Unconscious Hypocrisy is actually the title of a sermon by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, which was recoded in his book Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. The following is just a few notes I took on that sermon.
Lloyd-Jones began by saying that there are many people who are not aware of the fact that they are not really Christians when they are convinced that they are; and so, they have a kind of unconscious hypocrisy. They think they are good Christians but they are in fact reprobates.
- They are of the “many” who have passed up the narrow gate and have instead gone down the broad path with most of the world.
- They are like the five foolish virgins, and like the man who built his house on the sand.
- They are of those whom Jesus spoke of (in Matthew 7:21-23) who did wonderful works, but yet didn’t know Him.
- They are people who are praised by men.
- They are considered as outstanding servants.
- They are happy about themselves.
- They are assured of their salvation.
God says of them, “I never knew you.” So, they have been deceived. And they will be surprised at the judgment. Here is the passage that we have been considering:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
I think the most important thing we can do is to list the causes of self-deception to make sure we don’t fall into the same trap that so many have fallen into. Here is the list of six, which I gathered from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon.
- They have a false assurance of their salvation, which they have persuaded themselves to believe. This false assurance is based on a false belief system. A system that says that if I say I believe often enough and strongly enough, that it will take hold. But James says that the Devil also believes this way, and he certainly will not be saved from hell.
- They refuse to examine themselves periodically to see if their faith is true.
- They live on their activities of good works. They think this will save them.
- They balance their good works with the bad. This is a Muslim system, and a system of all false religions, but it doesn’t work.
- They fail to heed the plain teaching of Scripture. To take it as their guide.
- They fail to realize that the one thing that matters is a relationship with Christ. He wants our heart, our submission, our time; and He wants us.