I begin as the Apostle Paul began; first with greetings and what is admirable and good about our collective statement of faith, then with a reminder of what God’s truth is.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I love that we are so patient and tolerant and want nothing more than to show others the love of Jesus Christ. I love that we are the polite Chick Fil A goers and we fill those large churches with joyful singing. We are a patient, forgiving, and kind group of people. Yet, there is a side that also means love but we call it discipline.
Please then fellow Christians, please stop apologizing to the world for what God says is wrong. Of course God forgives and God loves all His children (believers or non), but would you say that God condones sin? Is Our almighty God okay with adulterous behavior, molesters, thieves, or murder? Of course not! Yet when we tolerate certain behaviors in the church we broadcast to the secular world that very message without meaning to. Yes, forgive within the church and outside the church but please don’t pretend it’s ok. Consequences need to still be a thing. In fact God uses consequences for our good.
3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
Yes, the Bible said hand him over to Satan. Doesn’t sound very kind, but look what it says after that. “So that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” The spirit is more important. We have to start thinking eternally. Again Paul goes on further still saying this:
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
In other words, as professed Christians, we are told explicitly to judge those who also claim to be followers of Christ Jesus. We are to set the good example and not conform to the worldly ways. Not speaking of daily mess ups that we all have, or even of the renewed in Christ who know of the past condemning life they led; but specifically I (Paul also) speak of the current proclaimed, professing Christian who goes on deliberately condoning (or doing) what the Bible speaks against. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6, we read:
Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
I address this first because I want to remind my brothers and sisters in Christ, that our title comes with responsibility. That having taken on the name of Christ, we now assume representation of Him. Whether on purpose or through our everyday customs that just don’t look very becoming. (Example: cursing) In our lives, appearances do matter. Just like when a teacher tells children to act as best they can, so that the school they attend might be represented in the best light. Why wouldn’t (or couldn’t) adults be able to control their behavior in the same way? Of course mistakes will be made, however, can we say we’ve tried if we’ve already formed an excuse in our minds? If children can be taught self-control, can we not do the same? Shouldn’t we in fact try even harder for the sake of our children and even more so the sake of our Savior who paid such a high price? Our Savior who bought us with His blood? Yes, of course.
Because it is better to be disciplined by those who love you and save your soul, than to go on in polite tolerance thereby risking eternal death. Christians please, remember our beginnings. Remember who we are. Remember that it is an ETERNAL existence we fight for. This life, our church, is but a shadow of things to come. Of things in heaven that our buildings and society pale in comparison to.
“They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”