Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Inescapable Prompting

Not one Christian can escape the perpetual prompting of the Holy Spirit to give all glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said so in John 16:13-14, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you."

This blog and my current non-fiction writings are highly focused on holiness, that personal holiness bestowed upon us through the redemption of God by the blood of Jesus Christ. That sacrifice alone paid the price for sin and redeemed us to God. That blood alone cleanses us from every sin and provides atonement. The Son of God alone gives us the Word of Truth by which we live. For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things to the glory of God, Amen! (Romans 11:36) Praise the LORD!

But the Holy Spirit has been prompting me lately to write to you that it's not all about personal holiness. It is eternally insufficient for us to say to ourselves, "Yes I know that, but I shall continue along this strain. God understands. He knows I love Him and put Him first." This is fleshly drivel and leads to pride. Listen to the words of Oswald Chambers in his writings from "My Utmost for His Highest". It is no coincidence that this is from today's devotional reading, the same day I write to you also:


"Separated unto the Gospel." Romans 1:1

Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God. The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor heaven, nor hell; but Redemption; and the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker to-day. As workers we have to get used to the revelation that Redemption is the only Reality. Personal holiness is an effect, not a cause, and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes.

Paul did not say he separated himself, but - "when it pleased God who separated me. . ." Paul had not a hypersensitive interest in his own character. As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness we shall never get near the reality of Redemption. Workers break down because their desire is for their own whiteness, and not for God. "Don't ask me to come into contact with the rugged reality of Redemption on behalf of the filth of human life as it is; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes." To talk in that way is a sign that the reality of the Gospel of God has not begun to touch me; there is no reckless abandon to God. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul is unconscious of himself, he is recklessly abandoned, separated by God for one purpose - to proclaim the Gospel of God (cf. Rom. 9:3.)"

What really sealed it for me though was a posting yesterday on the website I go there often to browse the forums and provide commentary. This particular posting however required a reproof for its false teaching. Here's a tidbit:

The article is titled, "Holiness is a Community Project" by Pastor Michael McKinley of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. He wrote, "The fact is, you can’t be the kind of Christian you’re meant to be without other people. You can’t be the kind of Christian you’re meant to be without real relationships in a local church.

Much of our growth in holiness comes in the context of relationships. So in Galatians chapter five believers are told to reject a whole host of “works of the flesh,” including enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and envy. These are all sins that emerge when we are engaged in a community."

This was my reply in full:

"Sadly this entire article misses the cause and effect of holiness. Had the author said something like, "you can't be the kind of Christian you're meant to be without Jesus Christ, period," then he would be on the mark. Holiness is not a result of Christian fellowship, nor is such fellowship required to test one's holiness. It is all from, through, and to Jesus (Romans 11:36) and it is only present with a complete filling of Him and complete absence of sin in one's life. I Corinthians 15:34 is the command.

The topic of fellowship is totally separate from holiness. Indeed fellowship is critical to one's Christian life for other reasons and it is commanded as the author points out. But the model, source, and need for holiness is never found in flesh, but only in Jesus."

You see my dear little children that holiness is all about Jesus. My calling is to highlight this truth in the light of Ephesians 5:25-27 where God says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

While we are quick to put the spotlight on ourselves as the Bride, the fact of pre-eminent importance (and all the glory) is upon Jesus, the Bridegroom. A careful reading of the verse shows the "of, through, to Him" principle in effect. "Of Him" is seen here: "as Christ also loved the church." "Through Him" is seen here: "and gave Himself for it." Finally, "to Him" is seen here: "that He might present it to himself...."

So indeed our calling, my calling, is to give glory to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I never thought I would see this day. I can see (at least in my left eye) without glasses. They've been a part of my face since fourth grade. I always thought I would have to wait until heaven to get new eyes. I really looked forward to it. The eyes are not such a big deal. But the whole thing of being raised incorruptible just really brings tears to my eyes. Tears of hopeful, faithful, loving joy. One day Jesus will raise me from the dead (if He doesn't come first) and give me a new body, whole, complete, sinless, incorruptible. Here's how I know:

"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 15:51-57)

This is part of the Gospel that starts chapter 15. It is the Good News. Well my news is much less than that. But I have one new eye (still corruptible but without need of glasses) because I had cataracts surgery this morning. Obviously it went quite well as I can see to write this blog tonight. It feels very strange to see without glasses in that eye. I can almost imagine that great first day of the resurrection.

Do you know what I will want to see first? You betcha! Jesus my LORD.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Tare in the Fabric

No that's not a misspelling. I want to talk about tares as in "wheat and tares". Who are the tares and how can they be differentiated from the wheat? These terms come from Matthew 13:24-31.

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

To understand the nature of the tares, we will look at their source, their presence and growth, and their fruit.

First, some definitions. Take a look at for a great treatise on this subject.

"Darnel is a weed grass (probably bearded darnel or Lolium temulentum) that looks very much like wheat until it is mature, when the seeds reveal a great difference. Darnel seeds aren't good for much except as chicken feed or to burn to prevent the spread of this weed" (World English Dictionary).

Easton's Bible Dictionary describes "tares" as follows:

"the bearded darnel, mentioned only in Matt. 13:25-30. It is the Lolium temulentum, a species of rye-grass, the seeds of which are a strong soporific poison. It bears the closest resemblance to wheat till the ear appears, and only then the difference is discovered. It grows plentifully in Syria and Palestine."

The source of tares in the kingdom is Satan (the enemy) as written in verse 25. Why does Satan do this? He is trying to destroy the kingdom from within by using deception and counterfeit. Whatever he sows, be sure that the harvest includes a liar (see John 8:44 - "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.")

The presence and growth of tares in the kingdom is well documented in the Bible. What I wish to focus on however is the personal aspect of it.

Are there tares in your church?

Could it be that you are a tare?

Are there tares in existence today or do they come around in some later age or were they perhaps part of some historical age now passed?

First let's be clear about one thing: the tares are NOT simply the unbelievers of the world. They are present in the kingdom. That means in this age that they are in the church. Formerly in Jesus' time, they were in the synagogue. Many of them were known as Pharisees. They were the religious leaders. Is your pastor a tare? What about the person next to you in the pew?

These verses talk about the tares of the kingdom in these last days:

2 Peter 3:3
2 Timothy 3:1-7
Matthew 7:15
Matthew 24:11, 24
Mark 13:22
2 Peter 2:1-3

But you may say that none of this happens until the age spoken of in Revelation, when the False Prophet himself shall come. No, all these are predecessors, readying the church and the world for his broad and welcoming acceptance. Do you welcome tares into your church?

What is the fruit of the tares and how do we tell them apart from the wheat? As described in the natural world, the wheat and tares are impossible to distinguish until they bear fruit. By then one must wait for the harvest to separate them lest damage come to the wheat. Jesus told this parable in a natural way because His audience was very familiar with wheat and tares. Wheat was the staple of much of their diet. Wheat is nutricious. Tares are poisonous. They carry a certain bacteria that cause symptoms similar to drunkenness. To livestock, tares can be deadly.

That is Satan's purpose. He wants to poison the church even kill it outright if he could. The best he can do is dilute it and make it ineffective. He does this in two ways. First, he works very hard to reproduce more tares so that the tares outnumber the wheat.

How would you know you were a church of unbelievers if everybody in the church was a tare? Certainly no one would rationally reach that conclusion because everyone would want to believe that they were right, believe the right things, do the right things, and tell others the "truth". What would you do if you were the only wheat in a crowd of tares?

The other way Satan makes the church ineffective is by forcing them to wait until the harvest. Weeds have the strong propensity to reproduce quickly thereby starving vital nutrients from reaching the wheat. If this happens, the tares bear fruit and the wheat does not. In the case of the kingdom, tares bear the fruit of more tares while the wheat dwindles and produces very little if any more wheat.

The other delay is in the waiting for the fruitbearing. The tares are deceptively slow in their works. No one would spring all the lies, sins, lusts, scoffings, false teachings, and other evils all at once. Nobody would follow such a fellow. But feed a slow steady diet, make it look normal, convince the crowds that everybody else does it, show them signs and wonders, and soon you will have the masses begging for more. That's how Satan does it. That's what our flesh lusts for. What are your strongest desires for? Jesus? or the things of this world?

The fruit of wheat is more wheat. Wheat exhibits the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

The fruit of tares is more tares. Tares do not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit nor do they produce wheat. Yes you will find disciples of tares, but they will not be disciples of Jesus. Just look at their fruit. Jesus says that His disciples will have nothing of this world about them for they have forsaken all (Luke 14:33). On the other hand, the tares will have nothing but the world about them for out of their lusts they will accumulate these things. Demas is a good example.

But the easiest fruit to identify is the lie common to all tares. John gives evidence abundantly in his first epistle: 1 John 1:10, 2:4, 2:22, 4;20, and 5:10. the verses I gave earlier also provide may evidences of tare fruit: scoffers, lustful, ignorant, lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, and having a form of godliness.

What are we to do with these people? God commands us to "turn away" from them in 2 Timothy 3:5. We are to have nothing to do with them. No fellowship, no worship, no church.

But doesn't that contradict what Jesus said in the parable? Aren't we just supposed to wait until the harvest? Absolutely! But when is the harvest? When the fruit comes in! Don't confuse this with the rapture or with the separation of the sheep and the goats. This harvest is now. Jesus says in Matthew 9:38, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest." He says that the fields are white for the harvest NOW (John 4:35).

Finally my fellow remnant, the Bride of Christ, you shall know the fruit of the tares by their apparel. They are not dressed as we are, ready for our Bridegroom. We are dressed in fine white linen, washed in the blood of the Lamb. What are we to do with the tares in our midst who are not washed and dressed?

Jesus tells us plainly in Matthew 22:11-14, "And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."

Are you among the few or the many? Are you the wheat or the tares? The truth will set free the remnant and bind the wicked.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Call

By the time I was finished college I studied German for eleven years. It all started in the sixth grade. I was motivated by family history. During those college years, three significant things happened. First, God saved me. Second, I felt called to be a missionary to Germany. Third, I went to Germany for a six-week study tour. Another thing happened during college that was much more subtle. I became a writer.

Fast forward twenty years and I am still in the USA. God woke me up to a very specific purpose and calling. I just wasn't sure what it was. It began as a recollection of that desire long ago to be a missionary to Germany. Nobody but me bought into it though. Not my family, pastors, or friends. Was I somehow not hearing the call correctly?

It turns out God used that memory to stir up a few realities. First of all, my call was never to be a first-person missionary to Germany. He made that plain to me during that six-week visit. Nevertheless, my love for all things and people German did not diminish. I was missing a connection somewhere.

I have been writing very consistently for about three years now. God is using it in ways I do not know always know. But its purpose is clear as stated in the header of this blog. The writing and the working of God through it comes only when I am obedient to that calling and commandment to be pure, holy, and blameless before Him. It is then that He tells me what to write.

Yesterday as I drove to work, I prayed and worshipped. Then I asked God what He wanted me to do that day. You saw the answer at the top of the blog. Translate it into German. Suddenly twenty-five years of history became crystal clear. The call was complete. I am a writer by calling, chosen to write to the remnant. Part of that remnant are the Germans. I have friends in Germany and Italy who are missionaries to those people I love. With this blog, Facebook, and other connections, I can now minister directly to the Germans by translating my blog into their language.

Today will be the first attempt. Enjoy the blessings from heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Here's a curiousity: Part of awakening to righteousness involves death. What does this mean and how does it work?

As I was driving into work this morning I asked God to tell me what He wanted me to write about today in this blog. You see the answer unfolding before you. But first let me tell you what led to it.

I woke up and knew there was sin in my life. The Holy Spirit was faithful to tell me so. The only way to deal with sin is to obey Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." and Romans 6:11, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." The magnitude of confessing, forsaking, and reckoning is beyond calculation. Even the smallest sin cost the life of the Son of God, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)

To awake to righteousness (I Corinthians 15:34) and sin not, you must be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God. Unless this transaction is willfully done on your part, God will not do His part. First of all, He will not hear your prayer.

"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Second, He will not set you free. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:31-36)

As long as you live and serve in sin, you are in bondage to it. The only thing that unstops Gods ear is your obedience to His Spirit's prompting you to confess, forsake, and reckon yourself dead to sin. Immediately you are free and alive in Jesus.

This has nothing to do with salvation. This has everything to do with righteous daily living. Perhaps you have never heard this truth before or perhaps you do not believe it. Perhaps you do not know the difference between the positional righteousness and life given to you through Jesus upon salvation (you can't lose it) and the experiential righteousness and life that you are responsible to maintain on a continuing basis (you can lose it).

That is the power of sin. Immediately it is in your life, it separates you and God. Not in terms of leaving and forsaking (Deuteronomy 31:6) but in terms of discipline God turns from you. He simply will not have any sin in His presence for He is holy and calls us to be holy too.

That is the privelage of holiness. Immediately it is in your life, it brings you boldly into the presence of God. The Scripture means be being holy. It is an ongoing thing, an experiential thing. A thing that is our personal responsibility to maintain by the power given to us through Jesus first at the cross and His Holy Spirit second at salvation.

Now I leave you with this final thought that God gave to me in answer to my prayer this morning. God tell me what to write.

Psalm 116:15 - "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Never before had I thought of that verse in any other context but physical death. But today God showed it to me in the light of death to sin. That is precious to God because it immediately puts me into His presence to worship. That is something He desires more than anything else, worship. And that was the rest of my ride into work this morning. Worship.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Is there anybody out there?

My heart's cry to God is the prayer He put into my heart. The prayer that starts in heaven is the one that finds its way back there, with God's will done on earth as it is (already) in heaven. That's a great and powerful lesson to learn about prayer as you read God's teachings in Romans 11:36-12:2 and Matthew 6:9-10.

As I was praying this morning, not much time went by before God called me to worship. Such times with God are inexpressible for they belong to Him alone. As part of that time I thanked Him for the certainty of my calling and election. This is something we are responsible for according to II Peter 1:10. God gives the assurance.

My calling, as you see at the top of my blog, is to be used of God in waking up His remnant, to encourage them to be ready for our coming King. That means obedience to Ephesians 5:25-27. We are to be a pure, spotless, and holy Bride. My prayer is, "God, show me the remnant. Bring them to me or bring me to them." This blog is one way to reach you.

Is there anybody out there?

A few. Very few. So few in fact that the more I read and perceive the reality of Matthew 7:14, the more I am led to the conclusion that "few" is magnitudes smaller than most folks believe, particularly in this popular age of church growth (mega-churches, etc.).

Nevertheless, God is faithful to show me the few, usually no more than one at a time. They may be in person, on-line, in a article I read, through a radio/pod cast. I believe that God is waking up too. He is hearing His people cry out to Him again like in Isaiah 51:9, "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?" When God finally does extend His arm, it will come forth first in judgment of His Church. Those few who did not wake up, but preferred the sleep of sin (I Corinthians 11:30) will suddenly be broken (Proverbs 6:15).

I pray that is not the case. But as I read today in I Samuel 15, that is the way of God. You will not lose your salvation but your rewards in heaven will be few and your shame at the throne will be heavy (I Corinthians 3:11-15).

So if you are out there, then do this quickly. Repent. Then make your calling and election sure and go do it. Then share with me and the readers here your rejoicing and good news.

And until you do so, stop going to church. Start being the Church.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Momentary Diversion Worth Your Time

I deviate for a moment from Awakenings to take you back to a former time and place. My first book, Biblical Quality is a book about doing business in accordance with the Word of God. I posted a link to a website of a kindred spirit, Righteous Free Enterprise. No matter what your business is, God's Word is inseparable from your life. His promises bring great reward. Not all reward is monetary for the Christian but it is all profitable. Not all provision is material for the Christian but is is all valuable beyond compare. Enjoy reaping as you sow in righteousness. Thanks Jeff for sending the link.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Family of God

This is the last post regarding my concerns about the website Overall, I like the concept and find it to be in accordance with Scripture. But there are three issues with the content that I wanted to address for sake of discussion. This is the third. Since we agree that house churches are the New Testament, apostolically and God-ordained locations for the gathering of the saints for worship, then we must ask the logical question, "What should we do with the members of the household who are unbelievers?"

The same question should be asked of churches today, regardless of where they meet. Is church a place for unbelievers? The answer is primarily "No." But there is also a "Yes" element that I will discuss first.

The primary purpose of the Church Body is to worship God. Most would agree that is the reason for gathering weekly. Yet so many of those gatherings tend to be evangelical in nature rather than pure worship. Evangelism is for the sinner/unsaved. Week after week they are invited to church. Yet there is a curious mixture of evangelism and worship. This cannot be. Sinners cannot worship. They neither know God nor are known of Him. There is no spiritual connection whatsoever between a sinner and God. No prayers are effectual. No singing reaches His ears. He does not receive the worship of a sinner.

The correct "church service" for a sinner is purely an evangelical one. Just remember that sinners don't get saved by watching the saints. No yearning is produced in them by participating in worship. There is no "I wish I had what he/she had" produced. We know that salvation is purely an act of God. He grants them the faith to believe by the hearing of His Word. In this case, that Word is the Gospel. I Corinthians 15:1-6 is a good selection for this. We know that no one is saved apart from the blood atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the faith-saving grace of God as spoken in Ephesians 2:8-9.

Just as no sinner can worship, neither can a Christian who regards sin in his/her life. God commands His saints to be pure, holy, and blameless according to Ephesians 5:25-27. He gave us the power to be sinless through His Holy Spirit. While it is our responsibility to do so, and it is hard work, it is nevertheless true. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." This is not some future heavenly promise. This is a NOW, heavenly promise fulfilled each time we worship God in the beauty of holiness.

Paul expounds on the sinning saint question in I Corinthians 11:28-32, "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." Therefore, before a saint can worship, he/she must be right with the Lord. This is accomplished by the gift of repentance that the Holy Spirit joyfully gives to His saints.

Now concerning unbelievers in the church or house-church, whether they be family or otherwise, God's Word does not discern. All unbelievers are sinners and therefore subject to the same condemnation as the world according to John 3:18. Therefore they can have no part in worship. In fact, if they are present with a gathering of worshipping saints, evil is necessarily brought into the midst. Discerning saints should be aware of this and respond in obedience to the Scriptures such as I Timothy 6:5 ("from such withdraw thyself.")

This may be a difficult doctrine to swallow. After all, they're family and they live under my roof. How can I do this to them? Jesus leaves no room for them as he states in Luke 14:26, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." God demands that His worship be pure and shared with no one.

So what do we do with the unsaved in our households? We do all we can outside of them participating in worship to ensure that they hear the Word of God. The rest is up to God. And when the saints gather together in homes, the unbelievers should politely be asked to remain in other room or place. Again, as Paul stated, should a sinning saint or wicked sinner partake unworthily in worship, they do so to damnation, becoming weak, sickly, and dying.

This is the same experience as in the Old Testament. God does not change. Only once a year could the High Priest enter into the Holy of Holies to worship the LORD. He could not enter without first purifying himself with water (washing of the water of the Word), putting on the priestly garments (washed white in the blood of the Lamb), making atonement first for himself (there is no redemption of sin without the shedding of blood), then for the people (He offered one sacrifice for all sins forever). If he did not do this in the prescribed manner, he was immediately struck dead and dragged out by a rope tied around his ankle.

Sadly, many are weak and sickly and dead in our churches today because the Church is asleep and not obeying the commands of true worship. Stop bringing sinners into church if the service is for worship. Christian, stop going to church if there is sin in your life until you get right with God and start being the Church. Whether you meet in a home or a building, whether your group is large or small, keep the sinners and saints separate, lest judgment come upon us more severely than it already is. Let this judgment instead start at the house of God as we are warned in I Peter 4:17.

This is the end of thoughts on this topic. Enjoy God's blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3)