How Judgment Comes to the House of God

Jesus said, “My words are Spirit and they are life,” (John 6:63).

What happens to an assembly when one of its saints turns back to sin?

We think these are light things because we think so lightly of sin. No matter how much we think we see sin in its proper light, we will never see it as God sees it, not in this life.

What fellowship hath light with darkness?

We always think our choices have to do with other men. However, consider David, who lay with another’s man wife, and then conspired to have that man killed on the field of battle.

What did David cry?

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight,” (Psalm 51:4).

We are worried about men, when we should be concerned with God.

Recall, David’s “strange child,” the one conceived with Bathsheba: though he lay on his face beseeching God and fasting for 7 days, still his child died.

Whenever we knowingly turn to our own devices, we invite death into our homes and lose our ability to intercede with God.

But what of those who knew of David’s sin? Did they rebuke him; or become partakers with him of his sins before God?

We think of the Old Testament as severe, but we forget that it was written for our admonition, as ensamples of the way that we should practice our faith: though the letter has passed, the spiritual example of the Old Testament prophets still lights our way.

We think that how we respond to people’s choices is about them; but it is always, foremost, about us, God’s charge in us, and answering the Spirit’s call.

That is the danger of a saint bringing sin into the midst of the brethren: the brethren may view the matter as an individual, rather than a corporate matter; and this is false.

Joshua 7 makes this clear.

Joshua said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD,” (Joshua 24:15).

Do you remember the true nature of Christ’s example and His manner of service?

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you,” (John 15:13-14).

It isn’t fun to wound a friend:  but sometimes, the truth is more important than a man or woman’s feelings (Proverbs 27:6).  

Here is how God judges His people: He allows sin to come into the midst of them–so that they must choose between honoring man–or obeying God.

We can never become so preoccupied with the plight of the sinner that we neglect the commands of God.

3 thoughts on “How Judgment Comes to the House of God

  1. Wow, and I’m reading this immediately after responding to your kind words over at Al’s blog!
    Have thine own way Lord! Holy Spirit yet again has His own travelling this Narrow Path in one accord…and it ain’t built by Honda!

  2. “We think that how we respond to people’s choices is about them; but it is always, foremost about us, God’s charge in us, and answering the Spirit’s call”

    This is a powerful and sobering post Mark and frankly am finding it difficult to respond due to the depth of insight and present application to our circumstances. I find the above quote especially pertinent to us all.

    Two days ago an old friend I spent considerable time living with and fellowshipping with called me on the phone. We hadn’t had an real communication in several years. We each went our separate ways, not due to any specific conflict between us but due to the direction we found ourselves going in. Over time we found ourselves less and less compatible due to the decisions we each made in life. For example, he got caught up in Seventh day Adventism and started to preach lawful practices as necessary before God. He continued to attend AA meetings for help in sobriety soon after I rejected that altogether. He continued to gamble, even praising God for a newer car he bought due to some recent winnings. Most of all, he continued to justify his continued friendships with professing Christians, many if not all who continued to live in sin. Despite my attempts to steer him aright about these things, he allowed his choices to deceive him, making many excuses and justifying his behaviors. Eventually I found my efforts in convincing him to change vain and decided to cultivate healthier friendships wherever I might find them. Why this story?

    I asked my friend recently how things were going. He started explaining that although he had remained sober, almost six years now, things were not all well with the family. His ex wife was dating a married man, his main support was worldly through “programs” and both his children were on drugs and living sexually immoral. He hinted that one might even soon go off the deep end.
    My friend although sober, failed miserably as a husband and as a father. Trying to make up for the past, he overlooked many sinful practices among them and thought loving them would correct all the wrongs. Year after year he continued along these lines and even today he talked of how great his relationship was with his ex, yet never once confronting her of her sin.
    Sadly my friend continues to use his own wisdom in an attempt to rectify his past failures. Instead of trusting God and doing what He requires and commands, by rebuking and correcting and avoiding where necessary- well, my friend wouldn’t do that and after all these years he’s still reaping the results and has no real power over his family failures nor are his prayers powerful with God- not anymore.

    At times our choice to obey God will hurt others. At other times it will hurt us and leaving us standing all alone. We’re so afraid of making a mistake, being too harsh or somehow letting others down. Is this really the issue or is there something greater here?

    When we place our own interests and wisdom before God’s, we will reap those results precisely. But if we place God’s interests first, even if we’re wrong or misguided our failure will not reap adverse results like our self interests do, for He knows our heart and will work behind the scenes beyond our own capabilities, He will work it for our good and His glory.

    God’s heart is in what He is building and that is more than an individual, it is more than a local ekklesia though these are a means to His end. His work necessitates an ongoing judgment of ourselves, each corporate assembly and must include how we (individuals and each local assembly) interact among the one body. To neglect this or minimize it is to circumvent the blessing God would give and forfeits that blessing much like my friend above.

    Only those willing to judge themselves first, judge among themselves and press forward in faith will see the fullness of all God has prepared for those who love Him. This doesn’t mean others won’t be in heaven, they simply can’t be used to set the one primary precedent God is after among His children- those who rightly discern the body and are co-laboring to see them brought together as one.

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