One of the greatest leadership messages ever preached by Jesus was Matthew chapter 23. It was perhaps, His last greatest preaching message.
By anyone’s standard, if Jesus were to preach at some of these leadership meetings of today, the whole crowd would be ready to stone Him and crucify Him the same day without a trial.
Today, there are many preachers that walk up to their pulpits and do not think about repentance and receiving forgiveness for their own sins.
They perform their sacerdotal functions on impulse. As “professional pulpiteers, “ we know how to do what we do blindfolded. We know just what to pray to get the right kind of feel before we assume the podium. We preeeeeacccccch with ease.
After it’s all over, we go back to the cave of dead man’s bone, the pastor’s study. We unzip our robes and place them in our garment bags. When we get home we take our suits off to prepare to take it to the cleaners. Our Bibles, well….we put it back on the bookshelf until next week.
As we walk to the cars, under security escort, and drive off, it’s back to business as usual.
We watch women lustfully, fantasize about having sex with them other than our wives, or worse, we have sex with our wives, thinking that it’s the woman we lusted after in our wicked unrepentant minds. Or worse, we make excuses like, “I forgot something at the church, I’ll be back.”
That’s code for…. Rendezvous with sister Suzie Q or mister Sonny Q for adultery, fornication, homosexual, or bisexual sex.
Hot under the collar? Blushing?
This is the heart of the hypocrite.
The man or woman of God that you thought was right before God.
Or this is the man or woman of God and you already know that this is what’s up, and you are ok with it. They are just human.
Or, child molestation and sex with minors. Plenty of these kinds of perverts.
And don’t forget the porn watching, self gratification, commonly called masturbation pastors, preachers, praise and worship singers, dancers, and deacons.
Oh. And don’t forget about the deft defying music minister that floors the people every week but is found in the hotel room with a praise and worship leader or worse, a male praise and worship leader. Or, perhaps, hanging out miles out of town with another homosexual person.
Some of the greatest pulpiteers live like this every week and it’s a wonder that they are ever standing before people. Call it the fumes of His mercy. Many of us think that this is not happening but let’s not fool ourselves. The sexual immorality of our times has crept into the church and we have yet to see massive repentance.
For now, the church is addressing same sex issues with vigor unlike at anytime. However, behind all this is the vast majority of people that still live closet lives. Not just homosexuals.
We are talking about people and leaders in the Body that think that now that the spot light is off of them, they can carry on without detection. It’s strange that all of a sudden, the issues of our day could be used as cover to keep Secret Sexual Sins a secret.
But this is precisely what is happening.
Never judge a book by its cover but we can’t trust the cover any longer.
Week after week, I came to preach and the heart of the hypocrite was bigger than life in me. If I could preach other sermons, pretending to be right, knowing full well I was wrong, then I could continue in my sin of porn and masturbation.
You kind of figure that if you are married, there is no need for this sin, but it is very easy to fool yourself into thinking that you need to do this because you need it.
Without going into too much detail, from 1998 to 2008, porn was a regular thing in my life; no relapse. From 1976 to 2009, habitual masturbation was a regular thing in my life, with a few relapses since then.
There came a point in my life where if I am going to please the Father completely, I need to stop and not be hypocritical about it. The worst kind of preacher is a hypocritical preacher. We have no business handling the Word of God if we cannot live by the Word ourselves.
So, I made a statement that if I go down this path again, that’s it for ministry. I will not step down. I will stop and leave the ministry for good, never to be heard from again. While repentance opens the door for a return, I would never even entertain the thought of returning if sin comes back into my life.
I can’t teach others to stop if I can’t stop.
Therefore, I must do my “due diligence.” Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs or flows the issues of life.”
If I can’t keep my heart, then I am in the wrong business. You can’t help people when you refuse help for yourself. That’s why it is important that we measure our lives based on our willingness to keep His commandments, for His commandments are not burdensome.
Leaders are held to a higher standard and if we fail this standard, it is deemed by others as permission to sin. That’s why we must do everything in accordance with His Word. I do not have time to play Internet or FB games. It distracts me from concentrating on the Word of God for me. Sermons is not what I am building. Life building is what I am building.
And yes, I lead a boring life.
Me and God.
The enemy doesn’t want me to have any success at destroying what almost destroyed me. Therefore, if I come across serious, you better believe that I am deadly serious about what I am doing. The devil would love to have my name back in his trophy case. MY name was removed by the grace of God and it will stay off of that trophy.
You can go ahead and be a hypocrite. No one will stop you. But one thing that you have to look forward to. Accountability before the throne of God.
The power to live a victorious life begins with acknowledging that you need help. You need someone that can show you how to take the Word of God and apply it to your own life. It took me a long time to take the Word and work the Word for me. I have not yet apprehended as Paul said.
I am still learning some things about me and the Lord is showing me what I need to do to make sure that I am right before Him. The focus is on me. God knows how to help His people, and He knows how to help me. So it makes no sense trying to help others if the Word can’t help me.
But to help others, The Hypocrite must have its funeral preached, burial detail standing by, twenty-one guns salutes sounded, firing party firing its volleys, taps played, flag presented. Depart forever. Never to return.