“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Corinthians 5:12).
The apostle Paul must have had his work cut out for him with the Corinthians. I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 5 and consider what was all going on that lead to Paul writing, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Corinthians 5:12). Perhaps, Christians would make more headway against the enemy, if we took Paul’s advice. I’m convinced that spreading the Good News, and trusting God to move hearts and change minds, is more effective than actively legislating morality, particularly, considering all the divisions that exist among Christians, themselves. Over and over again, I hear God saying that the church must set its own house in order, and trust Him to deal with the world (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).
We expend so much effort on the fruit, while neglecting the root. We too often engage evil in the world using the world’s tactics and weapons, and then act dumbfounded when our efforts are unfruitful. Beware of pride and fear mixed in with control; they frequently masquerade as righteous motives, and before we know it, we’re swept away by the controversy of the day. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:14-15). “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13). Paul was talking about more than food when he wrote: “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall” (Romans 14:19-21). Therefore, we ought to choose our words carefully, not so much to avoid offending people, as to avoid stumbling them. Whether in approval or disapproval, encouragement or rebuke, our faith is, first and foremost, a labor of love.
Don’t be surprised as more champions of God and family values are exposed in the time to come. Wolves disguised as sheep cause many to stumble. The signs are ALWAYS present, but WE choose NOT to recognize them. Just as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats, this has to occur. The truth is getting harder and harder to come by these days. I point to the Gospel, as the source of truth, but sadly, believers can’t even totally agree on its message, and what’s worse, most appear to be happy enough to remain in their dogmatic silos. If we distort the basic, straight forward teachings like “love your neighbor as yourself”, “don’t store up treasures for yourselves on earth”, “turn the other cheek”, “love your enemy”, then what havoc would we wreak with hidden knowledge about things like fallen angels and other deep secrets of eternity? Daybreak is almost here. We must not lose sight of our first love, the Lord.
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