The true church cannot tolerate sin and it opposes hypocrisy, honor from men, jealousy, gossip, love of money, sexual immorality, self-righteousness, and so on. The true churchs emphasis is about the cross, the narrow gate and road, the resurrection life, the life of Christ, purity of the heart, discipleship, true body of Christ, holiness, the life in the holy spirit, submission to authority, new covenant life and so on.
Why do some people, when they hear this truth, get offended and leave the church? It is because they do not love the truth. In John 6, we see that when Jesus spoke, most of the multitude left. Similarly, in verse 60 it says that, this is a difficult statement; who can listen to it? In verse 66 it states: As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. They may join a church that compromise with their worldly passions and desires where the gate is wide and the way is broad. In such a church there is no self-denial or submission to authority.
Some people stay longer in the true churches and pretend to be a whole hearted Christian but God will expose them one day. Judas Iscariot was known as one of Jesus disciples and was always with Jesus. I believe that, he didnt miss a sermon by Christ, but his heart was with money, not with Christ. He was clever enough to fool the other disciples, but Jesus knew what was in his heart. Why Judas did this? Because he didnt love the truth. This is what happens to many people who dont love the truth, after sitting in the true churches for many years and hearing sermon after sermon, their lives never change. Their hearts are focused on worldly achievements and desires rather than on Godly desires and Christ likeness.
As we see in both groups, God give them both many chances to come back to this great truth. He is doing this because of His unconditional love. Judas love of the world blinded his heart from the truth. When Jesus first selected Judas as His disciple, he was a whole-hearted man, but soon he became a traitor (Luke 6:16). This was a result of taking pleasure in wickedness and not loving the truth. The result of not loving the truth is, as 2 Thessalonians 2:11 says, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. Through the Holy Spirit, God warns us often, but we often ignore or overlook these warnings. Gradually the sensitivity to the Spirit becomes less and less. This is what we see in Judas. In Luke 22:3 says, Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. Then he betrayed Jesus. After Judas betrayed Jesus, it says in Matthew 27:3 when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse. This is just like a thief caught by the police. It is nothing more than the wounded pride of getting caught in a sin. This kind of sorrow leads only to guilt, shame, despair, depression, self-pity and hopelessness. Judas repentance was not genuine. In 2 Corinthians 7:10 says The sorrow of the world produces death.
On the other hand Peter denied Jesus three times, and he also terribly failed. But his repentance was genuine, he mourned over his sin against God. In 2 Corinthians 7:10 says For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produce repentance without regret, leading to salvation. I pray that God will give us the grace to stand firm in the truth, that we hear from God and be Lovers of Truth.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon