1 Corinthians 5:1-11
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
I recently spoke with a friend from high school whom I had not seen or heard of in years. I moved away from my hometown many years ago, so it is rare that I ever encounter anyone with whom I went to school. This friend looked me up and gave me a call. For a few minutes, it was good to reminisce about old times and some of the funny, ridiculous, and sometimes dangerous things we did back in the day. That only lasted a few minutes, however, because my friend shared the fact that they were co-habitating with a person to whom they are not married. A child has been produced from the relationship, and things have gotten really complicated. My heart began to break as I listened to the details of this situation. I wanted to spare my friend’s feelings and just be a shoulder to cry on, but I knew deep down in my heart that was not what God would want me to do in this situation. I knew that the Word that is hidden in my heart had to be shared with this person for whom I have always had such a deep affection, because the most loving thing that one can do is to tell the ones that they love THE TRUTH.
So, for a moment, I wrestled in my mind with what I should say. Finally, the Holy Spirit pressed upon me hard enough that I had no choice but to tell my friend that God is not pleased with the present living arrangements. God wants a holy, sanctified marriage for them, but He will not tolerate sin. My friend shared with me how God had given them peace with their situation. I told my friend that the peace that they felt was not the peace of God. Satan will give us a sense of peace when we are in sin. Why? I’m glad you asked. He does that because he wants to keep us in sin. Do you notice how relationships such as the one I am describing are very good until the couple decides to get married? As soon as they get married, the enemy begins to attack them.
I know, sometimes sin seems and feels good. The Bible makes us aware of that in Hebrews 11:24-25, when it talks about Moses’ choice to follow the Lord over sin:
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”
My friend’s next concern was for the child that was produced through this relationship. This child would be separated from one parent or the other if they did not continue the living arrangement. I could only say that they should have considered that before they decided to produce a child outside of God’s design. Mind you, I am very aware of the effects of divorce and all of that, but God is very serious when it comes to sexual sin. This couple already has so many consequences that they will suffer because of this ungodly relationship. This child will suffer because of their ungodly relationship. Now, one of the partners has heard the truth from God’s Word concerning their choices, so they are responsible for that truth from this point on.
I am pleased to say (since our conversation, but not necessarily because of it; that was all GOD!) that this couple has chosen to live in separate households until they decide to get married (if they decide to get married). I am happy about that. That, however, is not even my point. My point is that sometimes as believers, we encounter situations such as this and we clam up for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. We would rather spare our brothers’ feelings here on earth and watch them go straight to hell than to hurt their feelings a little now and possibly spare them from eternal damnation. Proverbs 27:5-6 says “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” A real friend would tell a real friend the truth, no matter what. Watching someone, especially a brother or sister in Christ, following the wrong path shows no love whatsoever. What it shows is a lack of love and concern for the brethren.