For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God; & if it begins with
us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1Peter 4:17
This has been on my heart for a long time. Everywhere I see the church compromised & compromising. I see God's people mislead, misdirected & led astray. I see Gods' people compromising, acknowledging God with their lips, denying His power.
It came up on Sunday, the Catholic Church sadly being in the news yet again for pedophilia. God is dealing with His people. Sin in the church may be tolerated by us but not by God. Even though His Name gets dragged through the mud God is cleansing His church.
We are warned to be above criticism. To live such exemplary lives no fault can be found in us by our detractors. To be holy because God is Holy. Our example is Daniel, who remained holy in the midst of corrupt & hedonistic Babylon & in whom his detractors could find no fault ~ so they invented one & paid the ultimate price.
Now judgement is not condemnation. There is no condemnation for those who love God & are called according to his purposes. It is discipline. In Psalm 89 God says: I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. If we are God's we can expect his watchful eye on us & if His eye is on us we can expect both an outpouring of His love & His discipline when we stray.
We are without excuse for the state our churches are in. 1 Timothy gives very clear instructions about the sort of qualifications a church leader must have. We violate these conditions at our peril, to our own detriment. Sin is to be rebuked publicly. When was the last time you heard a minister rebuke sin from the pulpit? I don't mean the big general sins of the unregenerate world, but the known, unrepentant sin of a believer. Me neither. Just thinking about it makes me squirm. It is exactly that wooliness, that lack of the single eye that is focused on Jesus, that has got us where we are today till we have a homosexual Anglican Bishop, hundreds of children violated & their trust in the goodness of God poisoned, Christians more focused on what they can get than what they can give, easy tolerance posturing for genuine love & a world that shakes its head in disgust wishing to be saved from the questionable mercy of God's people. If it makes me sick, just think how God feels about it!
Rather strongly according to both Timothy & Peter & scripture always maintains a balance. Judgement is coming. It begins with us because in all honesty we should know better. We have the Spirit within us to lead us into all truth & righteousness. It begins with us because the separation has already begun & the world should hate us. Persecution is our allotment. It is allowed to purify & refine us.
We are designed for a particular purpose, as Holy Vessels to be used in worship, sanctified [set apart] for that particular purpose. I'm not going to sidetrack into what worship is or is not. I'm not going to delve into what to me is obvious; that of any sin at all it can be said, "There but for the grace of God go I" & because of that alone I have no right to be snooty about those who have fallen to a particular temptation. One does not have to condone sin in order to love.
Nope. The glaring truth is that Jesus has promised He will return & when he comes next it will not be as the helpless babe wrapped in swaddling clothes but as the Prince of the King of the Universe & given authority to execute judgement upon all of creation. One of the greatest lies Satan has told is the one of gentle Jesus meek & mild. It has led people to believe Jesus was & is a weakling but I once went looking for the very first sermon Jesus ever preached. Do you know what it was? Both the Gospel of Mark & the Gospel of Matthew state it was : "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!" Nothing too meek & mild about that. What's more He continued to say it & ended up on a cross.
It is time for those of us known by His name to listen up to what He says, repent & love Him with heart & soul & mind & not just with our lips.