9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
I am hearing a lot of foolish questions lately. Foolish to the point of what does that have to do with how we should live our lives today. Isn’t today the important thing? We are never promised tomorrow. Are we? So why is there wo much emphasis these days about what is going to happen in the future? Why is it so important to study The Revelation of John? Why must we know every detail, every little thing that will happen in heaven? Why do I need to know about the crowns, and the vials, and the trumpets sounding? I see people spending so much time on this and so little time on what they should be doing right now for the Kingdom of God. I know I mentioned this a few posts ago, but I truly believe the ones who are all caught up in future events have missed the point entirely.
Jesus taught a gospel of today. Read the Sermon on the Mount if you want a snapshot of what you should be like here on this earth. The beatitudes at the beginning is a great place to start and Jesus started here for a reason. Be poor in spirit, be meek, be merciful, be a peacemaker, hunger and thirst for righteousness. These are things we must do now – we must practice now. Not tomorrow or the next day, but now. These are things that can grow in each one of us and that will minister to all those around us. Jesus starts out with these for a reason. If we do now have these down, the rest of the Sermon goes to waste. We will never be able to accomplish the rest. Forgiving one another, going to our brother when we have a problem between us, going the second mile, lending more than was asked, not judging. These things are so needed today, If we would set our minds on keeping these truths today tomorrow will take care of itself.
One other thing Jesus said, in Matthew 6:33 and 34, was that we should first seek the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is here on this earth now. It is living with in each one of us in the form of the Holy Spirit. It is full of the fruits of the spirit and operates in the gifts of the spirit. We need to seek that Spirit inside of us that would move us to good works and good words. The Kingdom of Heaven is what is to come. People are seeking that instead of the Kingdom of God. I did a study about these two kingdoms years ago and it was astonishing to see how they are spoken of by Jesus. If you have never studied that out, I recommend you do. We are supposed to be seeking the Kingdom of God first, not the Kingdom of Heaven. We have it backwards. If we would just start seeking the Kingdom of God instead of the Kingdom of Heaven, the beatitudes would come alive in us and we could change the world. We should avoid foolish questions about what is to come and concentrate on what is true today.
Avoiding genealogies is a different story, and I am not sure exactly what Paul meant by this. If I had to guess, I would say this has more to do with whether you are Jew or Gentile. Today, in our society, it would translate to who is black, Hispanic, oriental, or white. It makes no difference – the same gospel applies to all of us. We all need to be saved. Our heritage has nothing to do with who we can be in Christ. He has a plan and design for each life, and we need to be about our Father business when we come across any person of any genealogy or racial background.
Avoiding contention and striving about the law are Paul’s next admonishment to Titus. We have to keep in mind that Titus was left in Crete to help a newly formed church mature. The main thing Paul wanted Titus to do was preach the Gospel – get people saved. So many people want to bring the law into play when we ask them about their religious beliefs. This doctrine or that doctrine are said to be the right ones. The laws we have put in place, or the laws of the Bible, are used to separate us into fragments. The church is weaker because of this. We need to keep the main thing the main thing. Get people saved and help them to follow Jesus. Help them to see that her has a plan for their lives, even in the midst of their deepest tragedies. God will bring it around for good. People need to know this, not be caught up in a bunch of doctrinal beliefs or laws that would hinder their growth. Jesus didn’t say we should just go out and get people saved. He said we should make disciples. This means that not only do we lead them to Christ, but we help them become disciplined in the ways of Christ.
I have an issue with verses 10 and 11 though. I don’t think we should ever give up on anyone. Paul says that if a man does not heed corrections after the second time, we should reject him. I do see the point of telling someone to leave the church if they are doing things that would bring shame to the church or to Jesus. That has happened to me and I totally agree with that pastor’s decision. But that Pastor continued to pray for me as I went to be disciplined, and now we are friends again and I am welcome in his church. I don’t believe we should ever give up on anyone. You never know what simple word might get into their spirit and change their lives. May we all run with patience the race that is set before us and allow God to work out His plan in us, so that we might be more effective in our ministry to others.