1 Corinthians 5:9-13
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
What is Intolerance (and Tolerance)?
We hear a lot about “intolerance” and “tolerance” today. “Intolerance” is the new sin today! You are a terrible person if you are not “tolerant” of others beliefs and lifestyles. It is the popular word used today in the political realm, and among the liberals.
Often they are accusing Conservatives and Christians of being “intolerant” of others. They accuse us of being “intolerant” of the way people live, what they believe, how the dress, and what they do. They tell us that we need to be “tolerant” of the Homosexual. They tell us that we need to be “tolerant” of all religions, beliefs, and doctrines.
“Tolerance” has become the mantra of political liberals and left-wing activists. We hear in repeated over and over again; “you have to be tolerant of others that are different from you.”
America has become a nation of “tolerance”. Is this really what our Founding Fathers meant when they included, “Freedom of Religion” in our Constitution?
The definition of “Tolerance” and in reverse “Intolerance” are this:
1. A willingness to be patient toward people whose opinions or ways differ from one’s own.
2. Willingness to endure beliefs and actions that are in opposition, and offensive, to ones own.
3. To overlook differing views and lifestyles that are offensive, or that you feel are wrong.
4. To permit something to happen that you disagree with.
5. Permitting others to do, say, or think as they see fit.
6. Refusing to speak out in opposition to behavior or views that are contrary to one’s own.
7. A refusal to judge another’s views or behavior.
8. A willingness to allow people to worship and believe whatever they choose, even if you feel they are wrong.
As you can see, if we take this broad definition of “tolerance and intolerance”, then we would never witness to anyone. We would just let them go along in their sin and error, and go to hell.
What Does the Bible Teach About Intolerance
First I want to say, the word “tolerance, intolerance, tolerate”, or any other form, does not appear in the Bible. The idea of “tolerance” is expressed in a few scriptures, but the idea of “intolerance” is expressed throughout the Bible, and it is almost always, positive.
Today, “intolerance” is frowned upon, but the Bible is often “intolerant” of other views and lifestyle. The Bible is always “intolerant” of sin.
The Bible is “intolerant” about the works of the flesh. No one that does these things will inherit the Kingdom of God.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
The Bible is “intolerant” of heresy and those that practice it.
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
The Bible is “intolerant” of trouble-makers within the Body of Christ.
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Is God “Intolerant”?
We have to ask the question, “Is God intolerant”? Has God ever shown himself to be “intolerant”? We can look to the scripture for the Bible clearly shows us the answer.
Psalms 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
God was “intolerant” with the wickedness in Noah’s day and designed a plan to preserve the righteous while at the same time destroying the wicked.
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
God was “intolerant” with the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. This included the pervasive homosexuality that was present in these cities.
Genesis 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
God was “intolerant” of the rebels (Korah) that stood against Moses.
32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
God was “intolerant” of the liars Ananias and Sapphira. God would not even “tolerate” liars and hypocrites in the early Church. Why would we ever think that God has changed?
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
What Should the Church’s View on Intolerance & Tolerance Be?
1. The Church should never “tolerate” sin. As a Church we should not tolerate sin in our midst. We should deal with sin instead of ignoring it. We should not tolerate a loose view of sin in our society. Homosexuality is still wrong, even if it is not popular or politically correct to stand against it! We should stand against sin in our churches and even our society no matter what consequences it may bring.
2. The Church should never “tolerate” Heresy. As a Church we should stand against false teaching trying to gain a foothold in our Church. We should stand against heresy in our community. We should openly and publicly denounce false teachings and false religions. This will require us to publically denounce false preachers and name them openly.
3. The Church should never “tolerate” non-evangelism. It is our duty to tell the lost about their sin and this great salvation – the New Testament is often referred to as the “Gospel”. What good is a “Gospel” that is not shared? It is our duty to warn the sinner about hell. It is our duty to tell people when they are wrong and it is our duty to share with them the good news of this great salvation!
4. Tolerance should only be exercised as patience toward the growth of saints. Yes, I do believe that there are “Babes in Christ” within the Church, and there must be a time of growth and maturity. We, that are older in the Lord, need to be patient with these new believers and guide them. I do want to make one comment of warning here: our patience with the young in the Lord does not include tolerating sin. We must loving correct these new believers when they sin. Our silence when sin is observed will be taken as our approval.
Hell & the Lake of Fire Will Be the Ultimate Expression of Intolerance
I have heard it said many times from a child that we should love the sinner and hate the sin. Sometimes this gets a little confusing because sin exists in people – sinners and sin go hand in hand. Please do not get me wrong, I do believe the Church should be motivated by love, but that does not mean that our message must always be on the subject of love. Our message to the sinner must be “Repent” – this is what the prophets, Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostles preached.
Ultimately when it is all said and done there is going to be a great segregation. God is going to segregate the righteous from the unrighteous, the sheep from the goats, and the holy from the profane. There are two final destinations for each of these two groups – one is Heaven and the other is Hell (the Lake of Fire).
When final judgment is passed it is not going to be homosexuality that God throws into Hell but homosexuals – He is not going to throw lying but liars into Hell – it will not be adultery but adulterers – I think all of you get the idea. God is not going to throw sin into Hell but sinners. It is not the concept of sin that is going into the Lake of Fire but those that committed sin (ultimately all sin is a rejection of Christ).
Hell is going to be the ultimate expression of intolerance. God will not tolerate sin and the people that unrepentant sin abides within. These verses make it abundantly clear that our holy God is completely intolerant of sin. As we close this article take a look what the Bible says about judgment and eternity:
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth,
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 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.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
/Thanks to Mark Herridge Sr