Not One Lost
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
At the end of the parable of the lost sheep we have this verse. God’s will is that not even one human should be lost. Unfortunately we know that will not be the case as many will purposely give up their salvation but it’s a loving message none the less. And it is with this contextual verse that we enter into a famous part about dealing with sinful members. Unfortunately most Bibles separate verse 10 from the next part with a title and people don’t read them together but they should. You see, it’s in the context that God wants to save everyone that he speaks about dealing with sinners or in other words, dealing with sinners should be done in a way that everyone should be saved. Dealing with sinners is not about cutting out the bad but saving the bad.
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
This verse makes it very clear that the goal is to save your brother. We should always remember that when dealing with these situations. This work is not about simply keeping the church ‘pure’ and ‘holy’ as is the case many times. That member makes us look bad so we should get rid of him. I’ve heard this many times even if not with these exact words. No, it is about helping someone who’s fallen from finding his footing with Christ again.
16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Two important things can be learned from these verses. The first is that you should only elevate or grow the situation if nothing else can be done. Not every issue in a church should be spoken of in the front like a sermon. Private situations should remain just that and hopefully resolved in like manner.
The other thing is that separating someone from the church is an extreme and final solution only done if the person truly doesn’t repent or even acknowledge their problem. It should never be the first, second or even third choice but always the final extreme. With that said, sometimes it is needed to be done. When done however it is still with the hope and love of trying to bring the person back to God. We should never close a door for good. Remember, God wants that not even one should be lost.
Pr. Steven Couto