I am not so much concerned with the lost as I am with those who profess Christ only with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. (Matt. 15:8) This may sound oxymoronic, a contradiction in terms, for the end of these souls will be the same, they will not enter into the kingdom of God, yet there is a specific reason the second group is more of a burden unto me, for these have heard the truth, while the first group are still lost for reasons only the Almighty knows. “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matt. 13:13) Contemplate this verse deeply, ponder it often, why would the Lord of Glory not want some to hear the only message worth hearing?
There are lost souls that will remain lost, these are the vessels fitted for wrath, but those who profess His Holy name only with their lips will receive the greater damnation. (Luke 20:47) The lost do not know of Him, and so when His name comes from them it is most generally used as a curse word, a verbal assault, as most words of cursing are, meant only to imply or express a strong emotional response to whatever the subject matter is, although many use these words as part of their daily vocabulary. These have been given over to a reprobate mind, (Romans 1:28) but in reality, so have those that have heard the message, but have not been converted, they have listened, but have not heard. Theirs’s is the more shame, more dishonor upon these, for they are blaspheming His glorious name, their actions do not portray their words, they are clouds with no rain, (Prov. 25:14) they are more than just unprofitable, they are not saved, yet outwardly they portray an image, and it is the world that is deceived by them.
Those who dishonor God while showing up to church, while living a life of worldly acceptance, while adhering more to the standards of the society around them instead of those of the Scriptures, these honest, upright, worldly, morally correct individuals are detestable in the sight of the Lord, for they are neither cold nor hot, (Rev. 3:16) they are in service only to themselves. These are the hypocrites that our Lord spoke to, (Matt. 15:7-9) these are those that we are to speak to, and not always in the way that the majority of Christians are being deceived into believing today, harsh words, words of truth can be spoken in love as much as calm, reassuring words, truth knows no emotional context, it is the hearer of these words that determines the response.
The truths of the words of Scripture convict, how they convict is left up to each individual, love covers a multitude of sins, (1 Peter 4:8) but only if that love is accepted as truth, therefore those who have heard the truth and rejected it will receive the greater condemnation. (Heb. 6:6) How much more those then who have twisted the truth of God into a lie, those who hold certain religious doctrines above the precepts of Almighty God, and those who teach those false doctrines to others. Here is the question then, what are you doing about it, are you using the Scriptures to correct and reprove in love as we are commanded to, (2 Tim. 4:2) or do you simply believe in live and let live, that every man should be able to go upon whatever path he chooses, even if it dishonors the name of Christ, while he continues to show up at your assembly each weekend, and then spends the rest of the week cursing, drinking, carousing, blaspheming the Most Holy One, is he still welcomed back each Sunday morning even when these actions are brought into the light?
If the pastor and elders will not speak up, why not, if this thing is known as undisputable truth, then why are you not speaking openly to the entire congregation, after fulfilling what was commanded of us about these events in Matt. 18:15-17. My friends, God does not need you to stand up for Him, but it is His desire that you do so, it is His will that all who serve Him serve Him well and fully. These individuals are to be cast out of the assembly, treated as gentiles, until they repent, this is the commandment. They are dishonoring to His name, they are leading many astray, they are either brothers and sisters who have fallen into temptation and sin, or they are not saved, either way, they are to be reproved and corrected, and if those that lead the church are not willing to do so, than as a man of God you must accept that responsibility. If you are cast out of that particular congregation because of your actions of truth and righteousness, then so be it, perhaps that was the reason the Lord had you there in the first place, to exhibit what a true follower of Jesus Christ is.
Wise spiritual discernment, much prayer, a knowledge of the truth, these are what cause the servant of God to act, the desire is always to bring this individual to the knowledge of the truth, but if they refuse, then as the Word says, they are to be treated as a gentile, as an unrepentant sinner, as a hypocrite. No normal daily actions with them is to occur, the sole purpose is to bring them to repentance, and this my friend, you will find a rare thing indeed in the majority of many places of worship on this planet today. The church that will never speak the truth and act upon such matters has fallen into the trap of the enabled society, they are leading in the march to the apostacy, the great falling away. (2 Thess. 2:3)
The decision to fulfill the obligations pressed upon us by the Lord have always been left up to us, but there must come a time in the life of every born-again believer where we must make that decision, all must determine where they will stand and will not be moved any further. The first and second group of individuals are the same group, that leaves only one other, it is time to step back and see which one you truly are a part of.