LET US GO TO THE LORD IN PRAYER

Father, I come before you in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Lord, you know all things. They are all before you like an open book. Who can hide their heart from your presence and your eye? The deeds of the most clever men are exposed before you. Your omniscience knows know bounds - and if it were not for grace, I would be of all men most terrified. But there is grace, abounding and glorious, poured out upon the weakest of men, and abounding to your glory.
Father, I praise you and I worship you; I thank you for all that you are and all that have done. There is no one like you in Heavens and on the Earth or under the earth. You are the King and there is no other. You are Savior and you share your glory with no one. Father, this day you know me and my great need of grace. Why am I here except that you called the weakest among men, the most ignoble among brothers, and that by your grace, often times, the lesser teaches the greater? That is always my case and I praise you. I worship you. Father, help us today, to the wind with eloquence, to hell with brilliant intellect, Father. Let the truth go forward. Let me be changed that the state of your church be more glorious. I pray for grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy for myself and for those who read my blog. Help us, Oh God, and we will be helped; and we will boast in that help in Jesus' Name. AMEN!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

What To Do " If Your Brother Sins Against You"

We find this passage in Luke 17:3-4. There we read:

"If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying, "I repent", you shall forgive him"

        There are some "ifs" in this passage. Being in the computer industry I know very well what an if statement means in a program. It means that what follows the if statement applies only if what is included in the "if statement" is fulfilled. In the first sentence of the above precious words of our Lord, we have two if statements.  

IF your brother sin against you

THEN you rebuke him

IF (after you rebuke him) he repents 

THEN you forgive him

        This is the turn the Lord has set. Many people desire to be forgiven without repenting. Many others yet, do not forgive somebody for a sin for which however they have never rebuked him!
Thus they break the above simple order THE LORD HAS SET. Many still rebuke others for things that are not sins, thus sinning themselves against them! There are many with big mouths that can be critical about everything and everyone and if you fall into their mouth… poor you. They pretend to rebuke the others but there is no SIN!! I was rebuked more than once by some people because I was writing articles!! Should I repent? NO. This is what GOD has told me to do! Instead I need to rebuke the person that "rebuked" me or better "criticize" me and not be silent, and see then whether he will repent and ask for forgiveness. If I don’t rebuke what I know FROM THE WORD that is sin then the other will not get a chance to repent and then I will not have a chance to forgive him.Keeping it like this, will create me big problems the next time I meet this person, for my relationship with him will be affected by hurt, intimidation and unforgiveness. Many people think that they have to forgive the other without rebuking him and without him repenting and asking for forgiveness. This is not what the Lord commanded. It is much more difficult to forgive somebody when you have never told him the wrong and he has never repented and asked for forgiveness than to follow the simple order the Lord had set: rebuke, the other side repents, you forgive!

         And what happens you will ask if I rebuke the other person for something that is clearly a sin against me, and the other one does not repent and never asks for forgiveness? This case may unfortunately happen. Many people have so much pride that will never say a "sorry" to anybody. I have seen cases where people are very clearly rebuked, it is evident that they err, yet they bypass what they did like nothing happened, without saying "sorry for what happened"! Watchman Nee said somewhere "the humbler a person is the more often will say "sorry". Tell sorry to anybody even for the slightest thing that you THINK that you may have done wrongly. This is to be humble. This is to be Christian! Anything else is plain hypocrisy. It is having the words but to deny them when it is time to live them. Not asking for forgiveness will not harm only the person against whom the sin was committed but also the person that committed the sin. If for example a person has big critical mouth causing intimidation to others and if this is not confronted then he will certainly harm many but he himself will also be denied practically by the others! How to be open to a person that intimidates and has not repented for this? No wonder that this person will at the end be alone. But again the others as brothers and sisters, the church herself, what do they do? Have they confronted this person? The Word does not ask you to forgive somebody that has not repented! What He asks you and the church to do is TO REBUKE HIM!!! Have you done it? Has the church as the body of believers done it? And again here we don’t speak for whatever YOU may have in your mind as sin, but for what the WORD defines as sin.

 Here is what our Lord and captain of our faith said in Matthew 18:15-17

Matthew 18:15-17

"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector"

           THIS IS THE ORDER OF GOD!!! THIS IS WHAT THE CAPTAIN OF OUR FAITH HAS SAID. THIS IS WHAT JESUS THE LORD, THE CHRIST, THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH HAS SET. Why do we try to do it differently? Why do we think that it is better that we are silent to the evil, the abuse, the sin that is done before our very eyes!! In our very churches! When will we hear the voice of the Lord instead of the voices of the world that says "everybody can do whatever he wants". For this is what our Lord has said (in the form of "program" language, for it is so precise!):

IF your brother sins 

Rebuke him,tell him his fault 

If he repents OK.

ELSE

Take with you two or three witness

IF he does not hear them THEN

 Tell it to the church

IF he does not hear the church THEN

 Let him be to you as a heathen and tax collector

 What we in our modern western churches do is the following:

IF your brother sins against you

 Don’t tell him anything!

Or

 If you are so brave (!!)to tell him, and he does not hear you

 There is no problem… just behave as nothing happens!

 Excuse me who has said this?? Please show me the page of the Bible where the Lord or his apostles commanded something like this? This may be what YOU think or what your pastor or society may have told you BUT certainly is NOT what God has said in the Bible. See here what Paul says:

I Corinthians 5:1-2

"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles – that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be TAKEN AWAY from among you."

        "Taken away? Come on Paul. I’m so nice on my sit. Why should I do something? I’m paying my teethes. I’m coming on Sundays to my church. I’m doing my prayers. I’m ok. Why should I bother for this fellow? This is his business." And Paul, and God through Paul replies to you: "YOU ARE PUFFED UP! You had to MOURN instead of sitting coldly on your sit! This unrepented person should be taken away". And Paul continues:

I Corinthians 5:9-13

"I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexual immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexual immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you NOT TO KEEP COMPANY WITH ANYONE NAMED A BROTHER, WHO IS SEXUALLY IMMORAL, OR COVETOUS, OR AN IDOLATER, OR A REVILER, OR A DRUNKARD, OR AN EXTORTIONER – not even to eat with such person. For what I have to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. THEREFORE "PUT AWAY FROM YOURSELVES THE EVIL PERSON"

           There is judgment that must be done. Again I don’t speak about those big mouth folks that they THINK they are rebuking and the only they do is criticizing innocence. THEY HAVE TO BE REBUKED for this. Here the whole church knows that a named as brother is covetous, or sexual immoral or a reviler etc. This person has not repented. Then it falls to the last category of the Lord’s statement:

IF he does not hear the church THEN 

Let him be to you as a heathen and tax collector 

Or as Paul says "Put him away".
For by doing this you have one more chance to make him repent. But by accepting him you tell him "there is no problem. We don’t care enough about you anyway! Do as you wish!" God judges the outside. We are to judge the inside. "Do you not judge those who are inside?"

And again:

 II Thessalonians 3:14-15

"IF ANYONE DOES NOT OBEY OUR WORD IN THIS EPISTLE, NOTE THAT PERSON AND DO NOT KEEP COMPANY WITH HIM THAT HE MAY BE ASHAMED. YET DO NOT COUNT HIM AS AN ENEMY, BUT ADMONISH HIM AS A BROTHER"

         "Note this person and do not keep company with him". The purpose is NOT to reject that person but that he may be ashamed and thus repent! Instead in our modern churches WE are ashamed to tell this person to repent! He must be avoided so that HE may be ashamed and repent. Avoided does not mean rejected. The Word says in James 5:19-20

James 5:19-20

"Brethren if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover multitude of sins"

and again: 

Ezekiel 18:23

"Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord God, "and not that he should turn his ways and live"

         God does not desire the rejection BUT THE REPENTANCE of the person that sins. For without repentance the sin will NOT be forgiven. Now, for the repentance to occur, REBUKE is needed and if the person does not hear anybody then he should be taken away, noted and avoided. Yet he should still be advised so that he may return. The gates should always be open IF THE PERSON REPENTS. God does not desire the person to stay in his present state. He wants him to repent!

Closing let’s return to the words of our Lord in Matthew 18:18

Matthew 18:18

"Assurently, I say to you whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven"

The above means responsibility, choice. It is in our hands to rebuke. It is in our hands to repent. It is in our hands to forgive. Will we follow the teaching of Word? It is absolutely clear and precise. And let me repeat it again:  

IF your brother sins 

Rebuke him,tell him his fault 

If he repents OK.

ELSE

Take with you two or three witness

IF he does not hear them THEN

 Tell it to the church

IF he does not hear the church THEN 

Let him be to you as a heathen and tax collector

      Jesus went to the heathen and to the tax collectors too! Once the person repents the sin is forgiven and the person is back to fellowship with God and the others. The doors should never be closed to a repented sinner and should never be open to somebody that has been rebuked in the way the Lord has set and yet he does not repent.  

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