When God is pleased to use church discipline to bring sinners to him
1 Corinthians 5:5: “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.”
At the meeting of the churches of the Presbytery of the Dakotas, a joyous report gladdened the heart of the listeners.
A church member from fifteen years ago was found to be so persistent in sin that the church had to declare him no longer a Christian. A few months ago, he came back to church, admitting his sin and seeking Christ for salvation!
The Spirit did not let go of him but brought conviction to his heart that all that he learned in his youth was true. And the life he was living was false.
How many of my readers have ever witnessed such humility? Such mercy from God?
Often, Christians do not take church discipline seriously. It is easy in independent-minded American society to reject churchly authority. And to reject the discipline that comes with that.
Perhaps more sinners would return to God if the church trusted God enough to discipline His members. As Hebrews 13:17 declares, the leadership is given for our good:
“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”