The apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians not to keep company with a brother in Christ who is a practicing fornicator.
In these instructions, Paul makes a distinction between fornicators in the world and those within the church, because those who within the church need to be held accountable to a godly standard.
It seems that the Church in America has gotten this one backwards. We have taken a stand against the LGBT agenda in the world, while failing to deal with fornication within the church.
Yet according to Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians, it is the fornicators within the Church that we should have no company with, while being light in darkness to the fornicators in the world, in the hopes that some would come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we attempt to influence culture regarding a sin that we refuse to deal with “in house,” we fail miserably.
One might argue that fornication is not the same as homosexuality. This is a weak argument because homosexuality is fornication. Fornication in the Biblical context is all inclusive regarding all sex outside of the marriage between a man and his wife.
Jude refers to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah as fornicators.
Paul applies this same rule to those who are covetous, idolaters, railers (the verbally abusive) drunks, and extortioners (swindlers).
As long as we allow fornicaton in the church, we are not embracing the doctrine of godliness.
Here is Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians:
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Paul also instructed the Thessalonians not to keep company with those who refuse to work so that they may be ashamed of their actions.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15
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