By: Lisa Wilmore
To the body of believers in Jesus Christ,
Although the world says it is okay to be open-minded towards many types of sin, the body of believers must not compromise God’s standard of living whether we are on the outside or inside the church. Believe it or not, “accepting sin in the church compromises the church’s witness”. God has called all believers to a righteous life for a specific purpose. Well, that purpose is to be a light which honors God with ultimate results of bringing lost souls to Christ. It is of the utmost importance that “the church” witnesses verbally as well as behaviorally. Why? Because “the world” is depending on us to provide the light which gives it hope-that hope is Jesus. There is no perfect person, but we must strive daily to walk in God’s way so that people can see Christ that lives inside us. Afterwards, desire to know him.
Dear hearts, we should accept all people and love them as Christ teaches us to love, but refuse to accept the sinful living and lifestyle that some of them are committed to. At no time are we to hate those persons, but their acts or actions which could hinder the witness of the church. God not only hates sin, but he expects us to stand against it. Above all, this is not the time to gossip about others’ failures or sins, but to talk to them in private and on an individual basis. With this in mind, before approaching the individual, we must check ourselves and make sure that we are in “right standing” with God.
In reality, we are living in the most crucial time of our lives. In fact, our witness should begin with how we conduct ourselves as a body of believers. But, the question is… do our actions or acts point the world to Jesus, our Savior? If not, we must deal with the issues that are “blocking” our effective church witness. Our churches must reveal the light that God has called us to be in order to bring about necessary changes in the world.
The Apostle Peter points out in his first letter to Jewish christians that “He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior)” (1 Peter 1:15). He also refers to the church as “a royal priesthood and holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9).
God’s men and women have been called to be examples of holiness. We must not compromise the church’s witness by accepting willful sin.