‘Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’ 1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV
The apostle Paul writes, ‘I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.’ (Galatians 1:13 NKJV) Paul had a criminal record. He had the blood of innocent men and women on his hands. Yet God used him to write half the New Testament, establish the church, and carry the name of Jesus into the courts of Caesar.
But would you have trusted him to be the leader of your denomination, or envisioned him teaching great truths and introducing you to revelations he received from Heaven? The Bible says, ‘God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.’ (Romans 11:29 NIV) God never cancels our calling and He never withdraws the spiritual gifts He gives us. And if He does not, we must not.
How should we handle a brother or sister in Christ who goes astray? With gentleness! ‘If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.’(Galatians 6:1–2 NKJV)
Is restoring people sometimes messy? Yes. Is it easy? No. Paul says it’s a ‘burden’, especially when they’ve brought embarrassment to God’s redeemed family. But that’s the point—they are still our spiritual family! And the world is watching to see how we treat them. If we throw away those who stumble, why would the world believe we wouldn’t do the same to them? Think about it. If you can’t find grace in the family of God, where are you going to find it?