Hi. I’m Wes White and welcome to another Bible Q&A on cgi.org.
Here’s a question: “Doesn’t the Bible say to cry aloud and spare not and show my people their sins? For that reason, shouldn’t I clearly and loudly tell people I know (like friends and neighbors) when they’re sinning?”
Let’s read Isaiah 58:1. It says:
Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression. And to the house of Jacob their sins.
This is clearly a command in the Bible.
But the Bible also says in I Corinthians 5:12,13:
12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person.
Do these two Scriptures contradict each other? No.
When we put Isaiah 58:1 into context, we see that this is an instruction for the prophets of God during the times of ancient Israel and Judah. God is telling the prophets to be more vocal in their preaching about sin to God’s two nations. (Notice there is nothing said here about condemning the sins of those who are NOT God’s people.)
And remember that two of Israel’s and Judah’s greatest sins that kept getting them into trouble with God over and over were idolatry and Sabbath breaking.
Yes, this Isaiah 58 instruction to the prophets certainly applies to us today. The church should and does teach that we are to teach against sin in our efforts to make disciples of all nations.
But we’ve got to be balanced in our efforts to preach against sin. And, based on what we read in I Cor 5:12, we see that we in the church really don’t need to be overly concerned with the sins of those outside the church. Yes, in our evangelism efforts, we teach sin and repentance to the unconverted. But when it comes to judging, we need to put those efforts into the church. We need to make sure we’re doing everything we as a church are supposed to when it comes to providing meat in due season for the flock.
Now, I can just hear someone saying, “But I spend so much of my time condemning politicians in this country.”
Really? You condemn politicians? Why? That’s like shooting fish in a barrel. That’s easy. Anyone can do that. And why is it easy? Because they’re politicians. Need I say more?
Further, when you condemn these politicians, do you clearly point out that they are leaders of a nation that is ever so guilty of idolatry and Sabbath breaking?
But let’s be real here. We would be better off spending our time getting ourselves right with God and getting the church ready for the return of Jesus. If you condemn politicians, yourpolitical discourse is not going to change the direction of this country. The only way to change people is with evangelism–persuading each person to accept Jesus–teaching him obedience to the Ten Commandments. All of them. Including the 4th commandment about the seventh day Sabbath.
If you’re one who is willing to prove and re-prove your spiritual priorities, I’d like to recommend you watch a sermon by Vance Stinson. It’s called Why Prophecy? It’s free. It’s on our website at cgi.org. If you want to understand the role of a prophet like we just read in Isaiah 58, you need to watch this video.
We’ll see you next time on Bible Q&A at cgi.org. In the meantime, please keep reading your Bible. And please keep asking questions.