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TO  LOVE  THE  LORD  THY  GOD  -  Spiritually,  Part  27  quotes

1)     Step #3: “tell it unto the church”

     The church mentioned here is not the whole world-wide church composed of all Remnant brothers and sisters, but only the local church.  Christ Himself verifies this fact by saying “for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.

     If the guilty brother or sister is not a member of your local home church, then this third step as well as the fourth step cannot be followed with them.  In that case you are forced to leave them with God to deal with.

     But if both you and the guilty party are members of the same local home church, then you and the extra few individuals are free to bring this sad issue before the entire membership of your local home church.  This is to impartially occur even if it is the elder or minister who leads out in your church!
     “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” 1 Timothy 5:19.

2)    After all the members of your local church are made aware of the issue, your church itself must first make sure that there is sufficient evidence to show that the guilty party is indeed guilty of sinning against you.  Then your church must also investigate into whether or not you have properly followed the first step with the proper spirit and motive, and also that the second step was properly followed in the same unselfish loving spirit.  In this way, and only in this way, can your home church membership then give a righteous judgment in this case and be clear before God in this decision.
     “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-24.
     “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother” Zechariah 7:9.

3)   If the guilty one finally repents after their whole church met with them, they are not to be chastised for waiting so long to repent, and neither are any to hold grudges against them.  But you are all to fully and completely forgive them.
     “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment [having to be reproved and rebuked by all his fellow home church members], which was inflicted of many.  So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.  Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.” 2 Corinthians 2:6-8.

4)   Step #4: “let him be unto thee as a heathen”

     Christ has made it very plain that such a serious action as disfellowshipment cannot be based solely upon the single testimony of just one brother or sister, and neither can it be based upon the testimony of just two or three.  But this action is to be based upon the personal knowledge and conviction of an entire home church membership, which can only justifiably occur after all have taken the time to thoroughly investigate into all the issues, viewed and considered all evidence and documentation, as well as having personally met with and pleaded perhaps several times with the guilty individual themselves as a united church body!
     God reads all hearts; He marks the motives and intentions of all involved; and He has seen and knows all things which took place throughout the entire issue.  Thus God will not and cannot be forced to endorse and uphold any unjust decision – including those made by an entire church body!  Unjust judgment, condemnation and disfellowshipping action against one of their own family members would actually place the woe of heaven upon that entire church body, and also plainly reveals them all to be Christless, because by doing so, they have also judged, condemned and thrown their Lord Jesus Christ out of their church as well!

     “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Luke 11:42.

     “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”. Matthew 25:40-41.

     Any who were fellowshipping with such a Christless church group would be Biblically justified in fully separating themselves from that church group!
     “If any...consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5.

     But if every aspect of the 3 previous steps of Matthew 18 have indeed been properly followed and carried out in the correct spirit, and the majority of the home church membership is convinced that this 4th step should be followed, then they should disfellowship the guilty unrepentant member out of their church and from their church fellowship.
     “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7.

5)   Being properly and justly disfellowshipped out of a local home church is not a matter to scoff and laugh at, but it is serious!  God, Christ and the Holy Spirit will endorse and uphold any just decision of His church.
     “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:18-19.

     Being properly cast out of a church of God means that you are no longer part of the body of Christ, and thus cannot be saved in that condition, until you fully repent and again accept Christ as your Saviour.

6)   After the guilty church member has been properly and justifiably disfellowshipped by their local church body, this disfellowshipping action is not to be broadcasted around to the entire world-wide church body, but is to remain mainly confined within the local church.  There is still a chance for the guilty party to realize their sins and be brought to repentance and acceptance of Christ once again.
     “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” Proverbs 17:9.

     It is only in cases where an issue is big enough to affect all the local Remnant churches around the entire world that the world-wide church body should then be made aware of and become involved in that issue.  

7)   Matthew 18 deals with you taking the initiative in going to the guilty party and pointing out their sin to them and calling them to repentance.  But the Bible even comes at this sin issue another way.
     “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:23-24.

8)   What if the sins of the guilty party were committed out in the open, and were not done in private?
     “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20.

     This verse shows that public sins are to be rebuked publicly, and do not have to be treated in the same manner as private sins would be.  

9)   “...be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12.

     “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me....And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:18-23, 26.

     “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us....And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:11-12, 16-17.

     “Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1.

     “Finally, brethren...Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11.