“No one patches up an old coat with a piece of new cloth, for the new patch will shrink and make an even bigger hole in the coat.  Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, for the skins will burst, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined.  Instead, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins, and both will keep in good condition.” (Matthews 9:16-17) (GNB).

I am going to start this article by asking some very intrusive questions.  As a Christian, do you believe that you must maintain a personal relationship with an immoral Christian? Are you tolerating a Christian with immoral behavior, because you believe, if you do not, you will look bad? When do you believe it is time to distance yourself from one who professes to be a Christian, but behaves like a child of the devil?  Many of us are struggling with relationships that we would rather not engage in.  But the backslider goes to church every Sunday and sings in the choir, or they are on some board in the church. On some Sundays, they even say “Amen and thank you Jesus.” They have a form of godliness on Sunday, MAYBE! Consequently, when the church service is over, they are slandering everyone.  If not slandering someone’s name, they are drunk and doing all sorts of immoral acts. Many of us witness this kind of chronic demonic behavior; and rather than addressing this person’s behavior, we apply “Patches of Love” to their muddy spirit, which will only worsen their sinful acts.

I promise I will try to be as diplomatic as possible in exposing the heathens, who professes to be followers of Christ.  However, this is not a pretty story to bring to light.  Many Christians are not comfortable calling out and telling backsliders to repent.  The excuse many use is “I am not their judge!” But I beg to differ.  The Christian has a duty to use the Word of God to judge unholy behavior within the body of Christ: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous.” (II Timothy 3:16). (KJV). Christians do judge those who are in the body of Christ! It is true that the judgment we judge others by, we will be judged! “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?  Do not ye judge them that are within? (I Cor. 5:12). Rather than confront the backslider and rebuke them in the name Jesus.  We just continue to tolerate them and dismiss their sinful behavior.  How often do we listen to them slander another person and we do not correct them about their gossiping? Many of us have been victims of the slanderer’s “Serpent’s Tongue.” When we confront the slanderer, they lie to us and deny they said anything, and still we continue to walk with them in their suffocating pageantry of sin. When do we get off from this “Merry Go Round” of betrayal and lies? We just keep using Patches of Love on a carnal spirit, that old creature that has never been transformed.

There comes a time when a Christian must sever ties with those who behave in ways that are not pleasing to God.  When we have done all that we can do, to lead those who profess Christ as their savior to repentance; and they shake their fist at us. We must then leave these persons to God.  “What I meant was that you should not associate with a person who calls himself a believer but is immoral or greedy or worships idols or is a slander or a drunkard or a thief. Don’t even sit down to eat with such a person.” (I Cor. 5:11). (GNB).  We cannot continue to patch up sin or continue pouring ourselves into relationships that are doomed, due to spiritual disobedience.  The more we use Patches of Love or holiness on these unequally yoked relationships, the worst the tear or the ripping is going to be in the splitting relationship. The relationship will surely burst and spill over. Simply because the old nature is still dominate in the backslider’s heart; and the spirit of righteousness will cause a great tear and an outburst of hate!

Can two walk together, except they agreed? (Amos 3:3). Pouring God’s love into a foolish, rebellious and self-righteous heart, is a recipe for a demonic revolt against the righteous. Love knows love, and true godly love when corrected, will respond in kindness, not in rage! “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instructions to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:8-9). It is time that those who are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, to remove themselves from those who are leading them down the road of destruction or shall I simply put it,  “Hell!” “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Choose ye this day saints who you are going to serve. I have decided to follow Jesus and I will not turn around for anyone!

There is no more time for sitting on fence and pretending we are comfortable with our rebellious and wicked family members, friends and neighbors. I talked myself into believing I had to tolerate certain relationships, but I was wrong: “Do you suppose that I came to bring peace to the world?  No, not peace, but division, From now on a family of five will be divided, three against two and two against three.  Fathers will be against their sons, and sons against their fathers; mothers will be against their daughters, and daughters against their mothers; mothers-in-law will be against their daughters-in-law, and daughters-in-against their mothers-in-law.”  (Luke 12:51:53).  What we Christians must understand is this: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  (Matthew 10:37). Who is my mother, my brother and sister? “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50). We must not continue to dismiss chronic sinful behavior with Patches of Love. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6).

Tolerating unrighteousness makes us just as guilty as the backslider.  Thus, we continue to indulge in our inflammatory relationships because we are afraid we might need them, or we are afraid they won’t love us. Well saints, since the backslider is behaving unseemly, there is no love nor respect.  I trust the Lord Jesus with my whole heart! I am radically in love with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  They are always here for me! When everyone abandoned me, they were by my side to feed me, clothe me, protect me and counsel me! In the name of Jesus, shake the dust off your feet, grab your Patches of Love and pour the love of God into a fresh heart, so that you both will be in good condition. Work while it is day to bring lost souls to Jesus Christ to receive eternal life!

For the record, this is written to encourage Christians who are struggling in unholy and blasphemous relationships with backsliders to step out in faith. God bless you and Amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor