What If My Enemy Is A Believer?

Q. I read your commentary on Psalm 21 with much encouragement. But I have a question. You wrote, “Our enemies will be vanquished and required to admit in our presence that we were right and they were wrong. They’ll suffer the consequences of their behavior, while we enjoy the rewards of ours.”

I’m wondering if this will be true if one’s “enemy” is a professed believer? Specifically, I have had a run-in with two people who claim the name of Christ with outspoken piety, yet every time their lips are moving, they are gossiping, slandering, and lying about other believers. My thought is to put them “out of the church” as publicans and heathens, in hopes that they will repent, but others see it differently, and tell me to forgive and reconcile. Any advice?

A. Assuming these people are saved, they are already forgiven from God’s point of view and are not the enemies David was referring to in Psalm 21. As for your personal reaction to their behavior, it’s not necessary for you to have any contact with them. Paul wrote:

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.(1 Cor. 5:11).

You should however pray that the Lord will forgive them (1 John 5:16) and above all remember not to repay evil with evil. If it’s possible, as far was it depends on us, we are to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-18).

What others do is between them and God.

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