Today's Mental Image:
[1Corinthians 5:1-The Mesage]
"THERE IS SOME LEFT OVER BUSINESS
IN YOUR CHURCH."
[Adrift In Sand]
"I also received a report of scandalous sex within your church family, a kind that wouldn't be tolerated even outside the church ... and ... it doesn't even faze you."
"Shouldn't this break your hearts? Shouldn't it bring you to your knees in tears? Shouldn't this person and his conduct be confronted and dealt with?"
The Amercan Church [and most local congregations] have some left over business as we begin the New Year. Prehaps we are hoping to put it off another year. Perhaps we are hoping it will take care of itself.
God has assigned it to the church, His Body, to take care of these issues. They will not take care of themselves. Even if the immediate visible situation takes care of itself, the damage which allows others to think its okay, the damage to the Name of Jesus is NOT Okay!
Nor is putting it off okay! God speaks sharply about these issues in the New Testament. Putting them off is to invite death into the church - or at least - Divine Judgement against the congregation! God will not keep waiting.
It's Time To Take Care Of Last Year's Leftover Business!
GOD'S WORDS OF WARNING!
Don't allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don't talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn't fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.
You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.
Don't let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don't even hang around people like that. [The Message]
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. [NIV]