“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 ESV
Sexual immorality is running rampant in America’s churches today, often with “no holds barred” (without restrictions; nothing forbidden). And, this is largely due to the adoption of the cheap grace gospel by a large majority of these churches.
For, it requires no turning away from sin (no repentance), no walks of obedience to Christ’s commandments, and no submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So, it gives free liberty to continue in sinful practices without restriction, without guilt, and with no need for remorse.
And yet these churches are proud. They are proud of their buildings, their church denominations, their performances, their praise bands, and of their preachers, too, many of whom are just there to entertain the masses. They are proud, as well, of their numbers, their baptisms, their activities, and of their relaxed, care free, and fun environments they provide people, too. They are proud, as well, of how they do not say anything to offend anyone so that the world will feel at home in their midst.
So, while they are busy patting themselves on the back for being seeker friendly and for training their congregants to “stay in your own lane,” so as not to offend the world with the truth of the gospel, people are living like hell and they are headed straight for hell, too, while they are promising them heaven as their eternal destiny. And, the church, overall, is on a massive moral and spiritual decline in my nation and in the world, too.
“For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 5:3-5 ESV
So much of the church in America, which is market-driven (flesh-driven), and which has adopted the cheap grace gospel, is reticent to confront anyone in their sins for fear of being tagged “judgmental” and “intolerant.” So, they teach God’s grace as though it is free license to continue in sinful practices without fear of punishment or of any kind of judgment passed on them. They teach God’s love, also, as being permissive of sinful behaviors. And, so sin is running rampant because it is being tolerated under the guise of “love,” “mercy” and “grace.”
So, rather than judging habitual sinful practices in the church, they tolerate them, and they call it “love.” And, they coddle people in their sins, instead. And, they keep telling them that God loves them no matter what, and that heaven is guaranteed them no matter how much they sin against God. And, so it would seem that few church congregations anymore actually practice true biblical and loving church discipline.
Rather, they discourage the godly, and they embrace the ungodly, and so the church is not much different from the world. They discipline those who are speaking the truth in love, and they baby and they pacify those who are living in sexual immorality, who are engaging in all sorts of wickedness, and who are living in self-indulgence and in irresponsible behavior. And, this is because they don’t want anyone to feel judged, because that would not be good for business.
“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 ESV
Because of the cheap grace gospel, habitual and sexually immoral behaviors are being tolerated and even coddled in much of today’s modern churches here in America. And, a large percentage of pastors and church leaders are now addicted to sexually immoral practices, as well. And, so they have diluted the gospel message to nothing more than a pep talk, basically. Now all anyone has to do is just acknowledge who Jesus is and they are “saved” from their sins and bound for heaven, which can never be taken away.
So, yes, that little leaven that was there a long time ago has now grown to a large mass and not much is being done within the church, as a whole, to tackle this situation head on, biblically, and to remove this cancer from their midst. So, many churches which do anything to help with this situation often do token attempts of trying to provide some kind of training in overcoming addiction. But, it often falls short, because so much of it is not biblical, but is based in modern psychology and humanistic philosophy.
So, they may or may not have “support groups” for the addicted, but it seems that few are actually practicing true biblical discipline in these matters, and so the cancer continues to grow and to multiply.
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV
Ok, so let’s recap here for a moment. So, instead of tolerating sin in our midst, and instead of being proud while such things go on, we are to mourn, and we are to grieve over the sin which is going on within the church unchallenged. And, instead of being nonjudgmental and tolerant, we are supposed to remove from our midst those who will not repent of their habitual sinful course.
Not only that, but we are to deliver such as these “to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
Wow! Where is this being done today? Lovingly and biblically? Do we even understand what this means?
I believe it means to bar someone such as this from the fellowship of the church gatherings so that he (or she) does not influence, infect, and impact the rest of the people to do the same. The whole idea is that by refusing him (or her) into the church fellowship it would be placing him out in the world in Satan’s kingdom, and that this would somehow bring shame upon him and that it would bring him to repentance.
In today’s world, though, I doubt that this would have the same impact as it might have then, for the person would just go to another “church” where he (or she) would be accepted just as they are. But we still, as a church, have a responsibility to remove from our fellowships those who are infecting the church and who are refusing to repent of what God calls sin. Yet, I recognize that there are churches who do practice church discipline unbiblically, too, and may cast out the godly, while retaining the ungodly among them.
But, it isn’t just the unrepentant sinner who needs to be removed from the fellowship of the church, but it is the “leaven” itself, the sin that so easily entangles, and the tolerance and permissiveness of sin within the church, which is where the real issue lies these days. So, we need to remove from among us this cheap grace gospel which gives permission for “believers” to engage in sinful practices. And, we need to bring back the true gospel and preach that, instead, which teaches repentance and obedience to Christ.
And, then we need to not make it our practice to make our close companions those who are claiming faith in Jesus Christ but who are knowingly living in sin with no sincere repentance evident in their lives. For, bad company corrupts good character, and we may be led astray from our pure devotion to Christ by such close associations as this.
Plus, by these close associations we may actually be giving credence to their sinful lifestyles. For, it is truly loving, and it is truly kind to exercise such discretion as this in the hopes of keeping the church pure and in the hopes of bringing the sinner to repentance. So, don’t be afraid to stand for holiness and purity.
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.