Recently I found out that two people I thought were genuine Christians were not genuine at all. Two days before everything was exposed, I said one of them was one of the most Godly women I have ever met. Someone we knew decided to Google the name of one of the ladies because she was acting strange. We were horrified by what she found out. She was jailed for ripping off Christians at a “Christian” business she owned. This happened not just once, but TWICE. She was basically doing it in the name of Jesus.
I am still completely shocked and heartbroken over what happened. I was in a prayer group with these ladies. They prayed stronger than anyone I have encountered. We know that there are people all over trying to lead the sheep astray, but we usually think of the ones having a large audience. We think of people like Joel Osteen, large YouTubers, etc.
It only got worse when we confronted the criminal and her friend. There was no humility, no sign of repentance, and the response was completely unbiblical. It seems these ladies couldn’t even pretend to be Christian when confronted. I wonder if that was an answer to my prayer to Jesus about exposing the truth.
I was suffering from cognitive dissonance because how can they pretend to be Christian so well? What doubt was left in my mind was removed with their response to the situation.
Here is a Bible study on how we figure out if people are genuine and how to respond.
(He is not only talking about physical adultery, He’s talking about Spiritual.)
In verse 30 the word in the KJV is Offend. What does this mean?
Strongs Number: G4624
Orig: from 4625; to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure):–(make to) offend. G4625
Use: TDNT-7:339,1036 Verb
Heb Strong: H3782
1)!!!!!!to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend!!!!!!!
1a) to entice to sin
1b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
1b1) to cause to fall away
1b2) to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
1b3) to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
1c) since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
1c1) to cause one displeasure at a thing
1c2) to make indignant
1c3) to be displeased, indignant
We are the BODY of Christ. We are to be careful to remain humble, gentle, display fruits of the Spirit, and most importantly show LOVE to our brethren. For those who consistently display pride, cause division, are arrogant, refuse scriptural correction, etc….they are proof by the fruit of their own trees, that they are not part of our Body. We are to cast OFF of our Body what is hindering us in the same way we would remove AN INGROWN TOENAIL.
The word used here as Love is: Word: agapaw
Strongs Number: G25
Orig: perhaps from agan (much) (or compare 5689); to love (in a social or moral sense):–(be-)love(-ed). Compare 5368. G5689
Use: TDNT-1:21,5 Verb
Heb Strong: H157 H157 H935 H2142 H2398 H2654 H3039 H3040 H3173 H4191 H4885 H6213 H6601 H7069 H7355 H7521 H8104 H8173 H8191
1) of persons
1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
2) of things
2a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing
Now, a word of caution….
Now, if Jesus needed to address this^^, was it possible for others to go around proclaiming Jesus but really not belonging to Him? YES.
Moving on.. 3)
The word used for love in these passages is: Word: agaph
Strongs Number: G26 Orig: from 25; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:–(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love. G25
Use: TDNT-1:21,5 Noun Feminine
Heb Strong: H160 1) brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence 2) love feasts
4a) ***Marks of the True Christian Romans 12***
So what do we do with all of this and how is it handled? What happens to those who refuse correction from multiple believers with Scripture? We already know the Matthew 18 principal. But what next? What if they refuse? For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mark 4:25