When I was in high school there was a night that I remember very well. I remember that night because I was with some of my friends hanging out at one of their homes, as we left we came out to find ice cream all over our windshields. We found out who did it and did what any other teenager would do…we planned an attack of our own.
We got eggs and flour and set out to find a car that one of the other guys owned. We eventually did, and I sat and watched as my friends started egging and flower bombing this car. I knew what they were doing was wrong but I kept my mouth shut. We ended the night in an all-out paintball gun war in my parent’s front yard (we lived out in the country) but that’s beside the point. The point was that my friends did something wrong, I knew it was wrong, and I didn’t say a word about it. In the end, it ended in disaster.
1 Corinthians 5 talks about this in the church. The chapter specifically talks about sexual immorality but I think this is something that can be taught about any sin. This chapter talks about the hard truth that sin is still a part of our lives and can easily start to take over our lives if we are not watchful. This chapter talks about a man committing sexual immorality by sleeping with his father’s wife. It may be easier to think about this in a different way. What about that time your coworker started to gossip about another person and you just sat there and listened. Maybe you didn’t participate but you knew that it was wrong.
Whatever the situation, it is your responsibility to stand up for what is right. God called us to go out to all nations and that could be as simple as your work, your friend’s house, or your own home. We have this responsibility because of love. If we truly love everyone and want to see them go to heaven, we stand up to wrong and with God’s help, we lead people out of the darkness.
Romans says that the wages of sin is death, so why wouldn’t we stand up against sin? Why wouldn’t we tell our brother or sister that what they are doing isn’t right? Paul ends this chapter with this, “Purge the evil person from among you.” This stuck with me. We try to focus a lot on spreading the gospel to all nations and but sometimes we disregard the church itself.
Christians are imperfect and sin-filled people too. We too can fall right back into the enemy’s grasp. Paul is saying that we need to focus some of our efforts on making sure that the church stays free of the enemy. Let me clarify I don’t mean that the church needs to be free of sin, I am saying that the people who are actively sinning and choosing to do so need to be spoken to. Not only are they acting in a way that leads them away from eternal life, their actions may also lead to false interpretation of Christianity by a new believer.
I don’t want you to go around looking at whom you can judge by their sinful behavior but I do want you to look around at some of your close Christian friends. Today, start to pray that the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to any evil that needs to be purged in you and the people who are close to. Just like my story about my car wars experience, I knew what I was doing was wrong and it ended in disaster. If we choose to keep allowing wrong to happen and not standing up against it, it will end in disaster.