Three Types of Erring Christians–Part Three

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth…” (James 5:19-20).

“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass…” (Galatians 6:1-2).

“Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17).

Though there is only one way to heaven (John 14:6), there are many ways to hell. Not only is “Once saved, always saved” a lie, becoming an apostate is within the realm of possibility for every Christian.

James, Paul (see last two posts), and Jesus give three different scenarios of apostasy. Each situation is universally possible and therefore must be guarded against.

Jesus describes an apostate Christian who has sinned against Him because he has sinned against one of His. A personal offense of a Christian has been committed by another Christian.

The person who was offended is the one who is responsible for pursuing the path of reconciliation.

He begins with a one-on-one conversation. He is wise to start by seeking to determine if the action(s) in question was deliberate. It is possible he misunderstood in some way and thought something to be true but was wrong. If such is the case, the matter is resolved.

If, in fact, he had not misunderstood, then the next thing to be done is to reprove the one who has sinned against him, so they can be reconciled upon his brother’s repentance (Luke 17:3-4).

If a one-on-one conversation with rebuke has not been successful in attaining reconciliation, then Jesus specifically details what must be done in the face of such hardness of heart and lack of brotherly love. Such callousness toward Him, His word, and His bride is thoroughly unacceptable to Him and must be treated appropriately by His disciples.

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Author: jchowning

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