“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.” (Revelation 3:19 NLT).
In John’s vision and conversation with Jesus, we see just how much we are loved–because when we are loved–correction and discipline are part of the process. And at the of this letter, we are reminded that those “who have ears to hear, must hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
One of the reasons that most people get “twisted and bent out of shape” when they hear people talk about the bible or see what someone says about it is because they do not understand–The Word is written for the benefit of believers–not the unbelieving because they won’t believe it anyway!
If a person has no relationship with God, proclaims not to believe in God, then why would they think God’s Word has anything to do with them? It doesn’t, until they reach a point of “belief and relationship.”
With that understanding, The Word is written to believers for believers–let’s look at the warnings directed at the sinner. A person cannot be a sinner unless they have first believed God and turned away. If they have never believed God, they are simply –the “ungodly” and although God addresses the fate of the ungodly, they are not the sinners He references.
There are two things I wish to clarify today and I anticipate disagreement so I welcome comments–as always. Those two things are mistakes and sin and the difference. I know some people in leadership positions in churches teach that mistakes are sin, but there is no biblical basis for this type of teaching.
First of all, a mistake is something that is done–unintentionally–it is not planned and neither is the outcome anticipated. On top of that–the words mistake and mistakes are not included in the Kings James Version, but some will argue differently. A misspelled word, or spilled salt, lost items–those are mistakes–not acts committed intentionally.
Sin, on the other hand, is an intentional act, deliberately thought with an anticipated outcome. There are far too many “sins” for me to elaborate on them on all in this commentary, but suffice it to say that, no one ever “unintentionally” took off their clothes, and entered into sexual activity outside of marriage. Plans to sin–whether is is illicit sex, or a criminal act–are a deliberate act--intentionally implemented.
When I omit words in my commentaries, I have made a mistake. It was not intentional, but impaired vision is sometimes a problem; especially for those who are aging.
When a person drives a vehicle–impaired–by drugs or alcohol–and someone is killed–that is an intentional act and the outcome can be anticipated. That is not a mistake unless the person is devoid of understanding of how alcohol and drugs impair perception and ability to think clearly. A vehicle–in the hands of an impaired driver– is a lethal weapon and the impaired driver is the trigger used to commit the crime.
Who we love–we correct and chastise–hopefully before their actions warrant a more severe outcome–like a felony conviction or worse–their own demise.
“Those who have an ear to hear and eyes to see and a heart to understand” hear and think before doing anything that would cause the deaths of others. “Doing all things in the name of love” so we might have peaceable lives and no regrets!”