The hypocrisy (saying one thing and doing another) of some Christians has kept many back from following Jesus and from being part of a local church. In all honesty, it is true that hypocrites do exist within the Church (that is, the larger group of those who call themselves Christians), for various reasons: Some are new Christians and don’t understand everything yet; some have received bad teaching; some simply make mistakes; and others, unfortunately, do not really have the relationship with God they claim to: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!'”
Hypocrites have been around since the time of Jesus. After confronting the Pharisees (religious leaders of their day) a number of times, He told His disciples, “You shall not be like the hypocrites” (Matthew 6:5). He also taught them how to recognize a true Christian: He said, “Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20) –that is, by their actions and that which their life produces.
Jesus does not call perfect people to follow Him. On the contrary, His message is for those who see the depth of their sin and their need for forgiveness.
Though some may misrepresent God with their words or actions, God’s character and power is not changed. God is a good God who calls people to live a life of love and obedience to Him, one that will draw people to Him and bring Him honor. You can live such a life by having a real relationship with God in which you honestly admit your faults to God and to others, and by loving Him with your whole heart.
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
“For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).
“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:2).