EFFECTS OF NO CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Bill Hall

      Failure to carry out any command of God is a serious failure.
The New Testament emphasizes the duties of the individual, but
there are certain responsibilities assigned to groups of Christ-
ians (churches) because we are to work together as a family or
body under Christ, our Chief Shepherd (Rom. 16:16; Titus 1:5; 1
Tim. 5:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-5).
No Discipline Allows Men To Be Lost: — God does not want any
to perish because every soul is precious to Him (Matt. 16:26; 2
Pet. 3:9).  If a brother sins, he endangers his own soul.  Any Christian
near him should seek to convert or restore him to God
(Jas.5:19,20; Gal. 6:1).  If efforts of this type fail, the important
task of rescuing this one from perishing falls upon the church
(1 Cor. 5).  Let every member be aware of the fact that the effort
is to save the sinner as well as to protect the reputation of the
church (1 Cor. 5:4-8).  We must admonish the sinner as a broth-
er because we are interested in his spiritual welfare.  We want
him to be ashamed of his sinful way, so we withdraw from him
(2 Thes. 3:6,14,15).
No Discipline Allows Leaven’s Wickedness To Influence: — The
church at Corinth was “puffed up” with its own wisdom rather
than depending on the counsel of God concerning the member
who was a fornicator.  Allowing one couple to live in violation of
the law was a way of letting the leaven of wickedness to enter the “lump.”
It was true than as it is now that “a little leaven leav-
ens the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6-8).  If the church closes its eyes
to one case, there will likely soon be another and then others.
No Discipline Will Keep Men From Enduring Sound Doctrine: —
Timothy was charged to “preach, reprove, rebuke and exhort”
in an urgent way, if he would push off the day when they would
not endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:1-5).  The mouths of those
who speak unsound doctrine should be stopped but who will do this, if the
people like the perverted pattern? (Titus 1:10-14; 2
Pet. 2:1-3).  Timothy was urged to be forceful and faithful in his
preaching, and the churches wre taught to mark, avoid and reject false
teachers.  The were to purge out the leaven of wick-
edness and disorder to avoid the evil day when they would not
endure sound doctrine (Rom. 16:17,18; Acts 20:29-31; Gal. 1:6-
10).
No Discipline Encourages The Worldly: — If a church looks the
other way and refuses to notice when more and more members
become ungodly, that church will become a gathering place for
the worldly.  It will also lose the respect of the community.  Its
zeal for Christ will vanish, so it will fall into the same condition
that had come to Israel when Isaiah and Jeremiah lived.  God was displeased
with a church that tolerated doctrine and pract-
ices that were contrary to His Will  (Rev. 2:14,15). 
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