The choice is yours!
All of the below is true, but as the last paragraph states; it is very unlikely for an entire city or nation to repent. If there is one country that will do that, it isn’t the United States; our country is slowly going downhill.
Tomorrow we’ll look at what some…
1 Corinthians 5
Judgment of the Immoral
1 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.
“Not…named amongst the Gentiles” – the Roman orator Cicero states that incest was practically unheard of in Roman society.
“His father’s wife” – who this expression was used rather than “his mother” suggests that the woman was his stepmother. The Old Testament prohibited such sexual relations (Lev 18:8; Deut 27:20).
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
“Puffed up” – evidently proud of their liberty – a distortion of grace.
3 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,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together” – the Corinthians are to pass judgment on the man by the authority of the Lord Jesus, not by their own because man has no authority.
“The power of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Jesus’ power is present through His word and His Holy Spirit. All people have the authority to judge another as long as they judge by the words of Jesus.
5 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.
“Deliver such a one unto Satan” – abandon this sinful man to the devil that he may afflict the man as he pleases. This abandonment to Satan was to be accomplished, not by some magical incantation, but by expelling the man from the church.
To expel him was to put him out in the devil’s territory, severed from any connection with God’s people.
“For the destruction of the flesh” – Satan is allowed to bring physical affliction on the man, which would bring him to repentance.
“The spirit may be saved” – the person put out of the church may well be a Christian.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
“A little leaven…the whole lump” – to illustrate Christian holiness and discipline, Paul alludes to the prohibition against the use of leaven (or yeast) in the bread eaten in the Passover feast (see Ex 12:15).
Leaven in Scripture usually symbolizes evil or sin called on to get rid of the leaven of sin because they are an unleavened batch of dough – new creations in Christ.
7 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:
8 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.
“Let us keep the feast” – keeping the feast of unleavened bread. This symbolizes living the Christian life in holy dedication to God, not just a feast once a year, and not getting involved in such sins as malice and wickedness and incestuous relations.
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
“I wrote unto you in an epistle” – Paul here clarifies a previous letter (one not preserved). The Corinthians mistook that letter to mean that, on separating from sin, they should disassociate themselves from all immoral persons, including non-Christian people.
Instead, Paul meant that they should separate from immoral persons in the church who claimed to be Christian brothers.
10 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.
11 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.
“With such a one no not to eat” – calling oneself a Christian while continuing to live an immoral life is reprehensible and degrading, and gives a false testimony to Christ.
If the true Christian has intimate association with someone who does this, the non-Christian world may assume that the church approves such immoral, ungodly living and thus the name of Christ would be dishonored.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?
“Judge them that are within” – the church is to exercise spiritual discipline over the professing believers in the church, but it is not to attempt to judge the unsaved world.
There are governing authorities to do that (Rom 13:1-5), and the ultimate judgment of the world is to be left to God (cf. Rev 20:11-15),
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
To show the severity with which sin in the assembly must be treated Paul parallels this to the stonings of the Old Testament (Deut 13:5, 17:7, 12, 22:21, 24).
The Consequences of Sin
Many people suffer because of the actions of others. Be it genocide, mass starvation, disease, greed, or pollution, there are real consequences to sinful actions.
The various evils affecting our planet today such as, murder, robbery, theft, kidnapping, rape, deceit, or any other sin, all have devastating effects not only on the “sinner” but on society at large.
Greed and Dishonesty
Greed, as with other sins, is at the root of many of today’s ills. As an example, many people have become addicted to gambling and often lie to hide their habit from loved ones.
Even farmers and those involved in agriculture who supplies the foods we eat everyday have been known to abandon safe agricultural practices for quick money.
Many commercial farms feed their animals a high calorie grain instead of natural feed so animals can gain weight in the shortest time possible.
On top of that, sometimes parts of dead animals are added to animal feed to increase their growth while other commercial farms use growth hormones to fatten the animals quickly.
No wonder maladies like Mad Cow Disease (BSE) have been linked to such practices.
There is another example of greed and dishonesty that hits a little closer to home. Each year, thousands of people cheat on their income tax returns as dishonesty becomes the acceptable norm in society.
Also, many western companies, in pursuit of cheap labor, exploit foreign employees abroad to increase their profit margins. Greed reigns in the marketplace.
For instance, nations in need are denied food and medicine, which are readily available elsewhere in the world because profit driven companies only want to provide for those who can pay for them.
Charity is often ignored for the sake of profit! Simply stated, by being so covetous, much of this world’s business violates God’s commandments about stealing, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Consider the consequences of sexual immorality. Persons engaging in such activities put themselves at risk of contracting an STD. AIDS, for example, are taking a staggering toll on human life and are among the deadliest epidemics in modern history.
Sexual activity outside of marriage may also result in unwanted pregnancies. This in turn often leads to abortions. Many marriages are being destroyed because of adultery, which is unequivocally condemned by the word of God.
Sexual immorality has led to many single parent homes, causing many negative effects on children.
There are other costs, too. Many suffer emotional pain and live with tremendous regret because of illicit sex. Ultimately, these behaviors place an extra financial burden on health care systems.
Meanwhile, millions of dollars are spent on research, hoping to find a cure for STDs such as HIV/AIDS. Although HIV can be transmitted through non-sexual means, if there were no sexual sins, there would be no HIV/AIDS pandemic; transmission rates would be extremely low.
Thou Shalt Not Murder
No one can dispute the emotional pain that results from losing a loved one. In spite of this, our society is plagued with murder and violence. Wars throughout the world, for example, are taking lives at a staggering rate.
World War II alone claimed an estimated 62 million lives globally. The destruction of economies, disruption of food and medical supplies, and untold human suffering are all terrible consequences of war.
War generates countless hardships: women are beaten and raped, property is destroyed or lost, environmental damage occurs, and millions of refugees fleeing their homeland are all testaments to the tragedy of war and its toll throughout history.
Sin has a very high monetary cost. This is evident when considering the cost of crime within a city or nation. While it is impossible to calculate an exact financial figure for the pain and suffering resulting from sin, there are studies that attempt to estimate the monetary cost of crime.
A study released in 2004 by the Canadian Department of Justice entitled, The Cost of Pain and Suffering from Crime in Canada estimated that the cost of all crime occurring in 1999 in Canada was $35.8 billion CAD.
This number includes the offences of homicide, assault, sexual assault, robbery, property, and vandalism.
In the United States, a National Institute of Justice report, Victim Costs and Consequences: A New Look released in 1996 reported that the cost of personal crime for Americans including pain and suffering totaled $450 billion USD per year.
Undeniably, sin levies a high price on society that we all must bear.
The Real Costs
However, the real costs of sin cannot be reduced to a dollar amount because of the incalculable spiritual consequences. Mankind has pursued a way of life that is contrary to that which is revealed in the pages of the Bible.
Society’s way of life, anchored in a “get rather than give” mentality is paved with sin, focusing on concern for oneself rather than others. Sin produces a myriad of costly and detrimental effects on us and our environment.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prov 14:12).
The end result of sin, if left unchecked, leads to suffering, pain, death, and eventually complete destruction. There is a way to live that leads to long lasting peace and happiness.
However, to achieve such results, like the city of Nineveh, we must collectively turn to the God of the Bible and repent of breaking His laws.
In today’s world, it seems unlikely an entire city or nation will turn to God and repent; but individually we can.
You can reject a life that leads to the tragic consequences of sin, and begin a new life in Christ, that leads to good health, peace, happiness, and prosperity (3 Jn 1:2).
…Roman Archaeologists find the oldest images of Apostles in a Catacomb.