August 31

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 24
            I Corinthians 5
            Ezekiel 3
            Psalms 39
“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.” (I Corinthians 5:4-5)
            If you want to deal with a verse that carries great speculation and debate, then we have found it in our memory verse today. What does this mean… that we can deliver a Child of God to Satan for the destruction of the flesh? I believe this reference means the same thing as the sin unto death in I John 5:16. God is giving every believer a strong word of caution in these two passages and others.
            It is possible for a Christian to so continue an attitude of rebellion against God, and so allow sin to dwell in his life and hinder the testimony and effectiveness of himself personally, and of his church, that the Bible says he can ''sin unto death'', and God will take his physical life. In other words, God will give him a dishonorable discharge. God will send him on to glory ahead of time.  He will be saved, so as by fire, but he will suffer loss.
            Have you ever told your child or grandchild at the shopping mall or in Wal-Mart, ''If you don't behave yourself, I'm going to take you home." Finally, after much discipline and correction that remains unheeded, you say to them, ''You've embarrassed me long enough. I'm taking you home." This is exactly what God says to His child. You cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose the joy of it. You cannot lose your eternal life, but you ca11 lose your physical life. There are occasions when God simply takes His child home.
            There are a number of examples of this in the Bible. For example, Moses committed the sin unto death. Moses was perhaps the greatest personality in the Old Testament. Is it not an amazing thing that Moses was used of God to lead the children of Israel all the way through the wilderness, yet Moses himself did not enter the Promised Land. You know the story. Moses patience grew thin. God had told him what to do, and yet Moses, in anger, smote the rock when God had told him to only speak to the rock. Because of this simple act of disobedience, Moses was taken home to Heaven prematurely. He had committed the sin unto death.
            Another example in the Old Testament was Achan. He took the Babylonian garments, the silver, and the gold from the victory of God's people.  This was in direct disobedience to God. He was stoned to death and taken home early.
            Now, the most vivid examples of the New Testament is the example of this brother in l Corinthians who refused to obey God in the matter of his sexual relationships, and God told the church to deliver hi1n to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.  I believe that can only mean physical death.
            There is also the example of I John 5:16. We do not know what the sin was in this verse, b11t we know it was an act of continuing disobedience.
            We are also told in I Corinthians 11:30 that many are weak and sickly among the church, and many have died prematurely. Why? Because their sin entered the church, and because they entered into communion in a state of disobedience and sin.
            Yes, indeed, there is a sin unto physical death for the Child of God. It is a warning and a caution to any Christian living in disobedience. It is imperative that we seek to know that we are living constantly in obedience to our wonderful Lord. 
            As we continue to pray for the American response to world missions, we discover that most believers in American churches have themselves in one or more religious boxes. Some of these boxes are their career, their cloister box, the culture box, and the church box. The greatest need in the Christian community is commitment. Pray for genuine commitment to reaching the world for Christ beginning with you, and reaching out to your entire church family.