HANDLING THE ISSUE OF CONDEMNATION
Todays message is centered on the issues of condemnation while dealing with souls and its for every Christian who has and sustains a serious personal relationship with God and are dedicated to nurturing their spiritual growth and development.
Reference: Ephesians 5:29 New International Version (NIV)
'After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church'
In times past, someone wanted me to see the reason to join them and participate in condemning another Christian family but I didn't accept the offer. The reason being: I never received that level of grace that destroys or tarnishes others' image, even if its true of them. Its not given to me. So I responded, 'my system does not allow me to do so because it is programmed to reject such moves.'
Why am I sharing this? It is because a healthy grace carrier does not speak ill of others. With this in mind, I have realised that if as a Christian, you fall victim of participating in condemning and destroying others, you will never get comfortable with it in the presence of the Holy Spirit. He won't let you flow with it without addressing and correcting it. And that means, He is convicting you of it. If that is not the case, then you may have to pray and fast until you recognise that its an error. This is because, in Christian gathering, the church is not for perfect people. It is for perfecting the saints. The church receives the scum, the rejected, the afflicted, the religiously infected...and what others have thrown away and continues to bring them into alignment with God's will and that way God puts to shame those who believe that they are wise or the religious minds who wish to dictate the pace in Christendom. Yes, this alignment does not happen at once. Sometime, it takes ample time and years of yielding to the Holy Spirit, and its on the individual basis, which means that it depends on how zealous and willing we are to position ourselves to be renewed by the Word and be transformed from glory to glory. So we are not to condemn those sheep God has positioned in the church to be transformed, but raise them in love. Also understand this: God hates sin but loves sinners. And sin is what Jesus came to deal or do away with, not sinners, meaning that souls are precious and important to God and He desires to raise them to maturity. From the natural standpoint, raising a child takes time because growth is a gradual process. Nobody born of a woman on earth grows to becomes automatically mature in one day. So are those planted in the house of God. Just as you give the Word a chance on a daily basis, you'll notice that serious change is happening on the inside gradually until its established outwardly in a matter of time. Therefore, we have not been given the power to condemn any soul planted in the house of God, especially in a Bible-believing Church, where the undiluted Word is shared. This means that no one does it better than the precious Holy Spirit whose job is to convict and chastise. We have only been given the power to transform lives by sharing the Good news. Therefore, instead of condemning and destroying, pray for the souls in the secret place so you can witness the change you desire to see in their lives. That's the true sign of maturity in the Kingdom. Beloved, we don't win souls by condemning them; they've received enough of it from the world where they are coming from. We win them by pointing, showing them and getting them to acknowledge and embrace the love of God. That's why Jesus said, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:17). So when a soul is saved, what does Christ do? He cleanses the bride (His church) to make her holy, by what? He cleanses her by the washing with water through the Word (Ephesians 5:26-27). Our referenced Scripture says, "After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church." This is why the gospel is called the good news, not the condemning news. It has the power of God unto salvation, not the power of God unto condemnation (Romans 1:16 NIV). So as we share the love of God with the lost, the wicked and unreasonable men, that love can penetrate their heart of stone through the help of the Holy Spirit, such that they begin to respond to it, acknowledging that someone truly loves them. How do people respond to people who love them? They enjoy doing what those who love them want and desire. So when the love of God arrests their hearts and minds, they begin to do the Word and walk in the light of it. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV): 'For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.' So the love of Christ controls their mind and they find it easy to comply with the truth of God's Word. That's the essence of staying under the ministry of the Word in church. What does this mean? It is not about condoning evil deeds but about the approach to winning and nurturing souls effectively. When God condemned His people in the old testament for their sin, the system of animal sacrifice in place was not capable enough to change them inwardly. So God introduced the right approach in John 3:16. Here the phrase used is, "For God so love the world" and His Son, our Lord Jesus, introduced "grace". Since then, many from all the nations of the world have been won by the love of God, instead of the old covenant approach. Doesn't that tell us something? Never respond to condemnation with condemnation. Dare to be different. Respond with love and correct with graceful words. When Jesus met Nathanael, Nathanael condemned Jesus outrightly, even before he meet Him properly. He asked, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" "Come and see," said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit." Nathanael was shocked and He asked, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." Then Nathanael declared, "you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel." Instantly Nathanael was won by His graceful response.
What about how Jesus addressed Peter and the disciples? He said, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers." This is because there is always a system of remedy in Christ, not condemnation. In fact Christ is our remedy. According to dictionary, to remedy is to set right an undesirable situation or error. This also shows that the same souls we strengthen today, rather than condemning them, can be used by God to save a generation, just like Peter, if we are willing to do the right thing. Scripture Reading - Psalm 86:15; Jeremiah 31:3; John 15;13; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 3:1. Guided Prayer: Dear Father, I thank you for your love for the whole world which you demonstrated through Christ Jesus. I'm forever grateful for the great honour and blessing of having the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. I am convinced that neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can be able to separate me from this love. Therefore, I live to fulfil your purpose by spreading the gospel of Good news in my world and by helping others to embrace their salvation and live for you in Jesus' name, Amen!