Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5
2 Corinthians 5:8-11
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.9 Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Willing—well contented. Wherefore—because of this confidence we have that we’ll be with Christ, we labor—make it our ambition. Accepted—well-pleasing.
Appear—be made manifest, to be seen as you are. Terror—God’s judgment, Tyndale translated “knowing how the Lord is to be feared.” His righteous opinion of us, is what motivates our evangelism—not making friends, money, or ministries. Persuade—to get one to yield, listen, or obey, to convince.
--we don’t believe in the fear of the Lord anymore, so we don’t evangelize.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
The first step of making peace between us and God was done by God in Christ.
Committed—placed in our charge, place in our hands. Ambassadors—those acting on Christ’s behalf, in His stead. Pray—beg, desire, beseech.
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Keep yourselves, but also watch out for others. Compassion—have mercy, help the afflicted. Difference—to separate, divide. Pulling—snatch them from flames. Some you work with gradually with compassion, others need immediate rescue.
Some are not rebelling; they’re just hurting and need mercy. Others are rebelling and need rescue from dangers they are wandering into.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Accursed—a thing devoted to God without hope for redemption, an animal destined to be slain. Repeats it to show this is not a flippant statement.
Paul was accused of pleasing people, Paul says that charge no longer stands after what he just said. To seek first to please people is to deny service to Christ.
--Simple human persuasion is not the goal: preaching Christ is. Seeking to persuade, which means “keep people happy,” will not achieve spiritual ends.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Dogs—barkers, vicious railers against the Gospel. Swine—impure, gross people incapable of valuing the pure. This turns them to trample the Gospel and attack.
--Begging people to take the Gospel too much leads them to violent reactions and hard-hearted rejection of the Gospel.
--Romans 1—God gave them over. There is a time to give up and let em go. Hand them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.
And when ye come into an house, salute it.13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Shake dust—brush off dirt from unholy lands before returning to holy land. To remove all connection and responsibility for them. A visit from the disciples was more than Sodom had. Judgment is in direct relation to how much revelation you denied.
Need to be careful not to be Sons of Thunder calling down fire from heaven. At the same time, we need to avoid disrespectful treatments of the Gospel. This is not done for our own self-righteous opinion of ourselves, but out of respect for the Gospel and the person of Christ.