hypocrite, somebody who pretends to be worried about the safety of other people, when really they're thinking about money. Isn't that hypocrisy? They pretend like, oh man we got to worry about the welfare of these children. Let's go abduct them and sell them. Let's abort it and sell the body parts. Let's take the kids away from the parents and sell them to an adoption agency and all this stuff? That's hypocrisy, when we have these rules and it's not consistent. Or somebody gets killed and they're pregnant, it's a double homicide. But an abortions not a single homicide? How does that work. It doesn't work, because it's man rules, man's wisdom, it's total hypocrisy.
The essence of the sermon this morning is this, we don't want to be hypocrites 'cause Jesus was really angry at hypocrites, wasn't he? He's yelling at them, he's calling them fools, he's calling them blind, he's calling them serpents, vipers. This is probably the meanest that Jesus ever got, is in Matthew twenty-three. I mean, every verse he's calling names. He's ripping into these people, calling them whited [inaudible 00:47:33], and phonies, and vipers, and hypocrites. You're blind!
Why was he so mad? Because he hated the hypocrisy. He doesn't like hypocrisy. He warns us, take heed unto yourself. Don't be a hypocrite. How do we avoid being a hypocrite? First of all, we get it in our head that it's about pleasing God, not the people around us. Not putting on a show, not how spiritual can we look, and act, but actually be real. Actually love people, actually care about the gospel, actually care about doing what's right, actually have a walk with God privately between you and him, not just worry about what people think. When you do good deeds, don't broadcast it. Keep it to yourself. What else? Don't judge people. When you live in a glass house, you shouldn't be throwing stones.
There's a time to judge, but not when you're guilty of the same thing. You're not an appropriate judge. You need to worry about getting your own rear end in church. You need to worry about getting yourself out there soul winning before you start picking apart the soul winning of someone else. You need to make sure the rules that you have for yourself and for your family are consistent, that they make sense. If you're a hypocrite, where basically the stuff that you want to do is okay, but the stuff your kids want to do is wrong but it's the same stuff, you got to look at that and say, "Wait a minute. I have to evaluate here. Are my rules based on God's word or is it man's wisdom?"
We don't want to be a hypocrite because it alienates people. People leave churches. Why? Oh, a bunch of hypocrites down there. Kids rebel against their parents. Oh, my parents are hypocrites. Sometimes people accuse you of that, even when it's not true. But, let's just make sure it's not true if someone accuses us of it, that we're not actually hypocrites.
I think that every single person is probably a hypocrite at some point in their life about one thing or another. I don't think anybodies totally immune from this, where you've never been a hypocrite, ever. I think everybody has said something to glorify themselves publicly, just so that people would look at them and think that they were great, when they weren't. People have probably done that. Or people have probably condemned someone else, who was guilty.
Think about David. David commits adultery with Bathsheba and then he's getting enraged about some guy's lamb, about some guy's animal getting taking away. He's yelling and enraged when he's guilty of something way worse. He has this big beam in his eye, adultery, he's trying to take the moat out of some guy's animal cruelty or whatever. Not even animal cruelty, stealing the guy's animal that he loved so much.
Look at one last thing in Matthew twenty-three if you're still there. It says in Matthew, chapter twenty-three, he talks about them killing the prophets. It says in verse twenty-nine, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"
Now, it's interesting here because he rebukes them and says that they are garnishing the sepulchres of the prophets, but their fathers killed the prophets. They're saying, "If we would've been back then, we would not have killed the prophets." But here's the thing, there's no new thing under the sun. I think the biggest mistake the people make is that they think things were way different a long time ago than they are no. They think in Bible days, life was a lot different. They think a hundred years ago life was totally different. Yeah, sure, there was different technology and different culture. But honestly, human nature is the same. People are people and the same type of situations have always been around. People, today, tend to do the same thing where they exalt preachers from the past and then stone present preachers, so to speak.
It's funny, 'cause they say, "If we'd been in the days of our father, we wouldn't kill the prophets." Then who do they kill? Jesus. The greatest prophet ever. Who do they kill? James. One of the disciples who was a great prophet. Who do they kill? Stephen, one of the prophets that's coming and speaking to them through the spirit of the Lord. It's hypocrisy, this weird, double standard for preachers of the past versus the preachers of now. There are people, today, who exalt preachers of the past. Then when a real preacher comes to them today, they can't handle it. They want some soft preacher today. But then they'll lift up some leather long from the past, some fire breathing preacher from the past.
Why? Because they're a hypocrite. They don't really want the real preaching. They just say that they want it. Because then when it's presented to them, they reject it. It's the same thing where people will basically say, "Oh, if I had a church like Faithful Word I'd go there every week." But they don't go to church in their area, and sometimes you'll even find them at church in their area and say, "Well, here's a good church," and then never hear from them again. I mean, I'll have people who will say, "Oh man, it's so hard to find a church in Sacramento, California." I'll be like, "Oh, well, you're in luck, because actually Brother Roger [inaudible 00:53:14] is there and that church is every bit as good as Faithful Word. That's a great church, a very Baptist church." It's just like, hello? Anybody out there? Then, oh man there's nothing out here in Fort Worth, Texas. It's like, oh well, here's a church for you. Then you never hear from then again.
There was this one guy who lived in a certain city, this wasn't anybody we sent out but it was a guy who I was really close with, a great preacher. This guy had been telling me, "Oh man, we need something like this in Des Moine. We need something like this in Des Moine, Iowa. We need a soul winning church, like this, in Des Moine." Then I contacted the guy and said, "Great news. This great, soul winning guy is starting a church in Des Moine, Iowa." I heard from that guy all the time. I never heard from that guy again and he never went to that church again."
What's a hypocrite? Somebody who talks a big talk, but they don't walk the walk. If I had this kind of church in my area, I'd be your most dedicated church member! Can't even show up at their local church. That's 'cause my church is X Y and Z. You hypocrite. You don't even go to church. Hypocrisy, my friend.
There are a lot of people who fall into this, even amongst Christians. We need to be humble, not go around singing our own praises, not go around with a funny hat, weird clothes, talking about how spiritual we are and dropping way too many Praise the Lords and Hallelujahs. Just go around, doing good deeds, talking about praying and fasting, and giving these big flowery, invocations that aren't really meant to comfort the people around us. They're not really meant to help people grow spiritually. They're not really meant to bring honor and glory to the Lord. They're just meant to put on a show for ourselves. Then we go out and condemn everybody for this, that, and the other when we have all kinds of sin that's pretty much the same thing. We need the beware of this in our lives and be genuine, humble, sincere, people where basically what you see if what you get. That's the opposite of a hypocrite.
The opposite of a hypocrite is a guy where just what you see is what you get. A woman, where you look at her and she's real. It's the same thing at church, at home, that's who they are.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for the scripture here in Matthew twenty-three, where you warn about hypocrites, Lord. First of all, the biggest warning is that we need to make sure that we're not hypocrites, Lord. Help us not to be hypocrites. Help us to be humble and not to put on a show. Secondly Lord, help us to be aware of hypocrites. When people are acting this way, Lord, help us to get away from these people and not be deceived by them because we don't want them to leaven us because then we'll start being hypocrites if we hang around with hypocrites. In Jesus name we pray, amen.