Tuesday, 6/27/2017

Good Evening,

Yes, it is Monday evening when I am writing to you. It has been a very, very busy day with a lot of small things in the pot. I did break away to run a 4 mile timed run in 39 minutes. It was cool, but the run was GREAT! I sure enjoyed doing it. I just came in from the church in which we had a Constitution and By-Laws task force meeting. We have been working on it for some time. We have two non-members, Gary Teeter & Matt Pohle, and Linda Zunker the church’s office manager involved in preparing the draft for the Board of Elders. You may ask why two non-members on this team? Well, Gary was on the Same-Sex Marriage task force when we went through that process and did a great job. Matt is a young man and it is my plan (not sure it is God’s plan) that one day he will be a church elder at GBChurch or wherever God puts him and his family. Both guys are good thinkers and are biblically concerned about a Scriptural document. We have been able to hammer out some very delicate material over the past months and are putting together a clear, simple, yet concise document that can be used for years to come. We have great unity and great input by each of the members on the team. It has been a privilege to watch God work in each meeting and see the progress. Tonight we had a great leap of work done and it may be just one more or two more meetings and we shall be done with our work unless the Board of Elders sends a part it back to the task force. It is a joy to be at this place with this document because it has been on my “bucket list” for the past 26 years to complete. We shall see what happens from this point in time. It is always in the Lord’s hands!!!

1 Corinthians 5:3-5 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Subject: Delivered Over to Satan

Have you seen any church deliver a church member over to Satan because of some sin in his or her life? It would have to be a very serious matter to do so. The issue in this chapter is a man is living with his step-mother and is having an immoral relationship with her. They are living together as husband and wife. It is forbidden to have this kind of relationship under the law and Paul addresses this matter in the dispensation of grace.

What Paul would like to see is a repentant heart from this man. It is a chance to change the course of his life. We do know the end of this story and he did repent. But, unknown to Paul, he instructs the Corinthian Bible Church to make a judgment of this man and his sin. They were to assemble with Paul’s spirit present and deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.

Can a church do this today? Can I pray that God will take a person’s life if he is living in known sin? I would say it is possible, but my heart would be praying for repentance and a crushed heart for the Christian sinner. There have been times that I have had opportunities to pray such a prayer, but I asked God to convict that person of sin and to change their attitude. The purpose of delivering the person over to the devil is cause them to face their sin, repent of their sin, and seek the face of God once again.

But, there is one thing that Satan cannot do, he cannot take away the eternal destiny of any person who has sincerely trusted Christ as one’s personal Savior. The name is permanently written in the book of life. Heaven is one’s destiny when a person takes that step of faith! “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul & body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28). Yes, this man’s soul and spirit will be saved in the final Day of Judgment!!!

So will yours and mine. It should not give you license to sin, but should allow us to be thankful for God’s grace. We should desire to live holy lives for His glory! (Rom. 5:20-6:1). May you and I surrender ourselves to holiness by the grace of God!!! May we be thankful that we are eternally saved and know that there is no sin that we commit that can keep us from going to heaven forever!

Saved by God’s grace,

Pastor Les

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.