“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11) “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others…” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Through scripture God tells us that we should let the light of the truth of the Gospel shine through us to the sinner, to light a path for him, to be able to come out of the darkness that he is in. When someone sins, and we don’t try to lead them to repentance, what good are we to them? What good are we to God?
If we are not trying to lead the lost to salvation, how can we say we are servants of God.
God tells us to, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
We have a responsibility to be a light to the world, by evangelizing through preaching the Gospel to the world. What about sin in the body of Christ?
What about sin in our local congregation, that is the body of Christ? What do we do when we have sin in our camp?
Chapter 5 of First Corinthians tells us that if a person, in our congregation, is guilty of sin, and refuses to repent of his or her sin, we should discontinue our fellowship with that unrepentant person. Romans 16:17 tells us, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” This is for the good of the sinner, and for the good of the congregation. For the good of the sinner, to help to cause that person to turn away from their sinful ways, and come to repentance. For the good of the congregation for two reasons.
First, the presence of an unrepentant sinner, who is accepted in the congregation, is a bad example, and a stumbling block, for new, or weak Christians. It could wrongly teach them that sin is not all that bad. To not correct the sinner is like saying; “If you are okay with your sin, then I guess I’m okay with you as a sinner.” Second, to continue being in fellowship with an unrepentant brother or sister is not good for the congregation.
Leviticus 20:4,5 says that if anyone, in any way, hides his eyes from the fact that a person has sinned, and not repented, that God will set His face against them.
If we ignore a person’s sin and lack of repentance, then where is our light shinning in the darkness, to expose the disobedience to God, of a person’s sin? There is no middle ground with God.
“Whoever is not with Me is against Me,” (Matthew 12:30)
When we say nothing to the sinner about his need to repent, we have accepted his sin and our acceptance of his sin includes our punishment due us, for our part, in accepting his sin.
When a man drives a “get away” car for a bank robber, although he did not rob the bank, he is guilty of the crime of bank robbery, and due the punishment for the crime. The “get away” car driver did nothing to stop the bank robbery. However, he protected the bank robber by helping him to get away from the crime scene, without being caught. This enables the bank robber to continue in his life of crime.
When we do nothing to help the sinner to stop sinning, we are accepting responsibility and guilt for his sin. We have become a sinner by knowing the good that we should have done to help the sinner, but refusing to help our fellow member of our family of God. The sinner is free to continue in his life of sin with no interference from us.
Any time, both on duty and off duty, that a police officer sees a crime committed, he is obligated by law, to do what he can to stop it, and to report the crime. As children of God, and ambassadors for Christ, and soldiers of God, shouldn’t we also, be always vigilant to help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and to always be ready to preach the Gospel to the lost?
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15).