If Jesus had refrained from speaking against the Pharisees and religious leaders of his day, he would have escaped the cross. Better still, if he had to bring his ministry under the control of the high priest and obtained his approval, he would have not faced any opposition.
If John had refrained from speaking against and rebuking Herod for his infidelity, he would probably have not been put to death.
If Stephen, during his defense at the Sanhedrin, had refrained from rebuking the religious leaders there, he would probably been spared from death.
The Holy Spirit moved each of them to speak against the hypocrisy and sin of their times.
Consider Peter’s dealing with Ananias and Sapphira and his dealings with Simon the sorcerer. There was no mincing of words, he addressed them and the situation in a straightforward manner.
Of course, understanding these things does not grant us a license to speak against the ills we see today – there are too many people who do that on a daily basis and see themselves as guardians of the truth. They pat themselves on the back when they attack men and women of God who do not fit within their understanding or worldview and are convinced that they have been appointed by God to do such work. They will do nothing for God and will criticize those who do. They end up becoming mean-spirited and critical and are of no use to God and man.
Confronting sin and hypocrisy should be under the leading of the Holy Spirit when filled with his presence. The prophet Micah said “I am full of power by the Spirit of God …… to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”
He confronted sin and transgression when he was filled with power by the Spirit of God. When done in the flesh, it will not produce the fruit that God looks for; it will only produce death.