Summary: God looks on the heart, and sees through all of those things that we outwardly decorate ourselves with. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
The Hypocrite's Triple Judgment
Howard Carter discovered the tomb of old King Tut back in the early twenties and when he finally broke in to the tomb of one of Egypt's richest kings, he went in and found the casket, the sarcophagus, it was a huge thing. He opened that coffin and inside was another coffin covered with gold leaf. And he opened that and inside was a third coffin, and he opened that and inside was one of solid gold. And when he opened the fourth, inside was King Tut, and he was wrapped in gold cloth and he had that incredible gold mask on his face. It is so beautiful. But when they lifted that off and took off that gold cloth, there was an old, dried, withered, dead corpse inside all of that. The outward thing did not change what was on the inside.
We're dealing today with hypocrites, and many hypocrites have quite a few things on the exterior, but God doesn't look on the exterior, God looks on the heart. God sees through all of those things that we decorate ourselves with.
In chapter 1 we talked about how God handles the heathen. In chapter 2 we're going to see how God handles the hypocrite. In chapter one, we saw the down and out. In chapter 2 we're going to see the up and up. Because Paul, who's very smart and anointed by the Holy Spirit, knew that there were certain religious people who would listen with relish as he described God's judgment upon the heathen and perverts--and they would say, Well, we're not that way, we don't do that. And so they were indignant at the sins of others but indulgent about their own sins.
[The devil would rather send you to hell from the pew than the gutter.]
vv. 1-3 Now go back to chapter 1 and verse 32, "Knowing the judgment of God, that they," underscore the word they. And now notice in chapter 2 verse 1: "Therefore THOU art inexcusable." It's easy to talk about they, but God is gonna talk to 'thou.' God is saying, Hey, don't talk about other people, it's time right now to examine yourself.
I heard somewhere of a man who went to the psychiatrist's office. He had a scrambled egg on his head and a strip of bacon over each ear. He said, "I need your help...it's about my brother." It's time that we stop thinking about they and, and begin to think about ourselves and examine ourselves because even those who are saved may be guilty of hypocrisy, including me. 'Faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord there's none in me.'
What is the hypocrite's judgment going to be like? Three things.
Three times he uses the word according. Look at it in verse 2: "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth." All right, just underscore that. Now go down to verse 6: "Who will rendereth every man according to his deeds." First of all according to truth, the hypocrite's judgment is according to truth. Number two, it is according to deeds. Now go down to verse 16: "In the day when God should judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." So the judgment is going to be according to truth, is going to be according to deeds, and is going to be according to the gospel.
First of all, the judgment is going to be according to truth, and therefore there will be no disguise. You see, the word hypocrite means play actor; that's what the word literally means. And in Jesus' time, the actors would put on disguises. If they were supposed to be happy, rather than merely acting happy, they would put on a happy face, a disguise. If they were to be sad, they'd put on a sad face. If they were to be fierce, they would put on a fierce face. They were wearing masks, they were wearing disguises. And Jesus said in the religious world there are some who are hypocrites, they are actors, they are wearing disguises. But Paul says that the judgment is going to be according to truth. God is going to pull off the mask, there will be no disguise. Not profession, not pretension, not performance, but truth is the standard.
Abraham Lincoln said, said you can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time," And we could add that you can't fool God any of the time. God's judgment is according to truth.
Today we've forgotten truth. We have sacrificed truth for pragmatism. We don't ask, Is it true? We ask, Does it work? We sacrifice truth for style. We don't say, "Does he or she tell the truth?" Rather, do I like him? Do I like her? We're not interested in truth, we're interested in the stock market. We are one nation under greed, rather than one nation under God.