Evil Can Only Go As Far As It's ALLOWED To
"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you." 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 Has there ever been an age in which there has been more sexual immorality not only in the world, but also in the church? One could say to Paul, "You think that's bad, Paul? They're ordaining homosexual women pastors in the churches now!" Paul would roll over in his grave. How has it come to this? How could it possibly come to this? And the answer is because it has been allowed to. A fact of life is that evil can only go as far as it is allowed to. The Scripture shows how sexual immorality in the church MUST be dealt with: vs 5: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." Does that seem unmerciful? But it isn't. If that man is left to himself, he will be lost. Here, Paul says that the way this kind of thing must be treated is severe or the man is lost, but if it's dealt with correctly there is hope for the man. First, he has to be delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. When a man in authority delivers someone over to Satan, the one delivered is going to learn what it is to be destroyed. Only then, only when he's been brought down low and lost everything, only when Satan is through with him, only then is there hope of repentance. Left to himself, there is no hope for him. If we read further in Corinthians we find that indeed, the man did come to repentance in the end and Paul urged the church to receive him back and love him. Saints, God's ways are deadly serious. But they're not taken seriously anymore. We live in an age in which it's all about tolerance. Anything goes, don't judge anyone or anything, you do your thing and I'll do mine. Evil is so pervasive that we've become desensitized to it. If a man and a woman are "living together," it just doesn't carry the same stigma anymore that it once did. Even in the church, it might be frowned upon but it's rarely condemned. People look the other way. It's just not so bad, is it? Yes, it is. Not because anyone says so, but because God says so and we need to take him seriously, and that's what's lacking in the churches today. Because of desensitizing, we look away, we don't take it seriously anymore, we get used to sin, so we overlook it. God doesn't. Pray for the pastors in your area. They are under tremendous stress and public opinion is often against them. If according to the Word of God, your pastor needed to take a stand on someone in the church as in the passage above, would he have the courage to do so? Few would, these days. And that's why sin is running rampant in the churches. Because it's allowed to.