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We are too willing to let our coworkers die.
We are too willing to let our classmates die.
We are too willing to let our friends die.
We are too willing to let our loved ones die.
And I may be a hypocrite writing this, but I think it ought to be said even if I fail at my own admonitions.
I realize what I am though. I recognize I am evil and selfish at heart and my hypocritical flesh tears at me and I can only live by God and God alone.
The fact of the matter is, a lot of the people we know are probably going to Hell. And, yet, we’re scared.
And, it’s not the holy fear of God within us. It’s not a fear for their life. Rather, it’s a fear of embarrassment, of popularity loss, of offending someone, or of being disliked.
And if I call that pathetic and call you pathetic for such a fear, well… I ought to call myself those things before I even begin to say such things about you.
But we are the people of God. We are His children. And we let false converts go along their merry way to Hell, often hardly doing a thing to help them.
In reality, I think we often do more harm than good. How? By not following biblical principals and not warning them.
In the book of 1 John we find a series of “tests,” some things we can use to help assure ourselves of our eternal salvation. Or, things that we can use to bring into the light a very scary fact that might just exist: we are not, after all, saved.
We let those we think of as brothers go on sinning. We let those claiming Christ die not knowing the One they claim to know.
I’ll quote some of 1 John here, but I’ll also ask you to read it. In fact, just stop reading this and read it right now. It doesn’t even matter so much if you come back to this post. Reading Scripture is far more important than reading this.
In 1 John 3:8-10, John writes,
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
Do take note, though, of John’s words prior to the above verses in 1 John 1:8-10:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
But, it’s clear that making “a practice of sinning” is proof that someone isn’t saved. In other words, a person living in sin and not showing fruit displays good evidence for their lack of salvation. Works do not and cannot save them (Ephesians 2:8-9), but works are proof of what’s happened, and without works, faith does no good (James 2:14) and I’d argue is not even true faith.
But we are too scared to tell people the truth. We’re too frightened to warn someone as a brother that we fear they may be on the road to Hell.
What kind of people are we for that? How can we say we are loving? How can I say I am loving?
‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.Matthew 18:15-17
And Paul said,
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 5:11-13
Instead, we pat people on the back. We say we need to just love on them more. We ignore what they’re doing. We invite them to hang out with us. We gossip about them.
When do we ever do what God actually commands us to?
Where is the love? Even if we deny the modern, faulty definition of love in words, we still hold to it in our actions far too much. Love does not let someone go on living their life in false assurance just to be thrown into the lake of fire after thinking they were saved.
What happened to biblical Church discipline? What happened to love?
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!2 Peter 3:10-12
So what kind of people are we gonna be? Pray to God we are not apathetic.
Warn people. Speak the truth. Study the Scriptures. Get on your knees. Lift up your hands.
Father, forgive me for being so unloving, unsacrificial, and apathetic. It’s as if a veil comes over me. Tear it off, Father! Rip it away! May it never come over my head again. Forgive my hypocrisy.
Who are we to be? We are to be disciples of Christ.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’John 13:34-35
All direct verse quotations are taken from the ESV