Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Archive for May. 9, 2018

Secret Sins

Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden” (1 Tim 5:24,25).

In New Testament days, the church was known for its good works and aid of its own.  People within the church who had land or homes sold some of their possessions and gave generously to the apostles who oversaw this great ministry of benevolence.

Giving was one sign of dependency upon God.  When I give of my money and possession, I learn that things are not where I put my trust, but in God.  I also see needs of others and feel their suffering as if it were my own.  It was a time that the church was striving to be family.

However, not everyone had the same attitude.  There were some who sold land and gave money, but they lied about it – apparently because it was more about being seen than it was about helping others. Acts 4 and 5 tells us this story.

Acts 5:1-2 tell us the situation.  So here we have this husband and wife team that conspire to lie. About 3 hours after the husband’s body is taken away, his wife is confronted with this sin. After the husband dies, moments later the wife dies.  (verses 5, 11). Thus the words of the apostle Paul, “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear(1 Tim. 5:20)

Dealing With Sin

Christians still sin.  Church leaders still sin.  Elders, Deacons, the Preacher still sin.  And sin destroys the soul.

So you have to learn how to deal with sin before it destroys. You have to learn how to confront sin before it becomes so great that entire congregations suffer due to the sin of one individual. How do you confront sin?

Start by understanding what Paul is teaching. Paul is not telling Timothy, you or me to go around and seek to find out all the struggles of the leadership or fellow Christians within the church body. The fact remains that some sins are seen and some are unseen. The only sin that you can deal with are the sins that are seen.

Now, to keep this in the teaching of Paul, he tells Timothy about elders and every other member who continue in sin. The only idea behind it that I can understand is the that which Jesus gave in Matt. 18.

In Matthew 18 the process Jesus gave is if your brother sins against you talk to him alone.  Keep it private. The goal, win your brother back. If that brother continues in that sin, take two or three witnesses and confront him so that everything can be established.  Again, the goal is reconciliation. But if that brother continues to sin after you privately and then with a few witnesses confront him, then take it before the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, then view him as an unbeliever.

Paul is trying to teach Timothy how to be helpful to the church family, not harmful to people. Our job isn’t to go around looking for sin. Our ministry of reconciliation begins between us in the church family where sin had caused pain and division. Remember, Paul is dealing with persistent sin, and therefore sins which are seen.

Seen and Unseen Sins

Paul speaks of two categories of sin, the seen and the unseen. Within those two categories, Paul deals with sin and good works. The idea that sin ruins relationships with God and man is taught throughout the Bible. Many Christians, not just church leaders, are good at covering up sin. It is a struggle that every Christian has. We are not perfectly sinless, even as we mature in Christ. So you have some sin that is seen and some unseen.

Those which are seen must be dealt with in order to help that Christian who is caught up in a sin. The ones that are unseen will only be faced by God on Judgement Day. Our desire to hide our sin often causes greater harm, than if we face our sin, repent of it, and accept God’s grace to move forward. Take with you John’s teaching (1 Jn 1:5-10)

We can and do walk in the light, we can and do sin. The only time sin darkens our walk is when we arrogantly say we have no sin. It’s okay to admit sin when it is done sincerely, with the right people, and a heart to walk with God. When that happens we are in fellowship with God and each other. When we call ourselves Christians but walk in darkness we break that fellowship.  We are too important of a family to break fellowship.

There are also seen and unseen good works. Paul has a very positive statement by reminding us that good triumphs over evil. Even unseen good works cannot remain hidden. Now, he is probably dealing with “hidden from God” but the point is every act will come to light.  As said in 2 Cor. 5:10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad”

Conclusion: Some of you may be hurting in the pain of a secret sin. No one is asking you to come forward and share all your dirt with the whole congregation, but I would ask you to share it all with God and to find spiritual people who will help you walk in the light. Remember, it is better we judge ourselves while here on earth than to be judged by God come the day of judgment (1 Cor 11:31,32 f; Rom 2:16).

Christianity Has No Tolerance For Racism

Racism is a serious form of pride. It is an assault on the image of God. It is un-Christian. It is simply and horrifically sinful and Satanic. Racism should never be practiced or even come to mind of any faithful Christian. The fact that any human being could possibly think that any group of people is superior to another group of people has forgotten that all human beings are created in the image of God, by God, and for God. God is not a respecter of persons nor did he create on race superior to another. The white supremacy groups, Neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other groups are fueled by racism (of any skin color!) with Satan as their King, have forgotten that their lives hang by a slender thread of grace.

Racism and race “superiority” is an all-out assault on the very plan of God. God’s plan is not only for white-Americans. It didn’t even begin with white Americans. America isn’t the apple of God’s eye. White people are not the cream of the crop. God’s plan in Christ involves people from EVERY nation, EVERY language, and EVERY race under the sun.

For example, read wha the apostle John wrote in the book of Revelation: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

A great multitude. Every nation, tribe, people, and language, around the throne of God and before the Lamb, who is Christ, worshipping him because of the salvation he purchased. Now, if the universal church is made up of this kind of multitude and if God delights in loving and saving a multitude that is multi-ethnic, and if Christ loved people of every skin color to the point of death, then why would anyone possibly think that white-supremacy could even be a possibility? Plainly said, racism is the pure ignorance of God and His divine plan of salvation.

If the church is to make disciples of all nations and if all nations is clarified in Revelation 7 to mean people from every nation, language, people, and tribe, then that means, for sure, that there can be no such thing as racist Christians. How can racist Christians share the Gospel with a black or Hispanic neighbors if they hate them or despise them or think little of them or want to avoid them? Why would they even want to? If you despise them now, would you really want to worship with them in the New Creation? No! Therefore, racism in the church cripples the call to make disciples and to evangelize and to be very blunt it proves that we are probably still dead in our sins and not even a Christian at all. How is love for neighbor and racism compatible? It’s not. How is racism and wisdom compatible? It’s not. How is racism and the cross and the Gospel compatible? It’s not. And finally, just consider that Jesus Christ died for a multi-‘racial,’ multi-ethnic bride. It is the greatest interracial marriage the world has ever known.

Now, if all of this is true for Christ and his church and discipleship and evangelism and the plan of God, then by default and practical wisdom it also goes for every non-Christian. Every person is held accountable and is responsible to see the world the way God does. Therefore, those who are racist, despising people of a different skin color or at least thinking less of them, will give an account for their lives, minds, words, deeds, and every other aspect of their lives.

What is the only option? The only option for those who have participated mentally or physically in these kinds of racist movements, alone, or in a group, is repentance. If you have looked down upon a person of another skin color or language, another person created in the image of God, repent! You will either repent of your sin, cast your-self upon Christ, trusting in his death for the forgiveness of your sins, or you will burn in  a perpetual hell.

For those who refuse to repent of racism, it is only a matter of time before you will stand before God. He will look through you, into the core of your being. Nothing will be hidden. The double edge sword will pierce and reveal the secrets of your heart. He will know and he knows now. And in that moment, you will realize the weight of feeling inferior. You will feel small and weak. You will feel forever what it is like to be “outside.”  And there will be no hope. You and your racism will go head first into the lake that burns with fire forever and ever. Repent and trust in Christ. Be changed to love your neighbor.

Let each of us of every race or nationality search our hearts. Is there any deep sense of racism in our blood? Sin corrupts and defects and destroys. It is slowly oozing through all of our veins and we must make war by the Spirit to kill every drop of racism in our bodies. Not only is it a great hindrance to our mission but it is an all-out assault on the glory of the image of God seen in human beings from all over the globe. Racism and Christianity are mortal enemies of one another. If you are on the Lord’s side, racism does not exist within you.

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