Pastor Mike will be speaking on Confronting Hypocrisy in the Church Part 2. He will be reading out of Acts 5:1-11.
When you’re a pretender in the church, when you are living a life that is fake, you sit there and proclaim that you love Jesus and that you’re going to live for God, but yet you refuse to obey Him, you set up things that are pushing people away from God.
Welcome to Hope Worth Having Radio broadcast. This is Pastor Mike Sanders from the Open Door Church, and we welcome you to be a part of this great broadcast today. And today we’re going to be studying the book of Acts, chapter five, and I’ve entitled the message Confronting Hypocrisy in the Church.
You know the context a little bit about how the church is expanding in Acts chapter one all the way through chapter four, and we’re going to see God do a very public church discipline, and I want you to join me as we study this together.
But that’s not the way it is spiritually. You take all of the Bible and you say, I submit my life to the Bible, to the Word of God. People get upset at me sometimes when I say, this is what the Bible says.
And they’ll say, well, that’s not how I feel. Let me tell you something. Your feelings need to be in submission to the Word of God. Your feelings need to be in submission to the Word of God. I don’t always, now I know this may shock you, and cause you to fall out of your pew, but just pick yourself back up.
I don’t always feel like a Christian. Hello. I don’t always feel like a pastor. But my feelings are in submission to the Word of God. Not what I feel. Here’s another one. I know this is shocking to you guys, pastor.
He’s being real with you. I don’t always feel like coming to church. There are times I’m so tired. tired, buddy? You know what I’m saying? I got a massive headache. I’d like to just turn all the lights off and sit in darkness and fall asleep and let my headache just work itself out, amen?
But you know what? My feelings are in submission to the Word of God. And that’s what you have to ask yourself. If the Bible commands me to do something or not to do something, are my feelings going to be in submission to the Word of God?
Am I going to obey God? I can’t call Him Lord, Lord, but do not the things that He says. That’s what Jesus said. That’s what He taught us. So I just want to challenge you in that area. And the second way that we can lie is by blaming other people for our failures and our faults.
You know, it’s always somebody else’s fault, amen? Have you noticed that? Especially when you get out there and drive on 30? We got the craziest traffic in this town. I mean, I’m not trying to be hard on the city fathers But I’m just saying who designed all this And once letter Kenny lets out and school lets out and the hospital lets out and changes shifts whatever I mean It’s like a madhouse around here People cutting you off jumping in front of you bringing out the worst in pastor Mike If I yell and scream at you, you just start off saying we better pray for our pastor He needs help.
I understand I hear you But I want you to understand that it’s easy for us to blame everybody else out there. It’s their fault It’s their fault. It’s easy to find fault with others instead of coming to grips Is there anything that God wants me to change in my life?
Is there anything that God wants me to work on? Let me tell you something. One of the reasons people are so easily offended Have you ever met these people you say hi to them and they’re offended because you didn’t say hi the right way Okay, I mean you think these people don’t exist but they do They do they’re offended at everything.
You’re walking on pins and needles all around them. They might blow up on you Let me tell you why that is. Are you with me? the pride of life The pride of life people who are easily offended are full of pride They don’t like to be rejected.
They don’t like anybody telling them what to do They don’t want to be confronted about anything. Everything has to be perfect in its way And I want to encourage you to look at that in your life maybe you’re one of those people who know Some hypocrisy has gotten into your life and that you’re walking around as I said last week and you feel like this responsibility is to point out everybody’s fault and correct everybody’s issues and That you’re on this mission to change Let me tell you the greatest thing you can do for your marriage Okay, I can save your marriage right here.
You don’t even have to come to see me. You don’t have to go to a therapist. You don’t have to go to a counselor, okay? Just go to the Word of God. Quit trying to change each other. Quit trying to change each other.
And give your spouse to God. Do you know who changes people? God does. For every person I tried to change and every person I tried to fix, it never worked. It’s like the old preacher who became a funeral director.
You heard about that, didn’t you? The old preacher became a funeral director, and one of his parishioners said, what’s the difference? He said, well when I would try to fix people in the church, they just went right back to the way they were.
But when I try to fix people here, their bodies are dead. It stays right where it is. And I’m just telling you that. You can’t fix people, but only Jesus can fix people, and Jesus can save people, and Jesus can change people, and what if, instead of criticizing your spouse, and what if, instead of fighting fault with your spouse, and what if, instead of interrogating your spouse, you got on your knees and prayed for your spouse, and you asked the Lord to work effectively in their heart, and what if you had a burden for their heart, and what if you desired that they would not only know the Lord, but they would grow in the Lord, what kind of change would that be?
God would change you from having a critical spirit and blaming others and finding faults, and it would change your heart to be honoring, and giving praise to God. It’s the same thing, parents, you’re working hard on your child, and you’re drilling down on them, and what you really need to do is get on your knees and pray for your children, and ask God to change your children’s hearts.
I’ll tell you another way that we lie stretching the truth. We stretch the truth, we call it a little white lie, but you see these white lies add up and they become big lies, and we can’t follow through on them, we can’t remember who we told what, and therefore our life is a mess, and everything that we say ends up being a lie.
So I want you to understand that the Apostle Peter confronts this, and in this exposure, we come to verses three and four, in this exposure of hypocrisy, he reminds us that the hypocrisy in our hearts is of satanic origin.
Did you see that? Did you note that? That he said in verse three, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? Why has Satan filled your heart? You know, it’s most likely, that I’m a firm believer that you cannot be demon-possessed, that you cannot be taken over by the devil.
devil or his demons as a believer because the spirit of God and the demonic forces cannot reside in the same house. Jesus taught us that. So we have an issue here that perhaps even in the massive growth of the church an unbelieving family infiltrated the church.
Did you know that that can happen? No matter how many barriers you put up to make sure that unbelievers don’t get into the church but apparently Ananias and Sapphira had gotten into the church and they were not even believers and they had the pride of life and they coveted and lusted in their hearts and they wanted the praise of men and they wanted to be acknowledged as these generous people.
They lied and conspired about it, about their giving. And Peter says, Satan has filled your heart. The Bible teaches us that Jesus himself said you are of your father the devil. This means that the Pharisees, the religious leaders, say the desires of your father you want to do.
He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources for he is a liar and the father of it. Satan is the author of all deception in our lives.
Satan is the influencer of all lying in our hearts. We remember in Genesis three that the devil used the serpent to influence Eve, to believe a lie and to embrace a lie. And that can happen in our life.
We have to be careful. Some of you say, well, how could Satan ever influence me because he messes with your mind? He messes with your mind. And sometimes the people he puts around you and the things that he puts around you influence the way that you think.
The Bible says as a man thinks, so is he. I encourage people all the time to not believe everything that they think because everything they think is not always true. That’s why we bring our thoughts, our feelings, and every emotion that we have, we bring it in submission to the word of God.
It’s important for us to align our hearts with God’s word and recognize that the devil can use things and people to mess up our thinking. Remember what Peter said. Jesus was telling the plan of God that Jesus would die on the cross and that he would rise again on the third day.
And Peter said to Jesus, it will never be. And what did Jesus say? Did he give him a hug and words of comfort and say, hang in there, Peter? I know you mean well, but you’re off track. He said, get thee behind me, Satan.
Wow, you talk about meltdowns. There are some cupcakes out there that could not handle Jesus. Jesus. Because Jesus was straightforward and to the point. And what Jesus was saying is, that Satan was influencing Peter to try to thwart the plan of God, of redemption for mankind.
And the devil can use people in your life to try to hinder the work of God and to try to hinder God’s man and God’s people and God’s work and to cause division and destruction. And you and I have to be careful that we don’t allow that to happen.
This exposure was not only satanic in its origin, it was selfish in its operation. Is it that Ananias and Sapphire were looking at this as something that would bring attention to them? It was all about them.
Why do we lie? Why do we live duplicate lives? Why do we live one way around a certain group of people and another way around another group of people? Because we want the applause of men, people. We want people to like us.
We are addicted to affirmation. Are you with me? It all starts when they’re little. They show up to a ballgame and they start giving out rewards just for showing up. They give them a treat afterward.
They hand out trophies and you say, what did they accomplish? And they say nothing. They just showed up. I know that upsets some parents and grandparents, but I’m just telling you it all starts there that every day has got to be a celebration of affirmation.
They grow up needing that every day of their life. They can’t handle a critique. They can’t handle correction. They can’t handle something being different and not their way. They can’t handle somebody not affirming them in their life and therefore they live a deceptive life trying to get people to like them.
The Bible says these six things the Lord hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to him. Where does he start out? A proud look. A lying tongue. It is Satan who entices us, but he entices us to be selfish and to feed our pride.
Satan seeks to seduce and snare every Christian and to cause a discrediting of their testimony before the world. Now, I want you to note that verses 5 through 11 are the results of the explosion of hypocrisy in the church.
Look at verse 5, then Ananias hearing these words fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. and the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Now, it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, tell me whether you sold the land for so much. She said, yes, for so much. Then Peter said to her, how is it that you have agreed together to test the spirit of the Lord?
Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. Let me tell you something about a loving God. A loving God reminds us. That he will bring justice to all who reject his grace and mercy Some might say well loving God would never do that.
Let me tell you a loving God confronts sin deals with it and punishes sin a Loving God tells the truth loving God addresses what’s wrong in our life. Listen to what Jesus said to the Pharisees, but woe to you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men for you neither go in yourselves Nor do you allow those who are entering to go in?
What is he saying? He is saying that you’re hypocritical though. You’re religious You’re a hypocrite because you don’t have a real relationship with God because you have rules for the Rules for other people and not me you’re a hypocrite because you have you live one way this way and then another way with another group of people He said you’re a hypocrite and he says you are keeping people out of the kingdom of God You see my hypocrisy is not a big deal Mike it’s my life I’ll do what I want Let me tell you something.
You’re sending people to hell When you’re a pretender in the church when you are living a life That is fake You sit there and proclaim that you love Jesus and that you’re gonna live for God But yet you refuse to obey him and yet you set up things that are pushing people away from God Jesus says woe to you No, I know It’s hard for us to swallow this.
I Want you to be reminded that our forgiving God Will punish those who refuse to repent of their sins You might think the pastor’s really gone off his rocker. We must have had a bad week this week.
No, we’re just in Acts chapter five. It was the next chapter. I want you to take your Bible and go to 1 Corinthians chapter 11. Go to 1 Corinthians chapter 11, church. I wanna show you that God deals with sin and he does it within the church.
I’m talking about the believers. You might be here today and saying, well, I can live however I want, Mike, and I’ll do what I want. It’s my life. Who cares? Well, if you’re a person who claims the name of Jesus Christ, God cares.
God cares how you live and God is very observant of whether your life is a lie or a truth. The church at Corinth had corrupted communion. They’d turn it into a party only for the… Favored in the exclusive and there were other people in the church who were left out They didn’t even announce that there was communion that was gonna be communion So God uses the Apostle to confront this and he brings judgment upon them And he reminds them that you don’t come to the Lord’s table flippantly There were those that did not discern What God had done on the cross for our salvation verse 30, for this reason, many are weak Sick among you and many sleepers have died for if we judge ourselves We would not be judged But when we are judged we are chastened by the Lord that we may not be condemned with the world Therefore my brethren when you come together to eat wait for one another Don’t start without your brothers and sisters.
Don’t leave others out But if anyone is hungry, let them eat at home Lest you come together for judgment and the rest I will set in order when I come Here’s the key that I want you to see is that first in verse 30 He is saying that I will judge you now not every death, not every sickness Not every weakness is the result of the judgment of God.
It is possible. Sometimes God just calls his people home Sometimes in his sovereign wisdom, he just calls them home and there is no sin issue. There is no judgment issue It’s just that God has promoted his saint But there are other times That God brings judgment and his judgment is manifested in weakness sickness and death But what is the antidote look at verse 31 if We judge ourselves.
We would not be judged if you would confront your sin today You would not be confronted by God tomorrow If you would come to the Lord with a humble heart this morning repent of your duplicate life and your lying tongue and your hypocritical actions and thoughts.
When you come and confess your sins, he is faithful and he is just to do what, church? Do you know why he can forgive us of our hypocrisy? Even if it’s just a small speckle in our hearts. How is it that he can forgive us of our hypocrisy and our lying?
Because he went to the cross for you and he went to the cross for me. Why do we glory in the cross? Because that’s where Jesus took our judgment. When you judge your sin, when you address it, when you confront it, when you confess it to God, the Bible tells you that there will be rivers of forgiveness, rivers of mercy.
But if you hold back and you’re stubborn and you’re stiff-necked and you refuse to respond to God, he will deal with you. as he, in his wisdom, has determined. Hypocrisy is unacceptable to God. Ananias and Sapphira thought they could get away with a lie.
They thought they could pretend in the church, and no one would notice. But God exposed it. I want to give you a reminder, that no one has ever gotten away with sin. In all of the history of mankind, no one has gotten away with sin.
No one. The Bible says, be sure your sin will find you out. You might come and pretend, live in a double life, thinking, man, nobody’s going to know. But I’m going to tell you, it all catches up with you.
And when it does, great is the fall. It is embarrassing, and it is severe when God judges. Being a real Christian requires that we make every effort to not deceive ourselves, to not deceive others, and most importantly, don’t deceive God.
Be real with God. It’s okay to confess your sin to God. Every day I come to God and I ask Him, Lord, if there’s anything in my life, I want to make right with you. I want to live in clear conscience with you, God.
I want to live in clear conscience with others. If we fail them, we want to live in clear conscience with them. The Bible says, if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie.
And we do not practice the truth. I’d rather you go out there and say, you know, I’m not a believer than to be free. fake and say, I am a believer, and live in darkness. I can respect someone who says, hey, I’m not a believer.
And they live in darkness, and they live more selfishly than someone claiming to be a Christian. Now verse 11 says this, verse 11 of Acts chapter five, says that great fear came upon all the church. And upon all who heard these things.
Why were the people afraid? When the Bible talks about fear, it’s not that they were afraid of a virus, or that they were afraid of some kind of reaction of mankind. They had a reverence and a healthy fear of God.
God, God, God, God, God, God, God. send a shot across the church. And it was this, you’re growing, you’re going for me, you’re moving forward, but do not let Satan corrupt your life. When the devil is working, he wants to get us off track, not just discourage us, but get us on a path of deception.
And lying, what helps us, what helps our church, to stay in line with Jesus Christ, is to have a healthy fear of God. Hear me, Jesus loves you, hear me. The Bible says that when we become believers, we’re his friend, Abraham was a friend of God.
But I want you to know he’s a holy God. He’s a righteous God. And we should never disrespect him. I see people disrespecting the name of Jesus. I can’t help it, but when people out in the community use the name of God in vain or curse the name of Jesus, I always end it with, Love you, Jesus loves you.
I have such a healthy fear of God, that I don’t want to invest in my heart, not that Mike’s perfect. I don’t wanna use the name of God or Jesus in an inappropriate way. Christian moms and dads, you need to talk to your kids.
You need to talk to your kids about how they’re using the name of God. Because God is not a slang word, he’s not an expression after we’re frustrated or disappointed, that’s the holy name of God. who saved your soul, who went to the cross and gave his life for you.
Is there no healthy fear in the church? Is there no healthy respect towards who God is and what he has accomplished in our hearts? What you and I are reading in verses one through 11 is a manifestation of God’s holiness and righteousness.
And God is purging the church and the result of the purging was the people had great fear of the Lord. There’s no way that our church can grow and be what it’s supposed to be if there is sin in our lives.
This morning, I’m calling on all members to examine their hearts. Is there any area that I need to confess to God? Is there any area that I need to change? Is there any area that I’m being hypocritical?
Is there any area that I am lying about in my heart? I don’t care how small it is. I don’t care. And don’t be upset, church, because long before I’m asking these questions to you, I’m asking them to me.
God’s been working on me and just search my heart, O God. See if there’s anything wicked in my heart. Search me, Lord, if there’s anything you’re saying, change in me. Now, here’s the thing. Jesus said, blessed are they that mourn.
They shall be what, church? I know we use it for when our loved ones die and certainly appropriate, but here’s what he really means. Those who mourn over their sin shall be comforted by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And if you’ve been like me just mourning over some things that the Spirit has been putting into your mind, I don’t want you to stay stuck in mourning and grieving over your sin. I want you to run to the cross this morning, and I want you to get to Calvary, and I want you to confess it to God.
And I want you to be comforted by the hope and the promise of forgiveness that is only found in Jesus. Would you pray with me, church? Well, could you imagine what would happen in the church if all hypocrites were immediately struck by God’s drug out of the church because they had died?
Wow, I think it would really shake the church, but that’s exactly what happened in Acts chapter 5. God dealt very sternly with this couple who wanted to brag about something that was not true, and they wanted to impress others about their wealth and tried to present themselves as something that they were not, and God deals with it.
But it sets an example for us first to make sure that there are no areas in our life that we’re being hypocritical, but also to know that God’s calling us to live among a community of believers that are striving for holiness and righteousness and longing to be more like Christ each and every day.
I hope this message has been a blessing to you. You can learn more on YouTube. If you go to YouTube .com check us out. You can see this entire message and the whole series in the Book of Acts.
And so take advantage of that. Just type in, hope worth having, and you can subscribe to our channel. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having. you