LOVE, FORGIVENESS & DISCPLINE
Roy Ingbre February 2008
One evening we had a
quarrel after we came back from a lengthy lunch with some good old friends.
For a change I was the offended party. Usually I am the culprit, but this
time it was my wife. I was embarrassed at one point during lunch, however
after a few moments of having a war in my mind, I depressed my feelings
and continued our very interesting lunch discussion which lasted almost
The discussion covered
a number of topics including extended family encounters of the unbiblical
kind. False accusations and rumors seem to be just as prevalent among
people who name themselves Christians as those on the outside. The “soaps”
seem to be not so far removed from the way church going people behave.
When we departed and
on our way home in the car I let my wife know what I felt about the incident
at lunch. I was angry, upset and was quite plain in expressing my feelings.
She, naturally initially defended herself and there was no way to settle
this at the moment. When we came home I immediately went to my office
to work and read up on some material that I had promised to send to our
friends. I got really drowsy and decided to have a nap for an hour , which
I did - downstairs.
It’s amazing what happens
when you leave things for a while. I used to insist that we talked things
through right a way until we came to an agreement. Many times that would
take hours and often way into the night. However, I have learned that often
there needs to be given space, both for people to calm down and to think
more clearly and for the Lord to be able to work on our attitudes and spirit.
After a while I consciously
and internally forgave her and felt at peace about it, but secretly I was
waiting for her to come and make things right. I was hungry and asked if
she planned any food for us. We had not eaten since two that afternoon
and it was now 8:30. So she made some great stir fry and we watched Matlock
while we ate. The air seem to clear and her demeanor was getting more mellow
and soft, and I kind of felt good. I went down to do some more work in
the office and shortly after she came down and softly approached me
with a hug and asked me to forgive her. That was an awesome moment of love
that flowed both ways. I believe the Lord had prepared both our spirits
for that moment and afterwards my heart was filled with love and thankfulness
for having such a great wife.
Did I resent her when
the incident took place? You bet. I was having a war in my mind and my
emotions and it was not pretty. It subsided during lunch when we were busy
discussing all kinds of other issues, but it reared its ugly head again
when we were alone in the car on our way home.
As I alluded to earlier,
more often than not, I am the one who say things I should not and thereby
cause a "temporary disengagement of spirits" (that's a fancy way of saying
"Argument"). However, as the dust settles and I see my error I am also
reasonably quick to ask for forgiveness as I hate to prolong things. There
is something that I detest more than anything else and that is unresolved
personal friction. Typically our "frictions" seldom last very long, and
many times the making up brings a sweeter spirit than even before the argument.
What happens when resentment
and unforgiveness are not resolved? It seems to happen in a
lot of families, maybe more that we’ll ever know. And, it also seem to
be quite prevalent among people who call themselves Christians. Not just
resentment by one person towards another, but the sharing of that resentment,
being busybodies and spreading it around to the rest of the family and/or friends.
What happened to;
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
Resentment and unforgiveness
is a killer. As a matter of fact if it is left unresolved it will most
certainly lead to serious issues in ones life that will cause a harvest
of problems later on that we then have difficulty dealing with and wondering;
"why is this happening to us".
It is not just a killer
as far as bad experiences and negative consequences go, but as Christians
there is only one standard that must be adhered to and that is Gods
Word. If we call ourselves Christians, we must also measure up to what
Do Christians make mistakes? Of course we do and that
over and over again. Sometimes we feel that it takes an awful long time
to learn a certain lesson, but God is gracious and will not let us go until
we have passed. He says in Pr. 24:16 that a righteous man falls seven
times, but he gets up again... The important thing here is to get
David was weak in certain
areas and sinned greatly, but he was quick to repent when pointed out to
What is the difference
between falling, making a mistake, a slip of the tongue etc. and deliberate
sinful action. It is much like the difference between accidentally
causing someones death and premeditated murder. There is a huge difference
in penalty. However God who is just is also full of grace and, through
the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, will forgive any sin whether it is a mistake
or premeditated if one humbles himself and comes to Christ in repentance:
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT
GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
When sin is committed
there is repentance towards God, He forgives the sin, but He does not
remove the consequences. Look at David...he was forgiven. God called
him even a man after His own heart. However, the consequences of his
behavior is evident in the loss of the child as well as the conflicts
in his own family.
Now, we could discuss
personal conflict, resentment, unforgiveness and a host of other situation
from our own point of view and it will probably be a variety of those based
on our beliefs, upbringing, social influence etc. However interesting to
discuss, the only thing that matters is what God says on the subject.
That’s the final Word and where the “buck stops”.
When it comes to personal
relationships God has a lot to say about it in His written Word to us -
the Bible. Let's first take a look at relationships and family
etc. Who do we have or should have the strongest relational bond to?
When they came to Jesus
and said that His mother and brothers were outside wanting to talk with
....He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and
who are My brothers?"
And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are
My mother and My brothers!
whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and
Clearly, Jesus makes the
distinction that those who do the will of God is my real family, even more
than blood relations if they are not Christians.
Does it make a difference
to you how you apply God's word when it is regarding a family member or
not? Should it? Not according to what Jesus just showed us. However, it
does make a difference whether they are Christians or not. God gives very
clear guidelines through the letter of Paul to the Corinthians of the discipline
of a Christian brother who committed sexual immorality:
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along
with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his
spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens
the whole lump?
Then he goes on to explain
the difference of behavior towards a Christian and an unbeliever in the
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral
The message in this letter
(chapter 5) is twofold. First to cleanse the Church body of evil and secondly
the discipline - for the purpose of the person ultimately being saved;
Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this
world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then
you would need to go out of the world. 11
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named
a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or
a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a
For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not
judge those who are inside? 13
But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "PUT AWAY FROM YOURSELVES
THE EVIL PERSON."
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his
spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Church discipline should
always contain that twofold purpose; Cleansing (the "body" from
evil) and the ultimate goal of redemption for the offending party.
Why do parents send
misbehaving kids to "their room"? In very simple terms; It is to punish
them by separation from the rest of the family, for the purpose of bringing
them to "say sorry" so they can be restored back to the family.
God want us to do the same thing, and in a Church setting that is really
up to the Pastor and the church leadership, which is another discourse.
However it must be exercised in a family as well by not having fellowship
with someone who falls into this category. If we do not, It (the leaven)
could eventually affect the whole family.
call that tough love, and I know of someone that told their son to
leave because of his behavior that affected the rest of the family.
Now, there was restoration later on and today that son has a beautiful
family and a very strong sense of right behavior.
On the other hand, I'm sure we all know parents who will defend their children's behavior instead of exercise discipline.
In many cases, people
are living in sin, but continue to act like a normal Christian and even
minister in different capacities to others. They are not just fooling
themselves, but a whole lot of other people around them including leaders
in the church.
God speaks through Paul,
about "ministers" who claimed to be like him, but they were false;
But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity
from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are
in the things of which they boast. 13
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves
into apostles of Christ. 14
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel
of light. 15
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform
themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according
to their works.
God says through Paul that there is no surprise that someone can act like a Christian without being one.
When seeing clients I have
asked people, that gave an indication through a bible on the table, a plaque
on the wall or something else, if they were Christians. The answer is always
Yes. My follow-up question is; "So, you are born again?" and the answer is often no. Then
I say: "Well, then you're not a Christian" and the conversation usually
I once went through
that scenario with a client who had gone to our church for years, but quit
when her husband left her and married someone else. They still went to
the same church and that's what made it hard for her to attend. However, she did not profess to being born again.
Another lady who
our church told me in so many words she left her husband because she
so much more life to live. She even came back and visited the church
with her new husband and was heartily embraced by one of our "deacons".
Here is another Christian couple where, in this instance, the
wife left her husband. They go to the same
church and each have a group of supporters from that church which
causing division in the body
of Christ and tearing friends apart. Why? Because the people are not
obedient to the Word and most likely not taught the whole counsel of
Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
...and the discipline as laid out in the Word of
God. But remember the ultimate goal is to save that which is lost....
Matthew 18:11: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12: How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be
gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the
mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13: And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth
more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14: Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
¶Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him
his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast
gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that
in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if
he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man
and a publican.
Look at what God says about how to behave toward a Christian
that walks disorderly (See also 1Co 5:11);
2 Thess 3:6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.
of all the whole counsel of God has to be ministered by the leadership
in every local church body. Then the people will know the consequences
of deviant behavior and can expect the body of believers to behave
2 Thess 3:14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
Why do many pastors not uphold Gods Word and deal
with it according to the instructions given? Fear of rejection? Is it fear of offending people,
fear of loosing members, fear of law suits or maybe all of the above? Bottom
line - fear of people rather than fear of God.
When there is consequences to sinful behavior, people will fear God rather than men;
Act 5:11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
When you observe the lifestyle of many who profess to be Christians, there seem to be an obvious lack of the fear of God. Why?
Maybe because there is no immediate consequences. Christians walk
disorderly and other Christians keep in fellowship with them and nothing really
changes. They are not "sent to their room". and separated from
fellowship. Hence the Holy Spirit is prevented from moving in our midst.
Lack of communication can also cause unnecessary problems.
One example was in a church where there was a deacon who
had been divorced and was remarried. It had an
effect on other people in the church and in particular the young
people. They did not know the background of this person, and in those
cases people typically draw their own, and often wrong, conclusions. So
the pastor, who did know the background of this deacon and that he was
the innocent party in the divorce from his wife (Matt.19:9) who had
left him for someone else, asked him to share his story with the
church. He did one Sunday morning and it changed the whole attitude of
the church. No longer was there any excuse for deviant behavior,
because the truth was made known, according to God's Word. Not only
that, but it gave an excellent opportunity to teach on the subject and
the consequences of separation and divorce among Christians as outlined
in the Word of God.
does God forgive sin? When it is repented of before God it is
washed away by the blood of Christ and remembered no more.
brought out the scripture where they interpreted it as saying that we
should only forgive if repentance is sought, yet it does not say that
we should not forgive if repentance is not sought:
Luke 17:3: Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luke 17:4: And if he
trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day
turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
If we isolate
scripture to support our own opinions, then we can almost support
anything. However, we need to look at it in the contect as well as the
whole of scripture and the nature of God....
I believe we can all agree that Jesus Christ died and atoned for the sin of the whole world. That means He provided
forgiveness for everybody, BUT, only those who receives Him it will
benefit from it. Likewise, we must forgive everybody or we are not
forgiven (Mat 6:15
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive your trespasses.) but
only those accept Jesus' forgiveness will benefit from it and in turn
will most likely ask for forgiveness from whom they wronged. It is
however, not our duty to selectively forgive, but to always forgive.
Remember David, when he was confronted about his sin, he said; "I have
sinned against God...". He realized that he first and foremost had
sinned against God, secondly against man.
Here is another great related question:
When does adultery stop being adultery? The answer obvious;
When you stop "adultering" of course - according to God's Word, not human laws or reasonings. Repentance means turning away from
what you were doing and towards God and His way. Not man's way which is
full of reasoning and excuses, but what God says in His word.
As mentioned before, many people say
they are Christians, go to church, talk the lingo, associate with other
Christians and in reality they are not born again believers in Christ.
They just act like it in the presence of other Christians. According to
the scripture above that is not hard to do. People are great actors in
the the life they want to play.
Listen to how God through
His word shows us both how to become a Christian and how to recognize one;
The Jews were quarreling
among each other as to who Jesus was and....
Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and
I will raise him up at the last day.
Jesus knew ahead of time
who would believe and who would not;
But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the
beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless
it has been granted to him by My Father."
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one
is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
How do you become born
again - a new creation in Christ?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Then God explains to us
how we may know that we are;
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory
that has overcome the world—our faith.
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the
Son of God?
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of
God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue
to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have
passed away; behold, all things have become new.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship
with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us
from all sin.
Jesus also said that others
will know you are Christians because of the love you have for one another;
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar,
and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in
him. By this we know that we are in Him.
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for
On the contrary, if you
have something against another person (and you might not even see it clearly
yourself because darkness has blinded your eyes), God says:
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until
Some will say; "Oh, I don't
hate them, it's just that I don't want to have them over, or be where they
are or ______, because ________.
He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for
stumbling in him.
But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and
does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Watch out for any seed
of resentment (unforgiveness), because it will become much larger with
time and affect others as well. Any conflict with another person or family
member must be dealt with and any offenses forgiven whether they are repented
of or not. That is not the same as saying you have to socialize and spend
a lot of time with a person that is unrepented, difficult or that
insist on causing problems. However, we are to love even our enemies;
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you
and persecute you,
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise
on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the
tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do
not even the tax collectors do so?
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Jesus also gives us His
commandment of love for one another. It is not an option only if people
are nice towards you:
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Not only that, but if we
harbor resentment and unforgiveness, we are in real serious trouble with
God. Just look at how Jesus taught His disciples to pray and then He explained
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
Remember the parable of
the servant that was forgiven all his debts and how he would not forgive
someone who owed him. The servants told the master and....
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will
also forgive you.
And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive your trespasses.
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as
I had pity on you?'
And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should
pay all that was due to him.
If we do not forgive those
who trespass against us we are not making a mistake, but deliberately
opposing God’s Word and His will AND His forgiveness towards us. THAT,
is “premeditated murder”, for which there is the ultimate punishment;
"So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his
heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses.
Do we have an
obligation to forgive even if they do not repent? Yes, absolutely. However, we are also told how to behave towards
Christians who living in sin, as pointed out earlier. We are told to
confront them according to Matt 18 and we are told to separate from
them as pointed out in I Cor 5, II Thess 3, Tit 3.
No let’s talk about resentment.
What is the difference between resentment and unforgiveness? In many cases
nothing. It is just unforgiveness that is given room to expand and become
a constant reminder of the other person’s fault and sometimes a continual
hunt for new ones.
Now, lets talk about
resentment that is not the cause of unforgiveness, but of jealousy, hate
and wrong doings on your part.
My wife and I was once
invited to a dinner in the home of a newly married young couple
with the parents on both sides. The bride’s mother could not stand the
grooms mother and afterwards was quite upset that my wife enjoyed her fellowship
and had a good time with her. In other words, the bride’s mother wanted
my wife to have the same resentment toward the groom’s mother that she
had. Let me also point out that all the people present professed to be
This is a plain example
of a person that holds resentment toward another and also trying to pass
that on to someone else and cause division (discord) between two people
where there was none previously. Needless to say, she did not succeed.
God says that He hates
these things and one who sows discord is an abomination to Him;
These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
What are some of the
things that cause discord? I can think of a few...Listening to gossip
and repeating it. Separation or divorce, which affect both family and
friends and the church. Attitudes of resentments made known to third
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent
A heart that devises
Feet that are swift
in running to evil,
A false witness who
And one who sows
discord among brethren.
In the beginning of the
New Testament Church when the disciples were in the upper room it says
that they were gathered together and continued with one accord...
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication
And then they were filled
with the Holy Spirit and power to witness.
God commands His blessing
where there is unity;
A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For
brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The
beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.
Sometimes deep resentment
can stem from experiences in childhood where expectations were not met
or something or someone was taken away either by divorce or death and deep
disappointments created scars that led to resentment towards others.
We have the typical
scenario where there is either divorce or death of a spouse and that one
who was taken away was some time later replaced by another person which
will never, in the eyes of a son or daughter, be able to replace the parent
who was taken away. No only that, but sometimes the feeling is that the
other (remaining) parent was also taken away. So now, there are two people
to blame -The remaining parent who now devout a lot of time to their new
spouse as well as the new spouse, who in the mind of the child took their
parent away from them. So, in effect, both parents were taken away from
the child as far as the child is concerned and the resentment grows larger
and larger unless it is dealt with. It is almost as if on auto pilot and
the resenting person typically blames the new person for every conflict
situation that arises.
Since the new person
can never replace (or are never given the chance to fill the role of) the
absent parent, a seed of strong disappointment starts to grow and over
time will develop into a full blown deep resentment that will be passed
on to their children and in time to their grandchildren.
This is where the sins
of the fathers are visited on the third and fourth generation of them
that hate God (do not care about God’s commandment of love and forgiveness).
Unless it is repented of and the curse of the resenting spirit broken through
the blood of Jesus Christ.
Someone might say; "Oh,
I don't hate God, I just can't stand that person". Jesus says; "If you
love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). The opposite of that is
not keeping His commandment which according to Jesus shows that you do
not love Him. So what is the opposite of not loving Him? I know hate is
a difficult word to use but that is really the opposite of love. We usually
associate emotions with love and hate and emotions usually have degrees
of intensity. However, God associate obedience with love and hate. It's
a big difference. In His vocabulary I have never found that God "likes" anyone. There is no gray areas with God.
Talking like this is
not comfortable for most people, but it must be addressed, because the
alternative outcome is not a good option. Specially if it affects family
members. However, it is not we that speak, but God Himself through His
written Word to us. Our opinions do not count. We must go back to the Words
of Jesus, when He points out who His mother and brothers are -- those who
do the will of God. Not those who necessarily calls themselves Christians.
For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister
And what is His will?
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the
will of God abides forever.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God.
These people will be sitting
next to you in your churches, singing in the choir, standing with uplifted
hands praising God, speaking in tongues, participating in prayer meetings
and other church activities. Even show special kindness and Christian love
to the needy and friends outside the family. However, in family settings
they are like ravening wolves full of resentment and sowing discord in
its midst, at family gatherings, on the phone with others after and being
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus for you.
Eph.5:20 giving thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God Hates it:
Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,
However, God shows mercy
to the humble who repents toward Him and changes his way, but He does not
have the time of day for people that are proud and unrepentant;
such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT
GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."
On the other hand, God
also holds you accountable to Him, if you know that someone has something
against you, to deal with it. Otherwise your service to God has no value;
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,
and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause
shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!'
shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall
be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that
your brother has something against you,
leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled
to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
In other words, don't even
think of approaching God unless you fix it with your "brother" first.
There is also the aspect
of church discipline when someone sins against you and it cannot be resolved
by yourself or by a second witness. This is not just to discipline, but
the ultimate objective is to have them brought back into fellowship. Jesus
clearly lays out the procedure as referred to earlier;
Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of
these little ones should perish.
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between
you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
When you have gone through
this procedure and without the desired result, the offending person is
to be treated as an unbeliever. And how do we treat an unbeliever? We try
to win them for Christ!
But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'BY THE MOUTH
OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY WORD MAY BE ESTABLISHED.'
And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses
even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 18
"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
pastors and church leaders are afraid to exercise this passage of scripture
for fear of the consequences. As one pastor said to me; "we are not prepared
to go underground yet" and he added the fear of law suits as well. It appears
we are living in the comfort age and are not willing to "suffer" for our
faith. We sure are a far cry from the early church and how they responded
to the governing officials of the day;
saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And
look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring
this Man's blood on us!"
Although we, at least not
yet, would probably not be treated with the same cruelty they were treated
with, are AFRAID of what men will do to us rather than obey the Word of
But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey
God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on
Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give
repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit
whom God has given to those who obey Him."
When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them.
No wonder we do not
From what I have observed,
whenever the ministry start to speak against sin, it always seem to stir
up the people. I never forget when our pastor spoke on "Why revival will
not come to Canada". That was just after he had visited the "Brownsville
revival" and came back charged like never before.
It totally changed our
church practically overnight. You had to get there early to get a seat.
The morning service filled up to capacity and the evening service filled
up as well. People repented, got saved, set free and we had long prayer
lines from the front to the back of the church in every isle. That was
back in 1998. Ten years later we're back to almost "normal"
People want to hear
the truth. Why are we afraid to preach it? Jesus said about the Holy Spirit...
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness,
and of judgment:
Do our sermons carry Holy
Spirit convictions of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment? Or, do we choose
sermons to keep people comfortable so as not to step on anyones toes and keep
the numbers up and make sure our church machinery is operating
at a comfortable pace?
I am getting a bit side-tracked
here so we'll say that's another subject for another day..........................
The ultimate purpose for obedience to God's Word is so;
5:27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and