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A Heart For God: Discerning the Talker

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Discerning the Talker

Journey to the Celestial City #49. In our continuing look at John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," today we find the man, Christian, giving "further discovery" of the man, Talkative's nature to his companion, Faithful. Talkative's name fits him well. For he just talks and talks - and talks some more. He talks of prayer, but prays not. He talks of repentance, but repents not. He talks of faith, but believes not. He talks of the new birth, but is saved not. All that Talkative is is in the saying of it, but there's no doing. But how can Christian go about judging such a one? I mean, isn't this just intolerance on his part and uncaring? And didn't Jesus say, "Judge not lest you be judged"? The fact is we are to judge, but with right judgments. Jesus wasn't saying not to judge. He was saying not to judge in a wrong and sinful fashion. When it comes to the person who is posing as a believer, Scripture is clear about how to discern such a one and deal with him / her. "'And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.'" (Matthew 18:15-17) "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves." (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) More to come in the next blog post. Check back soon. (To read this entire blog post series, scroll down to "Pilgrim's Progress Series" in the left sidebar.) pp 70-77

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