Do we exhort them to stand firm, encourage them, warn them, kick them out, or point them out to leadership? What should our response as Christians be to unbelievers or pretending believers in our church group?
Hebrews 3:12 - 14
ESV - 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, First, I would like to commend you for your efforts to identify those among you that are not true to the Faith. Jesus spoke of those that would come as wolves in sheep clothing(Matt 7:15) attempting to scatter the flock. We should certainly be wary of anyone that tries to thwart the Gospel of LORD Jesus Christ, Crucified, Risen, and Coming again from being preached. I firmly believe this is the meaning behind Heb 3:12 How is it that you determined that this/these individual(s) were pretend believers? Was it the church rumor mill that sparked the curiosity of the membership that made them so suspicious they wanted to go to the church leadership? Who reported on the lives of the pretend believers and to whom, so that their salvation was questioned? The Salem Witch Trials is coming to mind as I ponder these and many other questions. Yes, there will always be the devil in church. Revelations reveals that in the church of Smyrna, they had the synagogue of Satan working against them. Rev 2:9 I guess you would never say they were unbelievers, for the Scriptures say, the devils believe and tremble. Jam 2:19 As for being unfaithful, who will stand this test? Only the LORD JESUS CHRIST is called Faithful (Rev 19:11) and in the end, those that have OVERCOME will be called chosen and faithful.(Rev 17:14) Only the OVERCOMERS will be named Faithful like the LORD. Rev 3:12 The Apostle Paul was scared he would not be an overcomer, that he would preach to others and be a castaway. 1Cor 9:27 Thrown off by the cares of this life. It is easy to get our eyes off the real prize, looking at what others are doing, what they are saying. To be bogged down by pleasures in the world, and miss the greatest treasure of all, Jesus! Our eyes must be on the prize of the high calling, pressing towards the mark. Phil 3:14 This is how you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. It is so easy. So subtle. Almost like falling asleep when you are really tired. In the book Pilgrims Progress, the author wrote about the very last trial that Pilgrim had to endure before he reached the Promise Land. It was called "Enchanted Forest". Nothing seemed real, you were very drowsy but going to sleep was deadly! This is exactly were we are Right Now! Drowsy, sleepy! DEADLY! Spiritually, if we go to sleep now, we are DEAD! Jesus is coming soon for the OVERCOMERS! 1 Thes 4:16-18 Alive, in Hebrew translates back to: alive, overcome obstacles or awake Heb 3:18 Exhort one another, help keep each other ALIVE! If we see someone that has missed the mark, their eyes are not on the prize, PRAY for them. This is the best way to help our Brother. When we put our tongues to Prayer, we will have no problem offering up praise and thanksgiving when we see our Brother repent. Luk 15:11-32 However, if we have used our tongues to stab and wound our Brother, we will feel guilt when we see them repent before God, and will continue to stab and wound their testimony. We should strive to be overcomers! Believe it or not, live it or not, Jesus is coming soon! I'll meet you in the Rapture, I'll meet you in the Rapture, I'll meet you in the Rapture one sweet day. We'll sing our Hallelujahs', We'll sing our Hallelujahs', We'll sing our Hallelujahs' one sweet day. I am sure there are more verses, these are the ones that I know and love. Be Blessed, Lena
In the parables of Matthew 13 Christ presented just such a scenario and remedy. Matthew 13:24 " Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:" Matthew 13:25 " But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." Matthew 13:26 " But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also." Matthew 13:27 " So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?" Matthew 13:28 "He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" Matthew 13:29 "But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." Matthew 13:30 "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
My suggestion is this: First, do not talk to anyone outside of your teacher, do not let your tongue whisper to others. Gently and with true love discuss salvation with the person. Maybe God has them there that in seeing the love of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice in you, they become believers. It is not our place to gossip about them but to be a gentle witness that may be used by the Holy Spirit to move them to salvation.
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