Over the years I have found that a number of brothers and sisters in Christ fear seeking help with sin or temptations they are struggling with. Some fear being withdrawn from. Some fear that those whom they talk to will look down on them from that point forward. Some fear that people will talk about them behind their backs and gossip will spread. So, because of those fears and other similar ones, they continue in temptation or sin. How is that good? I KNOW this is currently a struggle for some. This article is intended to make some things clear.
I want to begin with something simple and grow this study from there. I want to begin by telling you who I believe are stupid. I believe that people whom I could help, that do not reach out to me for help, are stupid for not getting my help. This is why I believe that: “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1). The word translated “brutish” means “stupid” (Strong’s # 1198). The point being, if you hate corrective learning you are a stupid person. So, if you are fearful of talking to me about anything you have done or are tempted to do that is sinful; the only time I would look at you as a stupid person is if you didn’t seek my help in correction. I say that for several reasons.
I Cannot Speak For Everyone Else
I cannot say that all brethren would correctly handle you reaching out to them for help with a sinful matter. What I can tell you is that I will. If you are honest I will always, regardless of the matter you are struggling with, be longsuffering, merciful, and forbearing in helping you (II Timothy 2:24-26; 4:2). I will tell you the truth plainly (II Corinthians 3:12). I will rebuke you if needful (Proverbs 27:5, Ecclesiastes 7:5, and Revelation 3:19). What I will not do is bring you before the congregation. I will not bash you to others. I will not spread your business behind your back. I will look at you as a brother or sister in Christ that needs help. I will love you and be kind to you (Romans 12:10). I will be there to guide you morning, noon, night, middle of the night, etc. You need to understand that the whole reason I am an evangelist is to help people be saved. Therefore, it is not in my interest or nature to try and condemn or withdraw from those seeking my help. That is always the last action I ever want to be part of.
Sometimes there are things people have seen me do, that they do not understand, and that has caused those people some level of fear. For example, I marked and withdrew from Scott Parker after knowing him for over ten years. What most did not see is that for ten years I tried hundreds of times to get Scott to do the right things. He erred many, many times wherein I talked to him and tried helping him to make those things right. It was not until I was sure that Scott could not be helped that I followed the instructions to mark and withdraw from him (Romans 16:17-18, I Timothy 6:3-5, and II Timothy 3:1-5). Again, what most did not see is the thousands of hours of efforts, while he often mistreated me during the process, wherein I was forbearing and longsuffering with him. My last action was when there was no other option. At that point, I was like the Lord with the children of Israel when He decided it was time to send them into Babylonian captivity (II Chronicles 36:14-16).
Brethren, every time I have been part of withdrawing from a person (II Thessalonians 3:6 and II Thessalonians 3:14-15), I did as much work as possible before that time arose. Many of you are unaware of how much work I do “behind the scenes”. My thought process with those in error that need help is to always exhaust all efforts to help that person or people (Galatians 6:1-2 and James 5:19-20).
Jesus came into this world to seek and save the lost. That sent Him into the midst of sinners (Luke 19:1-10). It is His will that all men be saved (I Timothy 2:1-6). He is longsuffering for that reason (II Peter 3:9). Yet, He is going to send the majority of mankind to Hell (Matthew 7:13-14 and Matthew 25:31-46). Like Jesus, you will continue to see me oppose the majority. You will continue to see me expose sin. Like Jesus, I want all men to be saved and have dedicated my life to that end. Don’t fear coming to me with your spiritual problems. Fear NOT coming to me with those problems. I can help. Ask some of your brethren that have known me longest. Some of them will tell you that I helped them and most often at times when no one else in the congregation was even aware that there was a problem.
The only time you need to fear me is if you have an unwillingness to change and/or a desire to cause someone else to be lost. I will quickly turn against that man or woman that will sow the leaven of sin among the saints (I Corinthians 5:1-13). I will aggressively oppose any attempt at the proclamation of false doctrine (Philippians 1:17, I Timothy 1:3-7, Titus 1:10-14, and Jude 1:3-4). Like Jesus, I am not opposed to a public display of anger in such cases (John 2:13-17). Having said that, I also understand that people sometimes mistake Scriptures or innocently teach error. I know how to discern the difference (i.e. Acts 18:24-28 and Jude 1:22-23). I do give my brethren the “benefit of the doubt”. Brethren, I love you all!
I have tried my best in this article to set your minds at ease. Unless you are one I have worked with in private, about a sinful matter, you have not seen me work that way. My help is available to you if needed. No need for you to be embarrassed. No need for fear. Like the Lord, I am full of compassion (Psalms 145:8). If you need my help, feel at ease in seeking it! Don’t go to Hell because you didn’t want to talk to me. These promises are now in writing!