What God Says...Bible

Introduction I The Library


oy 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 four hours.

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;

Joh 13:35  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 
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 that means.  

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 up again!

David was weak in certain areas and sinned greatly, but he was quick to repent when pointed out to him.

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:

Jas 4:6  But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
When sin is committed and there is repentance towards God, He forgives the sin, but He does not necessarily 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 Him..... 

Mat 12:48  ....He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?"  49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!  50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." 
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:

1Co 5:4  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 same situation;
1Co 5:9  I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.
10  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 person.  12  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." 
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;
1Co 5:5  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. 
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.

Some 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;

2Co 11:12  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 ends there. 

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 attended our church told me in so many words she left her husband because she had 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 is 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 God....

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.

15: ¶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.
16: 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.
17: 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.

First 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 accordingly.....

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.

When does God forgive sin?  When it is repented of before God it is washed away by the blood of Christ and remembered no more.

Someone 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....

Joh 6:43  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;
Joh 6:64  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.  65  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."
Joh 3:3  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?
Joh 3:16  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. 

1Jn 5:4-5  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  5;  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 

1Jn 5:13  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. 

2Co 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

Then God explains to us how we may know that we are;
1Jn 1:7  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. 

1Jn 2:3  Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  4  He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  5  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 

Jesus also said that others will know you are Christians because of the love you have for one another; 
Joh 13:35  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
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:
1Jn 2:9  He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 
10  He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 
11  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. 
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 ________. 

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;

Mat 5:44  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,  45  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.  46  For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47  And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?  48  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:
Joh 15:12  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 about forgiveness;
Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 
Mat 6:14  "For if you forgive  men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 
Luk 11:4  And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
Mat 6:15  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 
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.... 
Mat 18:32  Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  33  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'  34  And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 
35  "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses." 
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;
Mat 6:15 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 Christians.

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;

Pro 6:16-19  These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 
  • A proud look, 
  • A lying tongue, 
  • Hands that shed innocent blood, 
  • A heart that devises wicked plans, 
  • Feet that are swift in running to evil, 
  • A false witness who speaks lies, 
  • And one who sows discord among brethren. 
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 parties etc.

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...
Act 1:14  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;

Psa 133:1  A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity 2  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.  3  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.

Mat 12:50  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." 

1Jn 2:17  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 

And what is His will? 
Rom 12:2  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

1Th 5:18  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.

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 general busybodies.

God Hates it:

Tit 3:10-11  Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 
knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. 
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;
Jas 4:6  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;
Mat 5:21  "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.'  22  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.  23  Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,  24  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;

Mat 18:14  Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.  15  "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. 
16  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.' 
17  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. 
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!

Unfortunately, many 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;

Act 5:28  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!" 
29  But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men 30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.  31  Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  32  And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." 
33  When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. 
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 God.

No wonder we do not have revival.

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...

Joh 16:8  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;

Ephesians 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 without blemish.


Introduction I The Library