The Danger of Hypocrisy.

August 6, 2021 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Acts - The Gospel in Motion

Topic: Christian Living, The Church Scripture: Acts 4:36– 5:11

The story of Ananias and Sapphira warns us of the danger of the sin of hypocrisy. The title of my sermon this morning is THE DANGER OF HYPOCRISY.  

One commentator said this about Acts 5; “This is one of the stories which demonstrate the almost stubborn honesty of the Bible. It is a story which might well have been left out because it shows that even in the Early Church there were very imperfect Christians.”

Acts 5 presents us with a historical account that highlights the reality of church life—and it is not a pleasant one. We are given a positive example of a godly man, Joseph, better known as Barnabas (4:36-37). Then we are given the example of Ananias and Sapphira. This couple put on the mask of hypocrisy and were struck dead by God (5:1-11). This threat of seduction from within is much more subtle and dangerous than opposition from without. Because we are all prone to the deadly sin of hypocrisy, we should diligently pursue godly character.


1. Hypocrites in the Church (v.1-4, 7-9)
2.Heartache in the Church (v.5-10)
3. Heart-Searching in the Church (v.11)

The Bible teaches that one day we will all stand before God on the final Day of Judgement. And the verdict concerning our eternal welfare will be closely related to how we lived our lives (2 Corinthians 5:10). That is, those who have been born again  by the Spirit of God will have evidence (though imperfectly) of living for Christ and for others, not living for themselves.

Robert Kupferschmid was an 81-year old with no flying experience. However, due to a tragic emergency, he was forced to fly an airplane. On June 17, 1998, he and his 52-year-old pilot friend, Wesley Sickle, were flying from Indianapolis to Muncie, Indiana. During the flight, Wesley Sickle, the pilot, slumped over and died at the controls. The Cessna 172 single-engine plane began to nose-dive and Kupferschmid grabbed the controls. He got on the radio and pleaded for help.

Nearby were two pilots who heard the call. Mount Comfort was the closest airport, and the two pilots gave Kupferschmid a steady stream of instructions of climbing, steering – and the scariest part – landing. The two experienced pilots circled the runway three times before this somewhat frantic and totally inexperienced pilot was ready to attempt the landing.

Emergency vehicles were called out and ready for what seemed like an approaching disaster. Witnesses said the plane’s nose nudged the centerline and bounced a few times before the tail hit the ground. The Cessna ended up in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. Amazingly, Kupferschmid was not injured.

This pilot listened and followed those instructions as if his life depended on it – and it did. He listened to the instructions because he loved and valued his life, and was prepared to follow ALL the instructions in order that he may save His precious life. The same spiritual truth applies to all of us to.

We need to ask the Lord to enable us to hear those who speak into our lives. We need to ask the Lord, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We must use such situations as a means of grace by which we can develop a healthy fear of God and a passionate hatred for sin. Do we love the Lord Jesus enough to obey His instructions and repent of our sins? Or like Ananias and Sapphire do we have a type of Christianity that has no love for our Saviour, and is merely external, that only obeys some of the convenient rules and disregards the others?  

Hypocrisy is a deadly sin. It destroys the hypocrite and it damages many that are contaminated by it. I urge you to allow God’s Word to confront your life. If you’re playing the religion game, quit now! Get real with the living God. Spend time each day with Him. Judge your sins and turn from them. Seek to grow in godly character. Our God desires truth in the innermost being (Ps. 51:6).

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you respond to the unbeliever who charges, “The church is full of hypocrites”?
  2. Why is hypocrisy such a deadly sin? How can we detect it and fight it in ourselves?
  3. How can a person who is prone to be a people-pleaser become a God-pleaser?
  4. How honest should we be about our personal struggles? Should we share all our struggles with everyone? What guidelines apply here?

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