Recently I heard about someone who is in outright and open sin, who, I think, would identify himself as a believer yet is not part of any type of local expression of the body of Christ, a ‘church.’ When I offered my help they informed me, that the issue was of no concern of mine. They thanked me for calling and doing my job. I thought, “my job?” I did not call because it was my job, I called them because as a brother in Christ, I had a moral obligation to help in any way I can so I tried. I called because I care about this person and what they are doing to their family. I called because rebelling against the clear commands of Scripture is not producing fruit that demonstrates true repentance and puts them in danger of falling away from grace (Mat 3:8-10). I called because we are warned against having an evil unbelieving heart that leads one to fall away from the living God (Heb. 3:12). I called because I am commanded to exhort them every day so that they may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13). I called because my heart breaks that this is a train wreck that will cause collateral damage to those near the train tracks. I called called because the reputation of Christ (Col. 1:10) and the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31) and the transforming power of the gospel is at stake (Phil 1:27).
Next time I want to handle how to treat an unrepentant brother or sister and then address if someone can be a Christ follower and not be involved in a local church.