“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”
This is what Paul shared in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11.
He was serious about it.
If you go back up into verses 1 through 8, there was a man that committed incest with his mother. Whether it was his actual mother or step mother, we really do not know. But Paul said that this kind of sin was not even a part of the Gentile culture.
Evidently, these Corinthian believers were Jewish.
What was Paul’s point in not keeping company with brothers that openly sin sexually?
Isolation to bring them all to shame.
Now Paul is not advocating that we do not witness to sexually immoral people in the world.
He is advocating that we do not “keep company” with people that call themselves brothers (children of God) that live openly in sexual immorality.
You cannot call yourself a child of God and live in open sin. Either you are a child of God or you are a child of the devil. And it makes no sense going to church or social events to “mix it up” to make it appear that you are in good with God by way of association with other bona fide saints.
You are intentionally using their righteousness for cover as well as for an endorsement for your sinful lifestyle.
The Greek word for “company” is “sunanamignumi” which is a compound word that means, “to mix up together, i.e. (figuratively), associate with.”
So here you are. BBQing. You have saints and sinners. Do you walk out and be rude to the hosts and guests, or do you “mix up together?”
Well, the Bible is clear about it.
1 Corinthians 15:33 KJV says,
“Be not deceived: evil communication corrupt good manners.”
You know you have people that call themselves children of God and practice sexual immorality coming to socialize with you, and you “mix it up together” with them as if they had not sinned. Or that you choose not to contest or protest their open sin.
Your presence is endorsing their sinful behavior.
We good? Right?
Such was the case with the Corinthian believers. Now, we are not talking about a church service where the preaching of the Word goes forth and everyone is invited to attend. We are talking about these “love feasts” also known as social gatherings where people are invited to sit and talk about things. An innocent time of fellowshipping.
It’s one thing to invite folks to help people spiritually. Sort of like a fellowship or impromptu Bible sharing and studying, but when you associate with folk that desire to sin in front of the entire group and they do not intend to change, sometimes, not all of the time, the devil will use them to sneer at the God you serve and challenge you to change your walk in the Lord.
We are not talking about avoiding open discussion and dialogue about issues regarding sin. Besides, such dialogue and discussion should end with a clear agreement about the Scriptures stand against sin. When the dialogue and discussion avoids the authority of the Scriptures, it’s time to part ways.
When people are entrenched in their sinful positions and they refuse to relinquish their hold on sin, it makes no sense continuing. As Jesus said, if they do not receive you, shake off the dust from your feet, and go to the next town. It’s the same with dialoguing with unbelievers and carnal believers. When they are entrenched in their sin, as your are led by the Spirit of God, walk away when they they do not agree with the Word of God.
There are those that inquire about the Word of God and want answers.
Sometimes your Biblically sound answers will never be good enough because of their intent to remain in sin. That’s because they do not want to change. They will be thorns and thistles in your side. At first, they appear to be inquisitive about the Word and then they unloose a barrage of demonic laced words that broadside you into bewilderment.
This is the tolerant spirit of the day where people are offended when you do not accept their sin because since they are so connected to the sin that they love to do, that they take it personally when you disrespect their sin.
They call you “intolerant, bigots, and discriminant.”
Many will even challenge you, toe to toe.
And they do not have to say a word. They may be in same sex relations and bring their “partner.” They may be fornicators, and may bring their unmarried girl or boyfriend. They may be bisexual and bring boy and girlfriend.
Well, heaven is an exclusive place and membership has its privilege.
Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” and “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Try to go to a major league baseball game without a ticket. You will not get far. Try going to a concert without a ticket. You will not get far.
Yet, people want to get past Jesus to get into heaven (see Matthew 7:21-23).
The authority of the Word of God gives the child of God the right to stand against sin and those that insist on sinning. God is the Author of the Word of God. When His Word is challenged, His authority is challenged. Hence, your authority in Christ is challenged.
So the only way the world wants to do away with the authority of the Scriptures is to either make up laws that silence true believers or infiltrate the true church with false doctrine, or worse, bring sin into the church of Jesus Christ like the Moabites brought sexual immorality to the Israelites in Numbers chapters 19 through 25.
The children of Israel were told to destroy them all because the land was polluted with their sins. They failed and Israel suffers to this day.
So it is with the church when we do not get the leaven (sin) out. If we tolerate the slightest hint of sin, our hearts are not perfect towards God. We must be aggressive about sin and remain aggressive about sin, no matter the cost. People will hate and sneer at us. They will create trouble to harass the saints just like Sanballat and his evil company did when the Israelites came from their 70 year captivity to rebuild the wall and temple.
The ones that bring their sin unchallenged will only be successful if we fail to be strict about handling sin. The only way to handle sin is through the blood of Jesus. To be washed, cleansed, and forsake sin, never to commit sexual immorality again.
Perfection is not the goal. Perfect hatred for the thing that God hates is the goal. If you look back like Lot’s wife did when destruction fell on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, you will turn into a pillar of salt.
Friends will be lost. Families will be lost. You might not be liked any more, but the friendship of the world is hostile towards God, those that walk in the flesh are hostile towards God.
I mean, they become mean and nasty anytime you talk about the Word of God. Even folk in the church. They become enemies of God and oppose everything that you say about the Word of God. Just mark them and stay away from them. Let the Holy Sprit work them over. Let the Word dwell in you richly, walk in love and be patient.
Sadly, they personally stand against you because they can’t get to God.
And even if they could, the angels in heaven preventing you from getting to the Lord would be an act of mercy because anything past the angels and there is no guarantee that you will live.
So, be mindful of the fact that when you are invited to certain places (and you know that there will be people that openly live in sin), will you “mix it up,” or will you keep yourself?