Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Boycott.

Why I have never been, am not, and will not be much of a boycotter: “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler - not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. ‘Remove the wicked man from among yourselves [an allusion to the Law in places like Deuteronomy 13:5; 17:7; 21:21]’” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

Remember: never be surprised when unbelievers act/think like unbelievers; it is a harmful twisting of the Gospel to expect them to act/think like believers. The calling is to “preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1:23,24). May we, on the other hand, never cease being surprised when believers act/think like unbelievers; a church discipline motivated by love with a goal of repentant reconciliation should be the standard rather than boycotting the Christ-less lost. Preach Christ to the lost and the wayward baptized. Preach Christ, calling them to repentance and faith in the only God-given salvation before the holy, righteous Judge of the universe.

Preach Christ.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God...He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:16-21,36).

Preach Christ.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10).

Preach Christ.

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