Weekly Word from Bro. David
May 12, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart:
What to do when a saint strays? When you hear that somebody in the church has fallen into sin, what is your first thought? “What were they thinking?” “How could they let that happen?” “What's the rest of the story?” “What will that mean for their family?” “How will God deal with them?” “How could they be so careless?” “I'm glad I'm not in their shoes.” “How they could show their face at worship?”
Those may be your first thoughts, but what about your first reaction? Make a few phone calls: “Have you heard what so-and-so did?” Perhaps an email: “Have you heard the latest about so-and-so?” Are you a part of the Baptist grapevine? Which, by the way, I believe is faster than the speed of light!
When a saint strays are you burdened enough to confront and to care? Well, today I've got some good news and some sad news. The good news is that today from the book of James we're going to learn what to do when a saint strays. The sad news is that we are concluding our study of the book of James under the heading: CHRISTIANITY IN SHOELEATHER.
As we consider James 5, we're reminded that we're not only called to win the lost, we're also called to win the saved! What to do when a saint strays in James 5.19-20: Pastor James says,
Vv. 19-20, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
So, what do we do when a saint strays from God and from His church? Let them go? Turn our back on them? Talk about them? What does God say we are to do?
I am convinced that the most miserable person on earth is the saint that has strayed from God. The strayed saint is a sad saint. Not the lost person, but the saved person! The quickest way to unhappiness is to be a compromising, backslidden Christian.
And yet, I'm so grateful that God is in the restoration business ANDthat God invites US to be a part of the process of recovering straying saints. That God wants us to be on the RESCUE AND RECOVERY team.
Well, that's how James concludes his book, by explaining to us what to do when a saint strays. In doing so we will notice first in verse 19 that James begins with a warning and that warning is BEWARE OF A DANGER then we will see that we are to BE ALERT TO OUR DUTY.