A hypocrite is a person who pretends to be something they aren't. In this case it is a person who pretends to be a Christian and isn't. The Church has always been troubled by those among them who profess to be Christians and are not. This fact will continue to be true until Christ comes for his Church. However, the true Christian doesn't follow the hypocrite but follows Christ. The Church certainly isn't perfect, but Christ is!
There are many scriptures that distinguish between true believers and hypocrites, formalists, and deceived legalist who are working for their own salvation. The fact is that true believers who are worshiping God, are forgiven, and are destined for heaven. While "professors" (hypocrites) are professing to do the same but are not forgiven and their destination is hell.
The fact is, that since God has had His people on this earth, they have been troubled by the presence of these professors among them, those who profess to be believers but who are not. The problem of hypocrites exists, and God knew it would continually exist, so He gave us instructions to leave the unsaved professors in the Church. When the harvest is ready God will arrange for the separation of professors and believers.
The book of Matthew gives a parable that relates to this problem in Matthew 13:24-30, 2 Peter 2:1. From the parable it should be plain that God wants us to leave the tares (hypocrites) in the Church lest we root up the wheat (true Christians) with them. It is God who will have his reapers separate the believers and the unbelieving hypocrites.
A Church is simply a gathering of believers. The Greek word for Church simply means a called out assembly. In this life this called out assembly, gathering of believers, will have a mixed multitude, believers and non-believers, or hypocrites, which is only a temporary problem. This life is short compared to eternity, and in eternity there will be an eternal separation of all believers and hypocrites. We should also remember that the Bible does not tell anyone to follow others but gives specific instructions to follow Jesus. From the parable above it is obvious that God knows of the problem and still expects us to go to Church. Therefore it would appear that going to Church with the hypocrites is a very good idea.
It is easy to become a Church member and call oneself a Christian. One needs only to confess the Lord Jesus Christ, claim salvation by grace, and be baptized. From Matthew we know that not all who name the name of the Lord will enter into heaven, Matthew 7:21. The Church will always welcome sinners and there will always be unrepentant "non-Christian" professors in the Church who look just like Christians but have no forgiveness of sin and will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Even real Christians are in a progressive state of sanctification and will make many errors in the process but these errors/sins are forgiven. Those that do not profess to be Christians should realize that to live the Christian life perfectly is impossible; the Christian life is a progressive life.
|Believers are saved by faith. Luke 7:50||We see in Acts that Simon believed and was actually baptized but in the end Peter told him that his heart was not right in the sight of God. Acts 8:13-21|
|These continued one with another in fellowship. Acts 2:42||These went out from among the church because they were not of God. Otherwise whey would have continued. 1 John 2:19|
|Jesus says His sheep hear his voice and they follow Him. He gives them eternal life and they shall never perish and no one is able to pluck them out of His Father's hand. John 10:27-29||Jesus said the last state of this man is much worse than the first. Matthew 12:43-45|
|Jesus clearly says that all the Father gives Him He will not cast out. John 6:37-39||Jesus taught that some of the disciples did not believe and he knew them from the beginning. Therefore many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. John 6:64-66|
|These believed to the saving of their soul. Hebrews 10:39||God has no pleasure in those who draw back from Him. Hebrews 10:38|
|The righteousness of God comes by faith of Jesus Christ to all who believe. Romans 3:22||They outwardly appear righteous to men but within are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. They shall not escape the damnation of hell. Matthew 23:28, 33|
|The believers are ready for the coming of Christ Matthew 25:10||These are not ready for the coming of Christ Matthew 25:11|
|These are the good servants whom will be rewarded Matthew 25:19-23||These are the unfaithful servants who will be cast into outer darkness Matthew 25:24-30|
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