A Warning to Religious Hypocrites
The Greater Damnation is Yours
by Pastor John Hamel
“Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people …And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.” (Matthew 26:3-4)
It is absolutely astounding to me that the ones who gave Jesus the biggest headaches, so to speak, were the religious leaders of His day. Unfortunately, this is still true today. Religious leaders are supposed to set the example for right living amongst all people. Yet, all too often, they are as sinful as the people they are to be converting! All too often, religious leaders are religious hypocrites. It was the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who actually incited the people to have Jesus murdered.
Jesus sternly warned against religious hypocrites. (Luke 20:46,47) He said to beware of holy “acting” people who set themselves above others, taking advantage of their goodness! When Jesus referred to religious “hypocrites” He used the Greek word “Hupokrites.” This was a word used in the Greek Theatre to describe “actors.” (Matthew 23:15) Jesus said there is a particular curse that comes upon religious “actors.” That curse is “greater damnation” than that which will come upon their followers! (Matthew 23:14)
Religion is worse today than ever. When people discover that I am a Minister of the Gospel, they tell me, “Oh, I’m not religious, but it’s nice to meet you anyway.” I tell them, “I’m not religious either. Neither is God. Religion is man doing things his way. I like to do things God’s way. I’m into ‘relationship’ with Jesus, not religion.”
Not all religious leaders are hypocritical but far too many are. Many are sexual predators. Many drink alcohol, are addicted to tobacco, use drugs, manipulate and control their followers. Religion is still going strong and Jesus still refuses to cut false religious leaders any slack. The same religious “spirit” that paid Judas to betray Jesus is still in the Earth today. (Luke 22:1-6) It’s a conniving, devious spirit that schemes and manipulates others to do its dirty work. (John 18:19-31)
However, not all religious people are hypocrites and actors. Jesus had religious friends who loved Him. Some tried to save His life. (Luke 13:31) One sincere religious leader looked after Jesus’ body once his hypocritical peers had killed Him. (John 18:19-31) So not all religious people and religious leaders are hypocrites. Some want to please God and really do mean well. They just lack proper teaching.
How about you? Are you a religious hypocrite, who “acts” holy before others, but in reality you secretly do things of which God and conscience disapprove? You can become a brand new person, supernaturally. (2Corinthians 5:17) God Himself offers to cut that hypocritical spirit right out of you and give you a brand new spirit. He actually promises to put His own Spirit within you. (Ezekiel 36:26,27) That’ll do a whole lot to knock the hypocrisy out of anybody.
Just say from a sincere heart, “Jesus, I don’t want to be a religious player anymore. I’m not interested in ‘greater damnation’. I’m interested in ‘relationship’ not ‘religion’. I choose You as my Savior and give You access now to ‘iron out the religious wrinkles’ in my life.” (Romans 10:13)