A Proper Response Toward Others Who Sin

By David J. Stewart | October 2018

Matthew 1:18-19, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.”

       I was listening to the Word of God today and the Lord impressed a truth upon my heart. Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married. One day Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, but they had never had carnal knowledge (intimacy) yet. The Bible says that Joseph being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” There is a very important truth to be learned here for all of us, which is, not to publicly broadcast the sins of others!

Neither Joseph nor Mary knew yet that God was working the miracle of Jesus' virgin birth through Mary's body. So in Joseph's mind, it was only logical and reasonable to conclude that Mary was 100% guilty of committing sexual immorality. Joseph could have publicly shamed Mary, and no one would have blamed him for it! America's newspapers are filled with manure, publicly attacking people who do wrong. The Word of God says that Joseph was “a just man.” Joseph was a righteous man! A righteous man is not willing to make a public example of those who sin. Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

Joseph was quite a fella. How would you respond if you found out that your fiancée was pregnant with some other guy's bastard child? I think Joseph deserves a lot of credit. The Bible says he was “a just man.” Joseph did the right thing. Proverbs 12:5, “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.” The Bible says that a righteous person even cares about animals. Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” How much more ought we care about people? Joseph didn't want to publicly shame Mary, dragging her family's name through the mud. The great lesson that we should take away from this passage of Scripture, is that the proper way to respond when people in our life sin, and betray our trust, and let us down, and hurt us, is to deal with the matter without creating a public spectacle to destroy that person.

We all know of people close to us, whether a neighbour, family member, co-worker, church member, spouse or friend, who has gone into sin. I am not saying that we ought not report crimes to police. I am talking about the person them self. We are living in a wicked generation that loves to criticize, point fingers, blame and destroy others who do wrong. The Holy Bible calls Satan “the accuser of our brethren” in Revelation 12:10b). The Scriptures do not call Satan “the FALSE accuser of our brethren.” If Joseph had publicly accused Mary of becoming pregnant outside of wedlock, and that he was not the father, he would have been telling the 100% honest truth! But Joseph, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” Joseph didn't want to draw any attention to the horrible sin Mary had done. That is my sermon.

Of course, we know that Mary didn't sin, because we learn in Matthew 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” However, until the angel informed Joseph of what was going on, the poor guy was heartbroken, thinking that Mary had played the whore! The Bible says concerning Joseph in Matthew 1:20a, “But while he thought on these things.” Can you imagine how the poor guy felt? Joseph was no doubt trying to figure out who the other man was. Was it the butcher? Could it be the baker? Was it the guy at the synagogue? How could Mary do this to me? She's not the good woman that I thought she was. Albeit, the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:20b, “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife.”

Be Very Careful About Choosing Your Friends

When I was a young boy, about 7 or 8 years old, my mother used to often send me to the store to buy food items. We had a small grocery store, a couple blocks over, in our neighborhood called Johnny Joes. I wasn't saved yet. I got saved at age 12. I had a friend named Bobby, about the same age. Bobby was the bully type, a big kid with a big mouth. I never really liked him much, because of the way he behaved like a jerk. I was pretty much a good kid, but I was a sinner like anybody else. One day Bobby dared me to steal a pint of chocolate milk from Johnny Joes. The thought never would have crossed my mind, if Bobby hadn't suggested it. So I bought something and the owner of the store placed the items into a small paper bag. I walked to the back of the store, opened the refrigerator door, and stole a pint of chocolate milk, putting it into my bag. Well, Johnny caught me as I tried to leave the store, and asked to look in the bag. He said, “Son, you are not welcomed back into my store until I talk to your mother!” I was scared to death!

What happened next has caused me much pain in my life when I think about it, but was one of the best things that ever could have happened to me. For some unknown reason (which I still don't understand to this day, except that he wanted to be mean), Bobby literally ran through our neighborhood yelling as loud as he could repeatedly to everyone, “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!,” “David got caught stealing from Johnny Joes!” I cried. My grandmother (my mother's mother, 1900-1977) cried (and that is something that hurt most of all). She died of Leukemia at age 77 when I was just 10 years old. I don't remember what my mother said to me, if anything. My mind is blank there and I don't see her in the memory at all. I do remember my grandmother crying. Wow, what a nightmare!

Despite being a rotten jerk, Bobby did me a big unintentional favor that horrible day. Bobby taught me a hard lesson that friends cannot always be trusted! Bobby taught me that friends may burn you! Bobby taught me that someone whom you completely trust, can quickly become your worst enemy! Bobby taught me that a bad friend can get into into a lot of trouble! Bobby taught me to watch my back Jack! Bobby taught me that a trusted friend can entice you to do evil. Proverbs 1:10-11, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause.” That Bible passage has Bobby's name written on it in my mind! I tell you, be VERY CAREFUL who you choose to have as friends, and then even when you make good friends, always be on guard against evil. We are all sinners, both by nature and by choice, and under the right circumstances anyone is capable of committing any sin or crime. People will entice you to sin, and then abandon you when things go wrong! There is no honor among thieves! Never, ever, do wrong for anyone, not for any reason, not for any price!!! I learned that the hard way on a dare! As Dr. Bob Jones Sr. wisely said, “DO RIGHT THOUGH THE STARS FALL! DO RIGHT!!!”

Whereas I had previously gone to the store hundreds of times, I was so embarrassed by the incident, that I never, not once, ever stepped foot into Johnny Joe's store again in my life. God used that painful experience to set me on a higher path in life. I have always be on guard around “friends.” I am not saying to be paranoid or refuse to trust anyone; but rather, we must always be resolved in our heart to do right, to please God, and never even consider doing something wrong, even if our friends do. I don't want friends like that!

Advice from bad friends can get you and your family killed! In the Bible story of Esther, we read that a man named Haman was resentful of a Jew named Mordecai, because Mordecai didn't stand up in honor of him. Look what Haman's rotten wife and friends advised him...

Esther 5:14, “Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and tomorrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.”

Can you believe how wicked these people are? Haman's wife and friends advised him to built a gallows 50 feet high to hang Mordecai on. What had Mordecai done to make Haman hate him so much? Haman was a sinfully proud man. When he passed by the way, people stood up to show respect for him, and moved out of his way, but not Mordecai! Mordecai stayed seated, nor did he move to make way for Haman, and it drove him nuts because he let it! If Haman had simply humbled himself, he would have let the matter go. Not being liked and respectful by everybody is simply a part of life. Most people are good people, as far as sinners go; but a minority of people are just plain ole rotten to the core! Haman's wife and friends were rotten people, giving evil advice to murder an innocent man, merely for refusing to stand up when Haman passed by. That is evil!

In a classic tale of poetic justice, Haman and his ten sons were all hanged on the gallows...

Esther 7:10, “So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.”

Esther 9:13-14, “Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows. And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.”

Those gallows would never have been built had Haman's own “wife” and “all his friends” not put that evil idea into his head. I tell you, wrong friends will destroy! Even worse, they may get you and your family killed, as happened with Haman! Of course, Haman's so-called “friends” went their merry way after the damage they caused was done, like the serpent in Genesis. I wonder how Haman's wife felt after the damage was done! I wonder how Haman's wife felt when all ten of her precious boys—who came forth from her very womb, whom she went through the jaws of death ten times to deliver into the world, whom she loved and cared for and raised for decades—were all executed in ONE DAY, because she gave her husband some very bad advice. Shut your mouth ladies! Be very careful what advice you give to your husband, because it may come back to forever haunt you, as it did Haman's wife. That poor miserable foolish woman! TEN SONS, DEAD, AND IT WAS HER HATEFUL HEART AND BIG MOUTH THAT CAUSED IT!

The Holy Bible has much to say about bad friends. Here's a really great sermon preached by Pastor Steven L. Anderson called, “The Importance Of Our Friends.” Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Bobby was no friend to me. Bobby eventually moved away with his parents and I never saw him again, thankfully. The Bible says in 2nd Samuel 13:3, “Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.” If you read the entire story, Jonadab enticed Amnon to rape his half-sister, Tamar, which he did, and it ruined her life and his. Tamar's brother Absalom murdered Jonadab for his evil. This is one of many examples in the Scriptures of how a bad friend can entice and embolden you to do evil. DO RIGHT THOUGH THE STARS FALL! DO RIGHT!!!


I shared this personal story with you to relate back to our Biblical story about Joseph and Mary. I was like Mary, the one who sinned. If Bobby had been a just kid, like Joseph was a just man, he would have kept his mouth shut! Joseph, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example.” Remember, Bobby was the “friend” who enticed me to steal the chocolate milk in the first place. Bobby put me up to it! So he dared me to do it, and I did it, and then he ran blabbing to everybody that I got caught stealing. That's not a real friend! Godly people have love for you, they don't try to destroy you! The fake friend doesn't really care about you!

I have read countless stories in my life, about people whose friends betrayed them. I listened to an Unshackled episode this week from Pacific Garden Mission, about a young man in the Navy. While stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, back in the 1950's, he was enticed by his “friends” to break into a warehouse and steal some money from an elderly man. His friends enticed him to do the actual stealing, while they kept lookout outside. When the owner caught the soldier, his friends abandoned him. They later lied to the police and said it was all the guy's idea who got caught, and they had nothing to do with the theft. That is what ungodly friends do!

I could write volumes of books about the danger of having bad friends. The wrong kind of friends can derail you and ruin your life! You don't want to be everybody's friend. Certainly, we ought to treat everybody kindly, loving them with God's unconditional love, but we should not be their close friend if they are unsaved or worldly. Your closest friendships should be with those in church.

We Have Sinned

We are taught in the Scriptures to PRAY for those who sin, that God will go easy on them, and help restore them. 1st John 5:16, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” Galatians 6:1-3, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Here we learn that a proper Christian attitude toward other believers who have sinned is “WE HAVE SINNED!” The ungodly world says, “YOU HAVE SINNED!” The carnal man says, “HE” or “SHE” has sinned! Psalms 106:6, “We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.”

Modern technology is a double-edged sword. The internet is as much a curse as it is a blessing. The internet has opened a door to exponentially preach the Gospel across the world. What a blessing! Yet, technology has allowed mankind to go further down the road he was already on, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1st John 5:19). We have an incredible, once in a 6,000 year civilization, opportunity today to win souls to Jesus Christ! 1st Corinthians 16:9, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” The internet is a goldmine of harvesting souls from the earth

Don't Help Satan Accuse Others

Satan is a lying and thieving murderer, who comes only to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). The Devil is a critic! In his classic MP3 sermon called, “I Find No Fault In This Man!,” Dr. Hyles says, “Nobody Can Withstand The Attack Of A Critic!” That is so very true! If you are a critic, you will find fault with everybody and everything! Since we are all imperfect people, sinners in every way, we cannot hold up to the scrutiny of a critic! If you follow me around, you will find faults with me. If I follow you around, I will find faults with you. No church is beyond criticism. No church has arrived, showing the rest of us how it's supposed to be done. There are no perfect Christians. There are no perfect preachers. There are no perfect churches. Thankfully, we do have a perfect Savior!!! We do have a perfect incorruptible King James Bible!!!!!!!

Now I am not talking about refraining from contending for the faith, we ought to do that. Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Titus 1:10-13, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Any church that denies the inspiration of the King James Bible is open to justified criticism. Any preacher who teaches the heresies of Lordship Salvation or turning away from sinful ways to be saved, is guilty of being a false prophet, and is open to justified criticism. Any church that invites a false prophet like Ravi Zacharias, or promotes a heretic like John MacArthur, is open to justified criticism.

Godly criticism is aimed at falsehoods. Psalms 119:104, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” I was unjustly accused last year by a Baptist pastor of being “obsessed with the Bible issue debate.” Praise God, I intend to stay obsessed! That same dirty rascal couldn't tell me even one thing wrong with the modern Alexandrian Bible perversions! Who do you think God is more pleased with? That same devil-dog preacher is headed to teach at Pensacola Christian College in Florida, a superficial religious institution that denies the inspiration of the King James Bible! Isn't that tragic and sad?

I love everybody, but I love God most of all, which means my loyalty must be toward the truth first and foremost! There is much confusion today over love. I hear corrupt preachers saying that we should love each other and not expose one another, but that is not love, it's sinful compromise! False doctrine needs to be exposed and refuted! False prophets need to be exposed and refuted. Counterfeit Bible versions need to be exposed and refuted. Counterfeit Gospels need to be exposed and refuted. Ongoing open sin in a church needs to be dealt with, such as the couple living in open fornication in the church in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5. 1st Timothy 5:20, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” However, this Bible verse is talking about open unrepentant sin, not someone who has done wrong. No one should ever be made a spectacle of! The Lord teaches us in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Joseph was a righteous man, which compelled him to keep Mary's sin a secret. And again, when I say “sin,” I am speaking of Joseph's mindset before he found out that Mary was pregnant by a miracle of the Holy Spirit, Who overshadowed her to conceive Jesus' virgin birth (Luke 1:35). Our proper response toward those who sin, ought to be the same as Joseph, who chose to keep quiet about it, and not broadcast the sin publicly.


The Blessing of Hearing God's Word

Psalms 119:139-140, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” I was listening to Alexander Scourby read the King James Bible today. My dear reader, you are truly missing out on a blessing if you aren't listening to the Holy Bible. What a blessing! Also, see YouTube. I love hearing the Word of God rather than reading it, because when I hear it I don't have to focus on trying to pronounce words correctly, and I can fully ponder its meaning. I get so much more out of the Scriptures when I listen to it.

I heard a beautiful MP3 sermon yesterday by Pastor Jack Hyles (my hero) called, “Holiness And Righteousness” (subtitle, What Has Destroyed America?). In the sermon Brother Hyles teaches to force yourself to do what is right, and in time it will become instinctive. This is discipline and righteous character. America has been destroyed because people no longer have any character. Children need to be made to do right. If you don't feel like praying, make yourself do it anyway, until it becomes a habit. Make yourself go to church. Make yourself care and eventually you will. If you pretend to be a good Christian long enough, you'll become one! That's good stuff!

Philippians 1:29,  “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.”

Loving The Children Of God (Pastor Anderson, “If we don't love our brother we don't love God!”)


Did you know that you don't have to ask Jesus to save you? God has already told you how to be saved, that is, by simply believing that His Son died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and raised up from the dead three days later. Christ raised up from the dead, which means that God the Father accepted His Son's payment for the sins of the world. Christ suffered on the cross so that we wouldn't have to suffer in a literal Hell forever. Amen! You don't have to bow your head to be saved. You don't have to pray. You don't have to do anything except believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and make that your only hope for Heaven!

Souls Are Dying!

How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008)

Mark 1:15: “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

“The mark of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)

Mark 11:22, And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!