A Call for Discernment, 1 Thess. 5:21-22, John McArthur

SOURCE: http://www.gty.org/transcripts/archive.htm

BOOK:  Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis

Below are the three sessions of this detailed study on Discernment.

Title Scripture
"A Call for Discernment - Part 1" 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
"A Call for Discernment - Part 2" 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
"A Call for Discernment - Part 3" 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

The biggest challenge by far that faces organized Christian churches today and the biggest threat to their existence and ideology comes not from outside the church, but from within.  It is their lack of ability or willingness to be discerning, which is a politically correct word for "judgment".  The media and unbelievers everywhere have distorted God's Holy word to convince Christians not to judge by quoting scriptures out of context, and have tried to criminalize use of the word "judge" and make it politically incorrect. They are on the offensive with such things as:

  • Hate crime laws
  • Anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals
  • "Diversity training" in the schools
  • Mandatory counseling for parents involved in divorce who are dogmatic about their beliefs as a way to "deprogram" them

The liberals, in trying to stamp out Christian opposition, have indeed hypocritically practiced the very same discrimination against Christians that they claim to be against when the discrimination is directed towards them.  They have evolved into the Nazi's of our modern era, and they have made the use of the words "judge" or "discriminate" so politically incorrect that most Christians don't dare use them.   They have put pastors in fear to talk about it because they might alienate their congregation by opposing the mainstream media.  In trying to downplay judgment, liberal nazis will say such things as the slogan we saw on a bumper sticker the other day:  

"Hate is NOT a family value."  

But what does God's word say about this subject? Is this really the case?  Both we and John MacArthur disagree.  God's word teaches us that hate of sin is definitely a family value, but hate of people isn't.  As you will find out from this series of sermons and the accompanying book by John MacArthur, God says that we MUST judge and be discerning about evil and sin, or suffer His wrath.  We cannot on the one hand love what is good without just as vehemently hating what is evil.  If we are to be a HOLY church, sanctified and set apart from the world, then we must dare to be different.

"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."  [
[James 4:4, Bible, NKJV]

It is this unwillingness to be different or sanctified or confrontational or to judge that has lead to much of the decay we see in the fabric of American society today.   It has caused us to become a pagan culture on the decline.  It is the root of so many evils.  Below are just a few reasons from scripture why God says we MUST judge, and John MacArthur points out several others in his wonderful sermon:

  • “You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.” 
    Psalms 97:10, Bible, NKJV]

  •  “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous: and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.” 
    [Prov 29:27, Bible, NKJV]

  • “The boastful shall not stand in your sight: You hate all all workers of iniquity.”
    [Psalms 5:5, Bible, NKJV]

  • “Through You precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.] 
    [Psalms 119:104, Bible, NKJV]

  • “Let us hear the conclusion of this whole matter:  Fear [respect] God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.  For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” 
    Eccl. 12:13-14, Bible, NKJV]

  • The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.” 
    Proverbs 8:13, Bible, NKJV]

  • “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” 
    Prov. 23:17, Bible, NKJV]

  • “By humility and fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” 
    Prov. 22:4, Bible, NKJV]

  • “These six things the Lord hates, yes seven are an abomination to Him:

    • A proud look.

    • A lying tongue,

    • Hands that shed innocent blood,

    • A heart that devises wicked plans, [IRS revenue agents]

    • Feet that are swift in running to evil,

    • A false witness who speaks lies, [IRS]

    • And one who sows discord among brethren.” [illegally imposed income taxes and the financial problems they create destroy families, and the number one cause of divorce is disputes over money]
      Prov. 6:16-19

  •  “Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?  And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?  I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. 
    Psalms 139:21-22, Bible, NKJV]

  • “I hate and abhor lying, But I love Your law.” 
    Psalms 119:163, Bible, NKJV]

  • “Through your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.
    [Psalms 119:104]

  • A righteous man hates lying, But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.”
    [Prov. 13:5, Bible, NKJV]

  • “For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: ….. A time to love, and a time to hate.” 
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Bible, NKJV]

  • “But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. 
    Prov. 24:25, Bible, NKJV]

  • He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” 
    Prov. 28:23, Bible, NKJV]

  • God even commands us above to reprove and rebuke evil when we encounter it, and we can’t rebuke that which we can’t judge, so we better judge!:

    • “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” 
      [John 7:24, Bible, NKJV, Jesus speaking in the Bible]

    •  “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [rebuke] them.”
      [Eph. 5:11, Bible, NKJV]

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