Scripture tells us that the Pharisees of Jesus’ day told Him to rebuke His disciples for glorifying Him by speaking truth. Scripture then tells us Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:40). This is one of my favorite verses in all of scripture because it attests to the fact that truth is an irresistible force that has no equal. It cannot be counterbalanced because it is balance itself. Truth needs no defense because it stands alone in eternal offense, marching forward against time and circumstance, history and culture. When Jesus was being questioned by Pontius Pilate, He told him, “I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37). Pilate then asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (v. 38). Unbeknownst to Pilate, Truth was standing right in front of him, about to be put on trial, judged by the people and crucified.
An unfortunate condition of the church today, is that many of those who claim to have made Truth Lord of their life, condemn those who speak it. Like Pilate, even though truth is staring them in the face, they put it on trial and crucify it. When a Christian condemns another Christian for speaking truth, they commit spiritual cannibalism. Despite what the world would like you to think, there is nothing wrong with a Christian calling out sin. Jesus said we are the light of the world and that we are to let our light shine before men, giving light to all who are in the house (John 5:15,16). To speak truth is to shine a light into the dark rooms of deception. Unfortunately, many Christians aren’t shining their light before men because they have adopted the worldly mindset of, “Don’t judge people because they sin differently than you do.”
Something that most people don’t realize, is that when they reference Jesus’ instructions to “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” and “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye,” they are misquoting Jesus in verbiage and in context. In almost all instances, people who do this, fail to include the verse in between these two, which says, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:2). Which means, if your standard of measurement is God’s word, and you are not living your life in violation of it, then you are neither a hypocrite, nor is your standard of measure unfit. As long as your motive is love– the love of God’s word and the love of the soul you are trying to reach– there is no condemnation in your assessment.
Jesus tells us that we are to be sanctified in truth and He defines that truth as God’s word: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 18:38). By the mouth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Himself declares God’s word– which should be every Christian’s standard of measurement– as truth. And part of that truth is defining what is sinful so that we can be sure to turn away from it. We may not like to hear it and we may feel uncomfortable talking about it, but it is truth nonetheless. And in a time in which the church only wants to hear messages about God’s mercy and grace, we need those who are bold enough to preach the truth about sin to balance us out now, more than ever. As Christians, we should be more inclined to stand with our brothers and sisters in reminding the world what God sees as sin, rather than defending or excusing those practicing it.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.” (Matt 18:15)
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” (Gal 6:1)
“If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (2 Thess 3:14,15)
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.” (2 Thess 3:6)
“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19)
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth and come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:25)
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, for people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.” (Titus 3:10,11)
“But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister [in Christ] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? But those who are outside, God judges…” (1 Cor 5:11-13)
“Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it. But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds.” (Psalm 141:5)