Tag Archives: rebuke

Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out!

When you sit back knowing that you are complacent do you ever wonder who pays the price?

numbers 32 question2as

Numbers 32 “Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out”

This verse should be a warning to all of us because hiding, disclaiming and denying sin brings serious consequences either here or in eternity. This warning is one of 3 lessons we can glean from this chapter.

The second lesson is that complacency is contagious. When Moses heard of the request of the Reubenites, the Gadites and then the ½ tribe of Manasseh to live on the eastern side of the Jordan River, he assumed that they were ready to settle down and not enter the Promised Land because it would lead to others following their footsteps. In today’s world that is also true when we are content to sit idly by while others do the work of the church.

Thirdly, we don’t know when these tribes either changed their minds or if they had this as the first order of business but Moses did not see it that way. All appearances are deceiving if we do not share up front our thoughts so we are not misconstrued. They did respond with words of faithfulness to obey Moses to cross over and join the others in conquering the Promised Land but it was a costly choice which lasted at least 7 yrs.

No question; complacency and sin are contagious.

Be steadfast in your walk with God.  


“Possessor or Professor?”

ImageJesus gave us a practical illustration of this title in the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. Five were wise and five were foolish. We are to determine who these are which directly follows the parable he taught in Matthew 24 of the faithful and unfaithful slaves. Both the wise virgins and the faithful slaves are those who are prepared while serving and waiting for the Master’s return. In 2Timothy 4 Paul urges his beloved child in the Lord to not only be that wise virgin and faithful slave but also to persevere to prepare others. But, alas, Paul said then as now,  there will also be amongst us those who are the foolish virgins and the unfaithful slaves who merely profess but do not possess. These are also the “tares” amongst us; they look like the true thing but when the time comes they are unprepared and unready to meet the Master.

Those who are the wise and faithful are those who possess the gift of eternal life and the indwelling Holy Spirit. They are the true children of God as John tells us through his gospel. They are the ones who seek to study to show themselves approved; they are serving faithfully;  they use the tool of inspired scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to correct their thinking, their actions, their motives and their deeds.

Those who are the foolish and unfaithful are those who profess to be believers but they “will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths.” These do not hear nor heed the messages about sin and the need for salvation, but they turn away from such. They have fallen victim to the fables of the false teachers who say you must earn your way to heaven OR God only loves you when you are good OR you need to love self first before you can love others OR they say God would not send anyone to hell for He is a God of love.  Paul warns Timothy about these teachers and instructs him to “Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.”

Today, are you in the Word seeking instruction from the Word? Are you are a possessor or merely a professor? Are you sitting under those who explain and interpret the Word of God as it was written, or those that read one’s own ideas into the Word in order to “prove” a pre-held point; imposing their own interpretation into and onto the text? Be discerning; be trained to “have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” [Heb 5:14] Are you amongst the wise or foolish virgins; are you a faithful or unfaithful slave?

The Word is Our Compass

ImageWhen Paul left Timothy in Ephesus he saw the danger signs on the horizon for the flock and in fact Revelation 2 shows that indeed this precious flock did lose their first love. Are we discerning that we too see the danger signs and know how to act upon them?

Note that Paul references the Holy Spirit who “explicitly says” that in the later times certain things will come to pass; the first of which is the desertion of some faithful to the unfaithful camp. What might have triggered this departure? Dr. Constable writes: “this would come about as a result of their listening to persuasive arguments put forth by God’s spiritual enemies and, behind them, demons.” Rather than following these liars, as Paul references them, we are to hide God’s Word in our hearts, study to show ourselves approved as the Bereans did, and be mature in our perceptions to discern good and evil.

Now to Timothy Paul exhorts him to seek to “Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach” It is our speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity along with the power of the Holy Spirit’s conviction that will draw them back.

Secondly, he is to be busy about “giving attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” Much is avoided when truth is taught from the pulpit. 2Ti 4:2 Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. The public reading of God’s Word and the teaching of the doctrines of the church is our Biblical compass against the false teachers.

Listen carefully this week as you sit under those who stand in the pulpits. Pray for them and pray for yourself. Pray that the anointed empowering Holy Spirit will direct, discern, and discriminate between what is truth and what is error.Image



1Cor 5 “Teachable Moment of Time Out!”

ImageOnce a parent always a parent. Can you recall long ago when our fathers/mothers disciplined us saying: this hurts me more than you? Now in the role of a parent you see the wisdom of that statement. Parenting skills never go away even when your children are adults. Paul took seriously his role as a parent to the fledgling church in Corinth. “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” [1Cor 4:15] and in that role knew that there would come times when as a parent, one must discipline.

How does a parent lovingly discipline? As Paul wrote to Timothy in another letter, he gave us the wisdom of what the Word lovingly does and we can apply that same principle to parenting: “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”[2Tim 3:16]. We are to teach our children, reprove/rebuke them, correct their faulty thinking and behaviors, and train them up “Prov 22:6 Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

When you were naughty did you often anticipate the parent’s return with dread or did you go on with no thought of what lay ahead? That is part of the picture Paul is painting for us as he reminded them that just because he was absent physically he was there in spirit. Jesus too as our head is not with us physically but is with us in Spirit “And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” Paul gently asked them: “Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” If Jesus were to return right now which of these might we want him to administer?

The Corinthian church had a serious problem. One congregant was co-habiting with his father’s wife. As a church they had failed to discipline this man and in fact were accepting it and were proud. Why were they not sorrowing over this serious sin? Why had they not administered discipline?  Paul says this is so serious that not even the Gentiles would think of doing this. What were they thinking of?

Paul then lovingly corrects their faulty thinking/behavior. This sin will infect the entire church just as yeast infects the dough. Remove this evil person from among you! You as a parent might have done it this way: go to your room to think about it. Isolate the child.  For the Corinthians isolation of this man with no participation in the Lord’s Table, no fellowship with individuals, no small groups of believers is Paul’s counsel with the hope that he will reflect on his sin. Further, it is hoped that he will see how it is affecting the whole body and return to the fellowship renewed in spirit, pure in spirit and behavior and willingness to obey.  As a parent or a teacher you have probably administered this same “time out” and seen the effectiveness of isolation.

So how do we apply this today? (1) Lifestyle: keep oneself unstained by the world.  (2) Follow the steps of 2Tim: Teach, rebuke, correct, train both in the home and in the church, (3) Consider that Jesus may return at any moment. Is there any sin within you or the church that needs attention? Remove the evil among you and be ye cleansed. Be ye holy as I am holy saith the Lord. (4) Follow the discipline principles of Matt 18 (one on one, two on one, bring to church). (5) Because you love you will: never give up. And care more for others than for yourself. [1Cor 13 MSG]