Leviticus 22:17-23:21; Mark 9:38-50; Psalms 44:4-8; Proverbs 14:9-10
NT: “John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.” “Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in my name who can soon afterward speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ — truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to fall away — it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell, the unquenchable fire… And if your foot causes you to fall away, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell… And if your eye causes you to fall away, gouge it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt should lose its flavor, how can you season it? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”” (Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-50 CSB)
This is a really important message for believers. John was concerned that there was someone other than the 12 of them casting out demons in Jesus name, and they tried to stop him. Surprisingly, Jesus said, “Don’t stop him.” If the man was performing miracles in Jesus’ name, then the man was not against them. He obviously had faith in Jesus name and was using that faith to advance the kingdom. In Matthew 12:30, Jesus said that if anyone is not with Him, then he is against Him. Here in Mark, Jesus says the inverse, which is also true: Whoever is not against us, is then ultimately for us. We should not concern ourselves with bickering over disagreements among those who are under the name of Jesus. What we should be concerned with is not running someone off and causing them to lose their faith because we disagree with them… because they aren’t “one of us.” Or causing someone to fall away from the faith because of our own short comings. Before we get concerned with someone else’s faults, we need to deal with our own sin. Sin is spiritual cancer. When someone has cancer, they remove it before it causes their death. We need to have the same attitude toward sin. Hell is a real place. For anyone who would say that Jesus didn’t talk about hell, needs to look no further than this passage. The wages of sin is death. We need to get serious about any personal undealtwith sin instead of bickering amongst believers about nit picky disagreements. Everyone will face the fire of God’s holiness. We can either face it now and allow ourselves to be made pure through His refining fire, or we can face the fire of eternal judgement because we did not allow Him to refine us. The way we stay effective… the way we stay salty is by dealing with sin and living a peace and in unity with one another.
Proverbs: “Fools mock at making reparation, but there is goodwill among the upright.” (Proverbs 14:9 CSB)
Fools mock the idea of dealing with sin and those who take sin seriously and do what is necessary to rid their lives of sin. They may even mock the idea that sin even exists at all… that sin is just a man made concept, completely relative, and is based on nothing real or tangible. However, among the upright and righteousness – those who take sin seriously and rid themselves of it – there is favor, goodwill, acceptance, and delight.