When Peace Means Distance

Sunday, February 15, 2015

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 KJV).

What wonderful advice to save ourselves headache and heartache!

Recently, some Christians who were dealing with an unbearable Christian family member, asked me for advice. Today’s Scripture summarizes what they should do. They are to live “peaceably” with the gossiper and liar—sadly, in their case, peace is only possible long-distance! Beloved, we are not doormats. The Holy Spirit’s guidance in dealing with Christians who are fornicators, covetous, idolaters, railers (uttering constant bitter complaints against people or things), drunkards, and extortioners, is “with such an one no not to eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11). Have no social relations with that Christian until he or she improves. But, what if they never reform? Then never have social relations with them.

Through the years of ministry, I have met some very obnoxious people, lost souls and Christians (!). Even today, honestly, it is best to avoid them as much as possible. They are troublemakers who delight in disgracing and destroying sound Bible ministries. They had no desire to hear what the Bible says, and no desire to uphold what the Bible says. While I love them as the Lord Jesus Christ would, and I forgive them in Christ if they have done me wrong, that does not mean that I have to seek them out and be around them and hear or read their nonsense. If they are hungry, or thirsty, and they come to me for help, that is something else entirely (Romans 12:20), but I have no reason whatsoever to go after them and attempt to reform them. They were already given verses that they rejected, and I will not force myself on anyone.

Beloved, the mature Christian should most definitely attempt to correct or reform a wayward brother or sister in Christ in meekness and love (Galatians 6:1), but eventually we must “reject” the “heretick.” After the first and second admonition (warning), we need to leave the person alone and move on to something more worthwhile (Titus 3:10,11). Sometimes peace means distance—it is a shame but long distance may also be necessary!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who will have children in the Millennium?

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Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux)

Grace and peace! What a privilege to be an ambassador for the risen Christ here on WordPress! I am a Pauline dispensationalist Christian saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus plus nothing! My goal is to "have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3,4). I seek to preach Jesus Christ crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification as the only way to salvation. Also, I seek to edify and perfect the saints using dispensational Bible study and the Authorized Version King James Bible!

3 thoughts on “When Peace Means Distance”

  1. Very good message but what do you do if you’re married to that person and you are in the situation and atmosphere EVERY DAY?

    1. Hello Christine. I would need a lot more specific information than that to best assess that situation, but you didn’t care to share it so I won’t ask. It’s best to leave that private. If you want to discuss anything in private, you would have to send me an email (arcministries@gmail.com). Here in a public forum I’ll just keep it general with advice.

      We all have flaws, we all can be annoying to others, but you seem to be referring to some type of great and persistent strain.

      TWO BELIEVERS IN MARRIAGE

      If you’re talking about two believers in a marriage relationship, then they both certainly need to look at, believe, and apply to life 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, Ephesians 5:15-33, Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 4:31-32, etc. These are the keys to healthy Christian marriages. A Christian spouse who lies, gossips, is unbearable, etc needs to be confronted in love and shown the above verses (Galatians 6:1).

      ONE BELIEVER AND ONE UNBELIEVER IN MARRIAGE

      In the case of one believer and one unbeliever in a marriage relationship, the believing spouse should try to follow these verses by faith (Ephesians 5:15-33, Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 4:31-32, etc.). Any believing spouse should make every effort to get along with the unbelieving spouse. That is made clear in 1 Corinthians chapter 7, verses 11-17.

      The believing spouse should try to share the Gospel of God’s Grace with the unbelieving spouse first, rather than trying to make the unbelieving spouse act like a Christian. Verses about marriage are only useful to a Christian–lost people have no capacity to live victoriously in Christ. Again, it is important not to make a lost person act like a Christian. The lost spouse needs to become a Christian by believing the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Then, Christian living can begin with the study and belief of sound Bible doctrine.

      FORBEARANCE VERSUS ABUSE

      Yes, we should forgive, and yes we should be patient with others, especially our spouses, but that does not mean that we have to endure any type of emotional or physical abuse. If you’re referring to abuse, sometimes it is necessary for a temporary separation for couples to work out their problems. In the case of divorce, the unbelieving spouse would have to have the desire to leave (1 Corinthians 7:12-13). A believing spouse should not seek divorce unless there are life-threatening factors. Hopefully the situation you’re describing has not reached such an extreme point.

      That’s about all that I can say based on the information you told me. Again, if you want to discuss anything in private, you would have to send me an email (arcministries@gmail.com). I hope this helps!

      (Sorry it took so long to reply. I’m drowning in emails right now!)

      in Christ, Shawn

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