Borrowed Truths

Reproof and Correction

Borrowed Truths

Reproof and Correction

If you have a lot of people in your church that are offended by the reproofs in the Word of God, then you have a lot of unbelievers in your church. One of the subjects that you will see addressed in my letters to you is obedience, submissive obedience to the Word of God and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, for in these individuals do we find the true servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not only what we do but what we say. I have noticed in many churches today a type of self-serving, self-centered religion, one that calls upon its congregation only for attendance and nothing more, if they would at least open their Bibles, that would be great, if they would ask a question or two after the service that would be amazing, and if they would go home after the service and research what the pastor had spoken about that morning, that would be astonishing, but what we have in many cases each weekend is a group of insincere, hypocritical individuals that are never to be questioned.

There are few calls for true repentance, if an item in an individuals life is brought to their attention by one who is mature in the faith, that person is often seen as a Pharisee, (Luke 18:11) one who is trying to make the individual see a fault in themselves that, of course, they do not have, instead of one who in love is trying to seek the best for the other. Defensive mechanisms, even within the church these days are almost automatic, and the fear of having to recognize a fault within our own self has led to many locked doors of the heart within the fellowship of believers.

There is very little spiritual discernment within the hierarchy of many churches these days, and yet the assemblies within many of these buildings still seek the guidance of those at the front, for even within the smallest matter, even in the milk of the Word, (1st Cor. 3:2) they hold no knowledge, for their own Bibles are rarely opened, much less read throughout the week. What these individuals hear each weekend from the one up on the stage is all they know about the Scriptures, Gods will for their lives is what the pastor says it is, and very few of them open their Bibles at home to see if what he has said that weekend was the truth according to the Scriptures, they have placed their trust in a man, (Jer. 17:5) instead of searching the Word for themselves. Many in the pulpit have acquiesced to the congregation’s ideology of what a church service is suppose to contain, and that ideology is always temporal and transitory, while others question not the long held, dogmatic beliefs of a particular religious organization. In both cases they are the blind leading the blind and are either unaware or uncaring that they are not serving the God of the Holy Bible, as long as they are in a church setting, that is all that matters.

To speak reproof and correction to them as we are commanded to in 2nd Timothy 3:16 and many other places is an offense to them, especially if you do not have letters behind your name from a seminary, plaques of recognition and accomplishments upon the walls of your office, or deemed worthy to do so by a committee within the church. Discernment of the paths of their lives is completely dependent upon their own perceived ideas of the Scriptures, and most generally this is based on the moral constructs that the world in which they live have set up, not an in-depth study of the Word of God. They are easily led astray by those who stand behind the podium, and are emotion-based humans, not faith based, and so the truths of the Word of God are only what they have been told they are, and like an ox with a nose ring, they can be led wherever one wills.

For these, when reproofs and correction are brought to their attention, their defensive mechanisms immediately go up, their ears hear only what they want to hear, and the one trying to speak to them in love becomes the adversary. They will begin to take great offence, and even when the truth of God is shown to them from His word, they will rebuke you, and begin to deny the truth within themselves of the actions or lifestyles or words that they know for a fact to be within them. It is almost as if they have been caught in a deed that is wrong, that the truth about themselves is now known, and yet they will still deny it, for then they would have to face that which is in their lives that they know is against the will of God, and for many, the most difficult person we will ever have to face is our self. Much of this is assisted by the plot of Satan that we all are Gods special little children, that the truth is what we make it, and everyone deserves a trophy, no matter what, if you are wrong then you should not have to admit it because that would just make you feel bad.

Do you have any idea how many people are going to be standing in front of Christ at the great white Throne of judgement on that day saying, “But that’s what the pastor said!”

We are not speaking of single incidences here, for all fall at times, but of those reoccurring sinful habits, those things that do not occur perhaps each day, but are a part of our regular, continuing life, a part of us that will not submit to the Will of God. “You can have it all, Lord, except for just these few, little things.” I personally know of at least three individuals that attend regularly three different church’s in my community, who use curse words on a consistent basis, including the name of Jesus Christ, there are those that drink nearly ever night until they pass out, those who are living in sin with another. Are those who are in authority aware of the actions and lifestyles of these individuals, of course they are, but as long as they are in a pew that is all that matters, right, maybe if they keep coming, they will change. These are not people that just started showing up last weekend my friends, they have been attending your church for a very long time, and repentant at times or not, they are going to keep attending, for we would not want to offend them by showing them in love that they are outside of the Will of God, would we. 

Now is the point where the crux of all my letters begins to show, to encourage and convict, and so the question is, what are you going to do about it, how are going to approach these people that you know are in your congregation. As I have said many times before, I can only encourage, it is the Holy Spirits responsibility to convict, and so the answer is simple, now that you are aware of the truth of the matter, now that your minds eye has shown you the face of the those that we have been talking about, what should you do. I have left, been asked to leave, and ‘politely persuaded’ to not return to three different church’s over the course of my walk with Christ because of matters such as these, for I was ‘stepping on toes’ that were not meant to be stepped on, I brought up what I felt the Lord was leading me to bring up, and I was put down for doing so. No man can serve two masters. (Matt.6:24)

Please hear me on this, no church is perfect, no individual within any congregation is perfect, but there are those that should not be allowed into the fellowship of believers if they do not repent and change the course that they are on. (2nd Thess. 3:6) I am not suggesting that all of these individuals have crept in unawares, (Jude 1:4) or that they are attending for the sole purpose of disruption within the church, although these occurrences are not rare. “You will know them by their fruits,” (Matt. 7:15) and if the fruits are not there, they are not saved. It can be difficult for some to discern whether or not a person is truly saved, an evident child of God, and to question that with some, much less bring correction in love to their attention, is to bring upon ourselves criticism and even censure within the congregation.

So then, if you know this person we are talking about, what are you to do. First of course is prayer, which it should be in all areas of our live, fervent prayer, for we are speaking on a very serious matter here, and the answer to that prayer will come in the form of conviction from the Holy Spirit, assurance that what you are preparing to say to this individual is what the Lord would have you to say, and is completely in line with the Word of God, this is not a matter to be rushed into. Second must be the testing of the spirits (1st John 4:1) to determine that what you are going to say and how you are planning on approaching this individual has absolutely nothing to do with you, no ambition or drive from within yourself to see any ends met for yourself, it must be done for the Glory of God and for Him alone. Thirdly of course is the action, for inaction when we are commanded of anything by the Holy Spirit in any matter of our lives is a sin within itself, and though another may be chosen for the task at hand if you will not obey, the opportunity to learn a valuable spiritual lesson will be lost for you, to stand for God or man, no matter the cosequences. The key to this meeting, this endeavor, is the same as in all things that we are to use when we prepare our hearts to serve our Lord, but especially when speaking to another, and that key is love, it is the only thing that will assist in opening the heart of the ones that we speak to, no matter the circumstances.

Prepare your heart though my friend to be rebuked, to hear harsh and hurtful words, perhaps even to be cast out of the assembly, for many of these do not know that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Prov. 27:6) You must seek diligently to find if this individual is a detriment to the continuing fellowship of those who are trying to live obedient lives for Christ, is he or she an unspoken thorn in the side of the congregation, is the Name of God being blasphemed because of their continuing actions, words or lifestyle. Perhaps you will win your brother, perhaps you will be asked to mind your own business, I have experienced both, as many of your brothers and sisters in Christ have through the centuries.

We are to fear God and obey His commandments, that is the whole purpose of our existence. Jesus never promised an easy path, but He has promised rest at the end of that path. If you know this person, pray, if you are convicted, act, there is no other way for the obedient servant of our Lord.   

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