Remove The Evil Man From Among Yourselves

by Mike Ratliff

9 Ἔγραψα ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ ἐπιστολῇ μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι πόρνοις, 10 οὐ πάντως τοῖς πόρνοις τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἢ τοῖς πλεονέκταις καὶ ἅρπαξιν ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις, ἐπεὶ ὠφείλετε ἄρα ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελθεῖν. 11 νῦν δὲ ἔγραψα ὑμῖν μὴ συναναμίγνυσθαι ἐάν τις ἀδελφὸς ὀνομαζόμενος ᾖ πόρνος ἢ πλεονέκτης ἢ εἰδωλολάτρης ἢ λοίδορος ἢ μέθυσος ἢ ἅρπαξ, τῷ τοιούτῳ μηδὲ συνεσθίειν. 12 τί γάρ μοι τοὺς ἔξω κρίνειν; οὐχὶ τοὺς ἔσω ὑμεῖς κρίνετε; 13 τοὺς δὲ ἔξω ὁ θεὸς κρινεῖ. ἐξάρατε τὸν πονηρὸν ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NA27)

9 I wrote to you in the epistle not to mix with fornicators, 10 not meaning complete dissociation from the fornicators of this world or greedy and swindlers or idolaters, since you would have to then go out from the world. 11 But now I wrote to you not to mix with anyone who is called a brother if he is a fornicator or a greedy man or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or a swindler. Do not eat with such a man. 12 For what do I have to do with the judging of outsiders? Is it not the ones within you are to judge? 13 But the ones outside God judges. Remove the evil man from among yourselves. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13 a personal translation from the NA27 Greek text)

As the true Gospel is proclaimed with power it is always accompanied by the Law which is used by the Holy Spirit to reveal to the lost their utter need for a Saviour and the complete helplessness to save themselves from the coming wrath of God upon all sin that has not been covered by blood of Christ through his atoning work on the Cross. Those who have not been justified by faith alone through grace alone through believing the Gospel and receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour are those mentioned in the passage above that are “outsiders.” He also makes it clear that many are “called a brother,” but their actions of an unrepentant lifestyle reveal that they are subject to being judged according to “Church Discipline” and cast out of the local body of believers. 

The list Paul gives us here is not complete of course. There many other sins that reveal a heart that is “of this world” and not one of us. For example read the following passage very carefully.

9 Ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται 10 οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν. 11 καὶ ταῦτά τινες ἦτε· ἀλλὰ ἀπελούσασθε, ἀλλὰ ἡγιάσθητε, ἀλλὰ ἐδικαιώθητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NA27)

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous ones will not inherit God’s kingdom? Be not deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals 10 nor thieves nor greedy ones nor drunkards nor revilers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And these things some of you were, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 a personal translation from the NA27 Greek text)

The list has grown. There is a huge push right now in the church visible to elevate personal experience over God’s Truth. I have heard testimony after testimony of homosexuals testifying that “God made them the way they are and loves them that way and the only way they can be ‘happy’ is to remain homosexual” et cetera. The tragedy is so many so-called Christians in our time go out of their way to “affirm” these people while ignoring what God’s Word clearly says.

What is Paul saying in the passage I translated from 1 Corinthians 6? Those people to whom he was writing were just like the world until they were washed clean by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit that continues on in their ongoing sanctification. They were justified by the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God. They were NO LONGER identified by anything on that list. No, they were now Christians. The homosexual lobby in our time is working very hard to say that this is impossible. It is impossible outside of the grace of God, but when God changes someone, they are changed.

Now, what does this say about those in the church visible who ignore these very clear teachings and include in their local churches those who are obviously still of this world and not going to inherit the Kingdom of God? They profess to be our brothers in Christ so we have the obligation to “judge” them and expose them and warn the rest of the Church about them. We must also pray for their repentance.

This is obviously not a popular message, but those who only go after being popular are those who compromise the truth in order to be all inclusive and that is why they do what they do. Let us not do that my brethren.

Soli Deo Gloia!

20 thoughts on “Remove The Evil Man From Among Yourselves

  1. Mike you are correct. The tragedy is how many countless souls will be lost because of these false teaching. I tried to convert a person tonight to Christianity. Found out she already was a Christian once and went into Taoism. It saddens me to know that person is on the road to perdition. How many more people who was once part of the Church left and went into these false religions?

  2. You are very correct, Mike, on both accounts. There is no such thing as a “gay Christian” and it does not matter whether a church “accepts” them into their membership, rather does Christ receive them into the kingdom of God? There are several “lists” of sins (that if continued to be practiced throughout one’s life) that indicate a person’s status with God-saved?or lost? The real Christian will happily confess that he WAS homosexual, or adulterer, or murderer, or idolater, or liar, etc. but that God has CHANGED him, cleansed him, removed him from the power of former sins and that he is now “accepted in the Beloved”.

    There are plenty of faux Christians who demand that God accept them with their sin of choice intact including adulterers [likely more prevalent in the church today than homosexuals], idolaters [which of us did not create a god to our liking before we were saved?], covetous [not only for money, but the praise, adjulation, and worship of other men?] and so on.

    Then there are those who would have such as are disqualified (according to Scripture) to be welcomed into their “fellowship” whether in a local church or their blog, or wherever. There are several Scriptures that tell us point blank who we should associate with and who we MUST exclude from our circle of friends. But inspite of clear Biblical direction, it is a growing fad to ignore such admonitions and to accept all comers with their sin of choice in tow because unity at any price is the battle cry of the false prophets. Some of these self-sanctified and highly arrogant false prophets will procede to tell us which of the truthes of God’s Word we should fight for and which we should leave the correct interpretation up to negotiation. This wickedness is fondly received and promoted as the correct Biblical approach by an alarming and growing crowd of people who are playing right into the hands of the wicked one. Such a thing does not glorify our Savior. All it does is parade the ignorance of foolish men and lead men away from Christ rather than to Him.

    May the Lord Jesus expose the evil and glorify His Name in all things.

    Darrel

  3. But men so love to be well thought of by other people that it is a very common failure to fall into the pit of being a man-pleaser. Once on that path, sin becomes less of a concern, because all men sin and we don’t want to judge anyone lest they quit following.

    Let we did not learn Christ this way!

    May God mercy.

  4. Mike, in God’s providential timing, you wrote this article and He led me back to your site to read it. My husband Matt and I are currently heartbroken. We recently had to leave our beloved church because of the very issue brought up in this passage, of the necessity to be obedient to this Scripture, the truth of which was being not only ignored but openly rejected by the pastor. Since he would not put out the wicked men, we had to withdraw from the body, as to obey God and not fellowship with those in unrepentant sin. My husband and I stood on the word, and pleaded for the church to be obedient, sadly to no avail. A pastor who blatantly disregards these commands of God is placing himself above God, thinking he knows better than God how to shepherd the church.

    The unbiblical thinking involved in the decision to keep those in sin welcome in fellowship:
    The people in sin need to hear the word, so keep them in the body, let them worship, and hear the word, and just let the Holy Spirit convict them.

    This is wrong on so many levels – first, God’s word clearly says confront those in sin, to bring them to repentance and restoration, or if they refuse, put them out. The unrepentant are NEVER welcome in the fellowship of the saints. Yes, they need to hear the word, but how they will hear the word is this: when they are pulled aside and given the Scriptural truths necessary to address their sin. Second, a little leaven leavens the lump. A rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel; the good apples don’t un-rot the bad apple. Third, unregenerate people can’t/don’t worship, and Christians in sin have broken fellowship with God that must be addressed. Fourth, if God tells the CHURCH BODY to judge/deal with those inside, it’s wrong to take the passive view of “just let the Holy Spirit” handle it.

    As Matt said when talking to the pastor about this, “The Bible’s language here (in 1 Cor 5) is plain. I can do nothing except believe and obey”. We are praying for the repentance of the pastor, church, and those who were in sin.

    Thanks Mike.

  5. Thanks for sharing that Carolyn. I know what you and your husband did was difficult and what your pastor the leadership at that church did is “right in the eyes of the world,” but God’s ways are not the ways of the world and we must obey him. The Church is for the saints alone not the world.

  6. Thanks for the word of encouragement, brother. Thank you so much, especially for the truth affirming statements like that the church gathering for worship is for the saints alone. You even hit the nail on the head of why this truth is so lost on so many pastors today – they are doing what is right in the eyes of the world/their own eyes. You serve your brothers and sisters well when you do this.

    Our situation – difficult doesn’t cover it. We had poured ourselves out for this body, which made leaving all the more painful. But if my memory serves me well, you yourself encountered a challenge at a church at which you were a deacon? Where you had to choose obedience to God and left? The necessary courage to do so comes from Christ alone.

    In the midst of this sad situation, I did rejoice in a few things. One being the obvious – that God’s word is amazing, truth firm as a rock to stand on, and light to our feet. The Shepherd of our souls loved us so much that He walked with us through this valley and encouraged us to obey Him, even at a great cost to us. Another being that I saw Christ working in my husband. Matt is a very soft spoken, and very calm man. Very little ruffles him, but sometimes to the negative, he doesn’t always address conflicts when necessary. But with this 1 Cor 5 issue at church, to see how the Holy Spirit led Matt to stand on the word with such quiet resolve, made me praise God. It is a blessing to be married to a man who wants to be humbly obedient to Jesus Christ.

  7. What you were seeing in you husband was the working of the Spirit of God and the resolve was and expression of what Jesus was talking about in John 15. You and your husband are branches in the true vine and the difficulties and tough decisions the pruning done by the Father, but your obedience is by His grace and according to Romans 8, he is sustaining you through it all. I’m not saying it was easy nor that you did not question anything through it. My own trial was very tough and I often look back on it remember how painful it was, but as I said in a post a few weeks ago, this is not our home. This life is temporary, we are just passing through for we are eternal beings and our true life with our Lord awaits. That is why we must always respond to these situations as you and your husband did, that is, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…

  8. Thank you Mike, for the edification, as Matt and I are ever learning.

    2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves ; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed ; perplexed, but not despairing ; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken ; struck down, but not destroyed ; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

  9. Some teaching to really chew on Mike. I was an elder (only myself and the senior pastor) in an SBC church for 10 years. Whenever someone had a complaint about the pastor they would come to me (thinking I should have the pastor’s ear) and I would tell them to follow Matthew 18 and go to him. I am an evangelist, so the majority of people who were coming to the church were initially contacted by me. I would go back and forth over the years, trying to talk with the pastor in a very tactful non-confrontational way and at other times leaving it with God (the passive view as you said). I was desperately trying to be submissive as well as non-divisive. When I finally did get to have a man to man talk the pastor stopped speaking with me and three months later removed me as elder and i left the church I served (unpaid) for 12 years. The congregation remained silent. The pastor and I are still not reconciled. He will not speak with me.

    During the past two years I have gotten a lot of conflicting advice (I still don’t know if I handled it properly). I undertook to follow Matthew 18. I attempted to go to the pastor one on one. When that was dismissed I tried to recruit a few men in the church to establish the facts. That failed. Finally I was going to call a church meeting, but was persuaded by others not to do that and to just quietly leave. I did the latter and am still plagued by that choice.

    You say; “They profess to be our brothers in Christ so we have the obligation to “judge” them and expose them and warn the rest of the Church about them”.

    Does this still apply in my situation?

  10. Lance, I would say that when people ask you about it then you should be truthful. That’s what I did in my own situation. When I would see the pastor’s wife or the main deacon behind what went on with the travesty that went on at our old church at some place around town, I would be nice and non-confrontational. However, I was at Starbucks with my wife one day and was approached by that deacon. We were very friendly before I left that church. He should never have been a deacon because he was made a deacon only about a year after his conversion. In any case, he was a Rick Warren disciple and my blog is plainly against all that. When he saw us at Starbucks he was very nice and friendly and we were too. My wife went off and did something else and we talked for a few minutes. He asked for the URL to my blog which I gave him and he wrote it down. I saw him a few weeks later and he wouldn’t even look at me. When he and the Pastor did what they did they were trying to grow that little church into a mega-church. Well here we are 6 years later and the church is about the same size if not smaller. All those people with discernment are gone and all they have left are seeker folks. I ran into former members all over the city in other churches as we visited there over the next few years. In any case, I didn’t really have to warn anyone about that church, I simply had to continue to proclaim the truth and warn everyone about Rick Warrenism, et cetera. They would read my history on my blog and that was enough. I had no problem if they wanted to go visit it for themselves. What we have to do is be ready to give an account of the hope that we have within us and when the history of our faith comes up and we have to tell people what happened in the past we have to tell the truth, but be full of grace when we do so. Also, always pray for those in that darkness to repent.

  11. need more peaching like this.its not a popular message but tben the truth isnt.you will lose menbers popularity tithes but in the end hou are pleasing God not a man pleaser…so now u know u are in the right direction…you have not only got to give account from yourself but all the ppl you lead astray…so cont to preach the truth.The word of God.the whole truth do not compromise.we too late in the game for that.i wish pray an long for a man of God to teach me the truth.Gods has implanyed that hunher in me an when i jear truth i know it.csuse i long for it.But preachers are compromising their souls an the souls of others for pier greed an poplarity!!! thank God for this message an whoever is preaching it .amen

  12. Paul says “and such WERE some of you.” Clearly past tense. The beauty of his direction in 1 Corinthians 5 is that the brother was restored per II Corinthians 2. To God be the glory!

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