Withdrawing From The Disorderly

There is a little known topic in the Bible discussed in passages like II Thessalonians 3:6 which reads “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.” I say “little known” because hardly any congregations practice the Bible’s instructions on this matter anymore. Notice I Timothy 6:3-5 uses the same word “withdraw” when it describes some Christians who had become wicked and says “from such withdraw thyself.” I Corinthians 5:11 also lets us know that we only should withdraw from fallen away Christians (as opposed to non-Christians) when it says “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.” The instruction to us is clear, if Christians who fall back into sin refuse to repent, we must quit having social company with and eating with them. Instead we must “mark” them as false teachers (for example) “and avoid them.” The reason is given in II Thessalonians 3:14 – “note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” The fallen brother’s repentance is sought so his soul can be saved from spiritual death (James 5:19-20). In addition, the purity and reputation/influence of the congregation is at stake (I Corinthians 5:6-7,1). Jesus said if they won’t repent, then the church must treat them like the Jews treated the heathen and publicans (Matthew 18:15-17). To be sure, Ephesians 5:11 implores us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Does the church you worship with practice this Bible doctrine? Do you as an individual? If not then, aren’t you really just “playing church”? Aren’t you just wasting your time in religion? Remember, II John verse 9 tells us that if we don’t abide in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ then we don’t have God. And the practice of church discipline is part of the teaching of Christ, right? And we can’t go to heaven if we don’t have God, can we?

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