They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
— 1 John 3:19
As Christians, we are not called to be the spiritual policemen judging the validity of other Christians’ professions of faith. However, words like “rebuke”, “confront” and “expose” resound throughout the New Testament showing that Christianity is a confrontational religion. We, as brothers and sisters in the Lord, are to lovingly hold each other accountable to the standard that God has revealed in the scriptures.
So why are phrases like “nominal” or “lukewarm” used to describe some people in the church? Why are so many Christians finding themselves questioning the salvation of people they sit next to every Sunday afternoon? The reason people in the church today are questioning the salvation of others is because Christians have refused to hold each other accountable to God’s standard. The moment we start holding each other accountable to God’s standard of what HE says a Christian looks like, talks like and acts like, we won’t have to question people’s salvation; they will expose themselves as false converts when they willingly walk away.
There is a twofold application of correction: giving and receiving. There is no unity in the body outside of holiness, and we must be able to hold each other accountable so that we can attain to this level of unity. That means when a brother or sister in the Lord rebukes, corrects, or confronts you in any area of your life, you must be able to meekly reflect on what they have said in order that you may grow in holiness, rather than putting up the walls of defense. When you regularly do this, it will be easier for others to receive correction from you.
Heavenly Father, help me live to the standard of Christianity that you have revealed in scriptures. When I am confronted by a brother or sister in the Lord, help me humble myself so that I can receive correction rather than harden my heart in pride. As I open myself up to the loving rebuke of my brothers and sisters, I pray that you give me the courage to hold them to that same standard. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!