Christ is not ashamed to call the poorest saints “brethren,” but He despises to have His name seen upon a rotten-hearted hypocrite (Hebrews 2:11).

Of all sinners the hypocrite does the most harm in this world and therefore will have the most torment in the other world.

And yet it is religion which has constantly proved to be the most effective bait of hypocrites, as they seek to snare others into their error and sin while posing as children of God.

Ehud, for example, could not have chosen a better key to open the doors into King Eglon’s presence than to say he had brought a message from God.

This caused such expectation and confidence that Eglon welcomed him. When the two were alone, the king rose to hear the Word of the Lord from the deceiver–but what he received was a brutal death (Judges 3:14-30).

I confess the hypocrite may act his part so well that he may accidentally do some good. His glistening profession, heavenly speech, and eloquent preaching might bring to the sincere seeker a message of real comfort.

Like an actor at center stage who stirs up passion in the audience by counterfeit tears, the hypocrite, playing his religious role, may temporally spark the believer’s true graces.

But that is when the Christian may be in the most serious danger, for he will not readily suspect the person who once helped him spiritually.

It would have been far better had Sisea the Canaanite done without Jael’s butter and milk than to be nailed to the tent floor, having been fooled by that woman’s seeming hospitality.

Thus it is to our advantage not to sample free gifts and give-away graces of stage play saints, applauding and drinking ourselves drunk with their admiration.

Sometimes a calculated distance from the hypocrite is the safest way to avoid having our heads nailed by errors.

William Gurnall

HT: Old Truth.com

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