Summary: The Sermon is on the importance of Church Discipline in the Church. The consequences of those who do not practice such and the fruit of those who do.
Spoiled Children - The growing rottenness of undisciplined Christians
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. In this article I would like to address the growing cancer that plagues Christendom today. It is a cancer that is not eating us from the outside but from the inside. It screams at us, kicks us and disrespects everything Christianity stands for. This cancer is the undisciplined Christian. The bible tells us,
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
We accept the fact of God's discipline in our daily life and in the life of every believer. We know that we as believers, if we do not walk according to the word of God will be chastened by the Lord. While this may be a fact we can not ignore that the Word of God places a responsibility on the Church and its leadership to discipline those who offend or live openly in sin. Here are some examples:
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Titus 1:10-13 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: (11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. (12) One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. (13) This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 (14) And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. (15) Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. (2) And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. (3) For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, (4) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, (5) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? (13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
While it is evident that the bible clearly states that those who live unruly and without concern and respect to the Church are to be disciplined by the Church and in some cases avoided and kicked out, how often is that done in churches? Churches are no longer acting like the Church of God but rather a social club in which all are accepted as long as they pay their membership fees or attend the occasional gatherings. Churches are filled with people who are offensive, abusive and down right polluted with sins and the sins they have committed against others. It is not their fault though. Rather it is the fault of the Modern Day Church. When an offense occurs the Church is not taking the steps to address the offense. Offensive Christians are getting away with murder. When a concern is placed upon a member of the Church, the Christian moves on to another Church. Slowly bringing his offense and bad behavior to other Christians. When something must be addressed Church leaders are deciding to remain silent rather than to speak to the person for fear of losing them.