“…by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme,” (2 Samuel 12:14)
Picture two guys from church visiting a house. The conversation goes like this:
Church Guy #1: Good evening, sir. We’re from the church at Corinth, and we’re in your neighborhood inviting people to church. Do you have a church where you go regularly?
Man at Door: Not really. Hey wait a minute, did you say you were from the Church at Corinth?
Church Guy #1: Yeah. why?
Man at Door: I know a guy who went there, but he told me a guy in the church had an affair with his father’s wife and everyone in the church seemed ok with it. He never went back. Is that the same place?
Church Guy #1, suddenly embarrassed, looking down at his feet: Um, uh,…yeah.
Man at door: Sounds pretty creepy to me. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t even know if there is a God, and I’ve never done stuff like that. Why should I bring my wife and kids to your Christian church?
Church Guy #1 looking back up: Actually, sir, the guy who did that is now off the church membership. And if this means anything, many of us love Jesus and want to do right. That incident made us sick.
Man at door: Well, I’ll take your info and look it over, but I don’t see myself going there anytime soon.
Sound like a crazy story? The conversation is fictional, but it’s based on Scripture. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 says, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”
Bad conduct by Christians disgraces the cause of Christ. David was called a man after God’s own heart, but on one occasion he committed adultery with another man’s wife and had her husband killed to cover up the affair. Nathan the prophet told him, “…by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme,” (2 Samuel 12:14) When word of David’s sins got out, the heathen probably had a field day. The situation in Corinth may have been similar when the church sex scandal went viral.
Bad conduct by Christians poisons hearts and disgraces churches. Yet it doesn’t prove Jesus doesn’t forgive sins, save souls, and change lives. He still does! “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12) Nor does people’s bad conduct prove we can’t trust the Bible. It’s still our guide for life: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) It also doesn’t prove church is not important. Church is an institution that the Lord Himself ordained: “…upon this rock I will build my church;” (Matthew 16:18)
It’s like police work, in a way. Sometimes cops do and say stupid things, even really disgraceful things. Yet the job itself is an honorable profession. The Bible says, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” “…But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:” (Romans 13:3, 4) If you know any bad actors on the job, stay away from them as much as possible. When you keep company with good workers and focus on doing your best, you’ll enjoy the job much more.
Likewise even in a Bible-preaching church, some people may not care about serving the Lord. Find people in church who are excited about the Lord and His Word and want to serve Him. They will help you enjoy your Christian life more. If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to be sure of a home in heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org
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Brian Miller 5/30/2020
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822