Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? (KJV)
The other day I was challenge by a fellow blogger who stated that I dwell solely on one subject. My sin is that I point out the possibility from scripture of man losing what he has gained through grace in Christ Jesus. He said to me why don’t you dwell instead, on being the righteousness of Him and resting in Him?
Actually I started this blog to deal with misrepresentations of scripture in the prophetic realm, but there are so many misunderstandings, which I continue to be alerted to that are being sent my way by the Lord that I have had to branch out in order for the little ones in Christ to understand the dangers that lay before them. We are living in a dangerous time when believers are being misled.
The verse that I started this post with is continually misstated to be about salvation, yet it goes deep and beyond the saving of a soul to the keeping of a soul once saved, and it calls for us to not easily give up on one who is saved but who has strayed.
In the above verse the Owner has 100 sheep, one of them has strayed away and He leaves the 99 to go and find the one that has strayed. The mission is to return the one to the fold, who has strayed and is now lost its way. It’s about bringing this one back to the fold.
This entire section of scripture is about reclaiming the fallen.
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (KJV)
The Lord In fact tells us not to give up on this brother, If this doesn’t work we are to go back with two or three and if we still have not accomplished the mission of restoration we are to go before the entire assembly.
But Jesus’ message to us began with a warning. What is that warning? He had been asked a question. “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? His answer was that those who came to Him as little children in faith were the greatest, and then He said:
Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (KJV)
Today there are those from within the church who are offending these little ones who believe in Him and they will pay dearly for that offense. Twisting the scripture and causing even one of the believers in Christ to stray is an offense that will not go unpunished.
Jesus will not give up on the little one, who once offended has gone astray, nor has He given up on the one who offends them, even though they are in grave danger. We are to go after each in an attempt to return them to truth in Christ.
James the brother of Jesus put it this way:
James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (KJV)
James is talking to brethren here who stray from truth. That one needs to be brought back to truth, to Christ. But Jesus says:
Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. (KJV)
This is harsh. Too harsh for many. God has given us His word to guide us, because we need guidance. We are followers of Christ. Jesus gave us ears to hear and eyes to see at salvation. James says that in addition to hearing we are to also be doers of the word. Many are offending the little ones today by telling them that there is no doing, but only resting.
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (KJV)
For the little one and for the teacher of the little one, the Holy Spirit is our guide. He is our teacher, are we following His instructions? They are from His word.