Oct 10, 2017
Brother Jonathan answers the question, "Are churches full of
Are Churches full of hypocrites?
Remnant Bible Fellowship
- Are Churches full of hypocrites?
- This question is usually in the form of a statement, “Churches
are full of hypocrites!” Or, in some cases, it is just intended to
discredit the promises and claims of Christianity. But is it
- What is a “hypocrite”?
- The word “hypocrite” is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as,
“One who feigns to be what he is not; one who has the form of
godliness without the power, or who assumes an appearance of piety
and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.” Or, “A
dissembler; one who assumes a false appearance.”
- The word “hypocrite” or “hypocrites” appears 31 times in the
KJV, and it comes from the Greek word, “hupokrites”. In “A
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early
Christian Literature”, which is generally abbreviated as BDAG, it
is stated that the word “hupokrites” used in the sense of an actor,
pretender, or dissembler. One who pretends to be something that he
- This is the actually meaning of the word “hypocrite”. Our
English word is nothing more than a carry-over from the Greek word.
In fact, the definition exposes the problem with the question.
- What is the “church” of God?
- Depending on how you define this you’ll get two different
- People think that a “church” is a building. But how does God
define the “church”?
- The word “church” is defined in Webster’s Dictionary both ways.
It’s said to be a building set apart by Christians for the worship
and service of God.
- In the scriptures the word is used differently though. In the
Bible, God defines the “church” using the Greek word “ekklesia”.
This word is used in the sense of, “a regularly summoned
legislative body, assembly; a casual gathering of people; people
with shared belief, community, congregation; the global community
- So, when considering the biblical meaning of the word “church”
we see that it is directly tied in to the question, “what is a
Christian?” We’ve answered that question before on this podcast. If
you want a more detailed answer then I suggest that you listen to
that brief episode also; but, in short, a “Christian” is a person
who follows Jesus Christ. The word “follow” being defined in
Webster’s Dictionary as “to walk after, practice, or act in
conformity to, to obey.” So, a Christian is one who follows and
obeys Jesus Christ. They live by His doctrine and Word. This is the
only true definition of a Christian.
- The real question
- You see, you have to get to the real question. When we define
the words hypocrite, church, and Christian, in their proper context
the answer is made pretty clear.
- So, let’s restate the question using the proper definitions:
“In the global community of people who follow and obey Jesus
Christ, are there people who pretend to follow and obey Jesus
Christ but who do not actually follow and obey Jesus Christ?”
- The answer is pretty obvious isn’t it? Of course there are
people who say they are Christians but don’t follow and obey Jesus
Christ; but, by definition, when someone does not follow and obey
Jesus Christ they are not a real Christian. They are lying, or at
best, deceived as to what a Christian is. It’s more common than you
- If you define the word “church” as a building then yes, there
are hypocrites in it. But if you define the word “church” as God
defines it, then no. There are no hypocrites in the church of God.
When someone says “I am a follower of Jesus,” a Christian, and they
don’t obey Him, which means that they are a hypocrite and
pretending to be a Christian, then it is obvious that they are not
actually a Christian. They don’t meet the conditions in the
definition of the word Christian to call themselves by that
- Jesus Christ Himself said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and
do not the things that I say?” (Luke 6:46) He went on further to
say, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
iniquity.” (Mat. 7:21-23)
- The Apostle John made it clear that Christians do live
righteously. In Biblical Christianity there is no such thing as a
perpetually “carnal” Christian. It’s an oxymoron. Listen to what
the Apostle John said:
- “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that
doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1Jn. 2:29)
- “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth
righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 Jn.
- “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of
the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither
he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:10)
- Jesus warned that when all men are called to the judgment of
God to give an account for every idle word that they have spoken
(Mat. 12:36) that there will be many people who are deceived into
thinking that they know God and serve Him. He will correct them
- This should not happen. We have God’s Word written literally in
black and white to tell us objectively what He tells us to do and
how to live, and it all begins with the Gospel. God is a King. You
are under His jurisdiction as the Creator of the universe and all
things in it. As a King and Judge, He has a moral law. You have
sinned against the righteous law of the King, and you are a
criminal in His sight. This is what the Bible refers to as sin (or
the breaking of God’s law), and being a sinner (a violator of God’s
law). The penalty for violating God’s law is death. You have earned
it by willfully breaking God’s commandments. There is coming a day
of judgment when all of your crimes are laid out before you and you
are sentenced to your death. In eternity, this state is called the
second death. It is eternal death. But the King and Judge is
merciful and says that He has no pleasure in the death of the
wicked, but He wants the criminal to turn from His wickedness to
serve Him faithfully. He has Himself made a way for you to be
pardoned. This is called the Gospel, it means “good news”. You are
in a hopeless situation on your own, but God offers you good news.
He Himself has made an offering to pay for your sins if you would
acknowledge your crimes to Him (your sins) embrace your Savior, the
one who has made a way for you to be reconciled to the King—Jesus
Christ. God became a man to live a righteous life, die a terrible
death that He didn’t deserve, be buried in a tomb, and God raised
Him from the dead as a testimony to you He says that He is not only
able to forgive you but that He is willing. Your part is to
acknowledge your sins to Him, ask forgiveness, embrace your only
hope of salvation from eternal death at the hands of a holy and
righteous Judge and King, Jesus Christ.
- If you are willing, and that’s what you want to do, call upon
God and do just that. Believe the truth of the Gospel, embrace
Jesus Christ as your Savior, and live as though He is your Lord.
Nothing less than that is Christianity. If you would call Jesus
Lord, then live as though He is.
- For a deeper discussion about the gospel or salvation, listen
to our episodes, “What is the Gospel”, “The Gospel is reasonable”,
and “What is a Christian”.
- You can always sends questions or comments via our Facebook
page, www.facebook.com/RBFellowship, or you can email me directly
through the email at the end of every episode.