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A Problem in the Church

I was thinking recently. Yeah, I know…amazing right? 🙂 

No, but seriously. I was thinking about how people in the Church today will separate themselves completely from another Christian who commits is trapped by sin. Or maybe they try to help, but instead just try to find the easy fix. I started thinking, “Well, that can’t be Biblical, can it? Jesus commands us to love one another and be unified in the Body of Christ. And that is true. I started reading Francis Chan’s book, Multiply. In that he said something that I already knew, but it was still just as profound. He said:

“Or when we learn that a friend is struggling with sin, we are quick to explain why that sin is harmful and tell her we will pray for her (whether we follow through or not). But how many of us would take her struggle with sin so seriously that we would walk with her as she works through the issues involved?”

Yes, the Bible is clear that sin needs to be corrected. But it doesn’t end there. We can’t “correct them” and then condemn them. You see, there’s a difference between judgement and correction. Judgment brings condemnation down on the person being judged. Correction is done out of love with the hope of redemption. It’s like a parent. They may spank their son or daughter for hitting someone. A good parent doesn’t spank out of anger. A loving parent will spank (or use other forms of discipline) out of love for the child and to correct a wrong behavior. But the parent continues with loving that child. 

It’s the same way with Christians. Yes, we are to correct each other’s sinful behavior. But you had better do it purely out of love and you had better be willing to walk through the issue with them in order to bring them to redemption. I think part of the problem is that many believers don’t want to get “dirty.” They don’t want to be associated with someone who has a sin exposed to the public. It’s the same attitude some have towards non-believers. They don’t want to be seen with the “undesirables.” It might ruin their reputation. Then tell me, how are you supposed to evangelize and disciple them if you don’t associate with them? If they won’t come in to the church, you bring it to them. How can your Christian brother or sister be brought back to the cross if you want to find a quick fix or just blow them off completely? Galatians 6:1-2 says:

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Carry each other’s burdens. That will likely require you to be seen with the “undesirable.” But the attitude I mentioned above is exactly the attitude the Pharisees had. Did you know Jesus had more of problem with the “religious” people than he did with the sinners? 

It’s time we get over ourselves and be willing to walk through thick and thin with our fellow believers. 

-Austin

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The Judgement of Believers

All Christians will give an account for their time spent on this earth. All their deeds good or bad will be judged at the judgement seat of Christ. There are no exceptions. All will be judged. Our judge is Jesus Christ himself. It will be a very serious matter. 1 Corinthians 2:13-15 describes this event:

“his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

The good news is that regardless of the loss described above, a believer’s judgement will not involved being condemned. However, everything will be revealed. Yes, everything. Even that sin you hide away, the sin that no one knows about, will be revealed on that day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be exposed for everyone to see. The judgement will be between you and God. You are alone with God. It will be a time of complete humility. There will be no excuses. Just honesty. The bad deeds or the things that had no meaning in the Kingdom of God (earthly things) will be burned away. Forever gone. The good deeds (the things done for the Kingdom) will be rewarded. Not that our good deeds can save us. They can’t. But God does see our good deeds as faithfulness to Him.

A lot of people think that you will just stand in front of God at the at time with no fear. I don’t think that will happen. It will just be you and God. I would probably be on my face and weeping. I’d guarantee there won’t just be a “respect fear” at that moment. You will be afraid because you are standing before the God of the universe. I’ll post my brother’s post about the fear of the Lord.

 

””“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” ~Proverbs 9:10

Proverbs spells out here that the beginning of wisdom does not come from studying hours upon hours a day. Wisdom is not gained through going to the biggest church in town. Wisdom does not begin after being a follower of Jesus for a certain number of years. Wisdom begins the moment we have the fear of the Lord in our hearts. I was watching the Basic Series by Francis Chan, and something he said really stood out to me. He said for years the church has read Proverbs 9:10 or similar verses and paused to tell the congregation something to the effect of “This doesn’t actually mean to fear God” or “This is more of a reverence or respect fear rather than actually being scared.”

But what does the Bible say about those who had the fear of the Lord in their hearts?

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another: ”Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I said: “Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.” ~Isaiah 5:6

So when Isaiah was in the presence of the Lord, did he just show Him respect or acknowledge that He was a big deal? Absolutely not! He wasterrified!

Let’s look at another person in Scripture:

“When I turned I saw seven gold lampstands,  and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man, dressed in a long robe and with a gold sash wrapped around His chest. His head and hair were white like wool—white as snow—and His eyes like a fiery flame. His feet were like fine bronze as it is fired in a furnace, and His voice like the sound of cascading waters. He had seven stars in His right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from His mouth, and His face was shining like the sun at midday. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.”  Revelation 1:12-17

So here John just said, “Hey, Jesus You are so cool and I totally respect and revere You”, right? NO! He, like Isaiah, was TERRIFIED! There was genuine fear in John’s heart!

When you are faced before  I completely holy, all powerful, all knowing, ever present God, you suddenly realized how far short you are from His standard. When you suddenly put in that place, fear rises in your heart. But what happens in each one of those cases after the fear of God pieces the heart of man?

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed and your sin is atoned for. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Who should I send? Who will go for Us?” I said: “Here I am. Send me.” ~Isaiah 6:6-8

He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this. ~Revelation 1:17-19

Both times after Isaiah and John realize who they are before and fall down in fear, God says, “Do not fear”. Why? ““The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” 

Fear of the Lord causes us to obey God. If we truly believe the consequences that God lays out for sin, we will obey Him. We know what the consequences are and fear them! Fear of the Lord also causes us to love God as well. Think about it. For those of you reading this blog who have been saved by Jesus Christ, was it not the fear of your sin that drove you to your knees to ask for forgiveness. You may have felt ashamed or sorry for your sin, but at some point the fear of God does come into play there. If you weren’t scared of what the Gospel said about those outside of Christ, you would not have recognized your need for a Savior. So the Proverb is very much correct when saying “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Although we have the fear of the Lord, we don’t have to go around and hope we don’t get zapped by God today. When you fear the Lord, your hearts desire is to please Him, so that results in your walking before Him in righteousness. It is when the fear of the Lord is not in your heart that you should truly be scared.”

 

 

Examine your life and see if you will be rewarded in Heaven. See if you are being to faithful to God. Carefully take a look at your life and truly see how you are living.

Blessings,

Austin

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