Finally, the third step is to bring the rebellious party in front of the proper forum once again for redemptive purpose of trying to restore the brother (rebel). At this point you are dealing with a stubborn and proud person with an independent spirit/will. These are the same conditions that separated both Lucifer and Adam and Eve from God. Many people allow human sympathy and human love to stop them from taking this final step. We must trust God who made man and understands that only divine love can possibly restore this fallen brother. God understands the psychology of man and realizes what it takes to restore a rebellious one back to God. Man’s will is what either identifies or separates a person from or to God. God said that if this rebellious person will not repent then we are to treat him as a separated person since in heaven he is already separated from God. Thus, we are to turn him over to the devil by removing him formally and collectively from the fellowship both in the church and socially. Through his isolation and humiliation and shame he can possibly examine himself and truly repent. At this point his human feelings and suffering is not the primary concern. His eternal soul is what truly matters.
What is sad today is that Jesus’ words startle the modern reader with the simplicity of His beginning. “If your brother sins.” In our age of tolerance and confusion we are not used to thinking of sin as that easily identifiable. Jesus assumes that the moral standards by which sin is to be identified are knowable and known. He further assumes that the offender and those who reprove him share a common moral yardstick. This shows the sad condition of the church today when people no longer can identify or discern sin.
Lucifer led the first split through gossip, conspiracy and rebellion against authority. He talked to the other angels questioning the Word of God and criticizing policy and decisions. He was jealous of God’s position and wanted the others to give attention to his wisdom.
Judas betrayed Jesus and the other disciples out of again, pride. He was not pleased with Jesus leadership and His decisions. When the oil was poured over Jesus he became angry and said that the oil could have been sold and the money from it used for the poor. When in reality Judas was jealous of the attention and blessing Jesus was receiving. Their jealously led them to verbally attack and frame Jesus to discredit His message and turn the attention away from Jesus and back onto themselves.
Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us, “There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart the devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.”
Homosexuality, adultery, fornication etc., is not on the list. Pride and lying, gossip and slander come first. This is what God calls the sin of murder. Character assassination God hates worse than murder because it stops His Word from being preached, heard and accepted.
Church politics today as in the days Jesus walked the earth are just as sinful and destructive. In secular politics the heathen talk and belittle one another publicly where there can at least be open debate and rebuttal. But in church politics the seven sins, which are an abomination before God daily, occur. Church leaders smile at you and hypocritically talk about you behind your back without the opportunity of the truth being presented from the innocent party. Thus they like to appear as being very “Christian” with a smile where in reality they are very sinful, selfish and destructive. The smile should really reveal a dagger as their self-righteousness conceals their pride (weakness) and jealousy. Their cowardliness instead of faithfulness causes them to listen to other ungodly talebearers who also have a personal problem with the righteous but together they indulge in their vanities and lusts. Without a trial the innocent are slandered, discredited and condemned. Next, counsel and strategy are now discussed and carried through on how to separate, divide and destroy God’s righteous servant. Letters are sent, phone calls are made all as they smile and shake your hand yet the messenger and message are being discredited and discounted until God’s truth no longer can be spoken.
Thus as Jesus was attacked for His righteousness, speaking truth which exposed the sins of others, so the innocent are villianized today.
Nothing changes except the names of the guilty. Leaders today slander and try to discredit the servant of God out of jealousy. They want to remain in control of the congregations instead of allowing God to lead His church. They use the people for personal gain and to build their personal dreams and visions. Be faithful and follow God’s methods for fellowship with God and man.
© 1999 World Ministries International