Scripture reading for July 13th: 1st Corinthians 5
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of you fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” (1st Corinthians 5:1-5)
Paul had received a reliable report of serious sexual sin. The church had done nothing to deal with the offender and the Apostle wrote to help them deal with this in a way that would hopefully be redemptive in the long run. He instructed the church to put the man out of fellowship and to have nothing to do with him. This man claimed to be a brother in Christ, but was acting in the flesh. Unbelievers could be expected to sin but not a brother in the Lord. As they put him out of the church, they were to turn him over to Satan. This act was done in faith that the man would soon experience again the torment and condemnation of the Devil and truly repent before his time on earth was over. Believers are to judge those inside the church and take appropriate action to keep the leaven of sin from defiling many!
Scripture reading for November 24th: 1st Corinthians 1-6
We all have a past sin history! We still have memories and our enemy the Devil likes to bring up our past and rub our noses in it. Many people have a difficult time believing that God can forgive some of the flagrant sins that we have been involved in. The statement that God forgives our sins and remembers them no more is hard to accept. We feel like we must pay for some of these sins. Paul deals with these issues in his letter to the Corinthians and they can help us today to be free from condemnation!
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of your were. But you were washed, your were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)
All sinners have a sentence of death upon them. They are outside the kingdom of God. Many involved in sexual sins and idolatry claim to be Christians in line for heaven. They are deceived! This is a shocking statement that most people involved in these sins ignore. The worst state of a person is deception because that person actually thinks that they are in the kingdom of God when they are not. Active involvement with this list of sins is a dangerous place to be if you claim to be a Christian or are an unbeliever.
The good news is that although many have been involved in these common sins of the flesh, there is a way for them to be free from the sins and be included in the kingdom of God. They can be washed of these sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. They can be made clean and set apart by the Holy Spirit living in them and making them a new creation. They can be justified before God because of faith in Jesus Christ. A person who is truly saved will seek to please God by living a holy life, free from these obvious sins. Remember today that you are washed and your sin is remembered no more!
Scripture reading for April 29th: 2nd Chronicles 21-25
At a person’s death, there is usually a time of reflection concerning the life that was lived. Loved ones and friends gather to remember the good in the person. The preacher usually looks for some sign of redemption in the life that was lived in order to bring comfort to those who are mourning. But what can be said if a person dies, and no one regrets his death? What if instead of mourning, their passing brings a celebration? This is what is encountered in today’s reading!
Jehoram was the oldest of six sons of King Jehoshaphat. When Jehoshaphat passed, he designated Jehoram as the heir to the kingdom. Jehoram promptly executed his six brothers as well as other leaders who may have threatened him. (2nd Chronicles 21:3-4) Scripture states that Jehoram walked in the ways of the kings of Israel who were wicked. One of the reasons was a wife who happened to be a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. The ways of these kings was one of idolatry and false religion. They rejected the law of the Lord and set up their own idolatrous religious system.
The consequences of Jehoram’s rebellion should stop and make us think. We find Edom rebelling against Judah followed by Libnah and then the Philistines and Arabs. War and strife are results of rebellion. Enemies who would be silenced by the fear of the Lord that rests upon godly leaders, are suddenly emboldened when idolatry and wickedness is present.
God tried to warn Jehoram. He allowed him grace because of a covenant that He had made with David, but warned him with a letter from the godly prophet Elijah. Elijah spelled out Jehoram’s rebellion, murder of his innocent brothers, and idolatry. He then plainly told him of the consequences. Jehoram and his family would be struck with a heavy blow. Jehoram would have a lingering disease of the bowels and die. (2nd Chronicles 21:12-15) In spite of the warning, Jehoram refused to repent and he suffered the consequences!
The record concludes with Jehoram’s gruesome death after two years of a lingering illness. This man lived such a wicked life, that no one mourned his passing. No one regretted his life ending so soon! (2nd Chronicles 21:19-20) One can even imagine that there was a celebration that this wicked man had finally got what was due him! May this never be said of us!