Throw Them Out
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:22-23)
In Revelation 2:22-23, Jesus addressed the church in Thyatira. He said they had most of their act together. However, in the end, Jesus said they had allowed a self-acclaimed prophetess named Jezebel to speak from the pulpit who was teaching heresy. Jesus told them to stop her from preaching and lead her toward repentance. If she didn’t repent, they were to kick her out of the church. I know - that’s an unpopular statement to make. Some believe no one should ever be kicked out of a church, but that is what a pastor must do at times to protect the flock God has given him.
The Bible says a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. If we don't want the entire church to be poisoned, we need to get rid of the poisoner. That shouldn’t be the first or only step that a pastor takes to guard his flock. First, we talk to them about why their teaching is off. Then we pray for them, show mercy toward them, and help them to understand, but if an individual continues to hurt other sheep, the wolf needs to be driven away. I have done it on numerous occasions.
Once I had a man in the congregation who was a contractor. He was cheating single women in the church out of their money doing odd jobs and not finishing them correctly. I gave him a chance to repent and change his ways, but when he didn’t, I pointed to him in the congregation, asked him to stand up, and told the whole church that he was a thief; I strongly suggested they not do business with him. We never saw him again. You may think I was too harsh, but my job is to protect the flock over which God has assigned me.
Practical Application – Is there anyone you have allowed to speak into your heart and mind that is not living God’s way? Protect yourself and kick them out.
1 Corinthians 5:11; 3 John 1:10