Cursing Others! (A Study of I Corinthians 16:22)
Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.
We’re now finishing the book of I Corinthians. We started reading I Corinthians 15 on Easter Sunday! As we conclude I Corinthians, I want to post several last outlines on the last chapter, chapter 16. Verse 22 hit me like a bucket of cold water!
What a shocking way to end this first epistle to the Corinthians! Paul has given sixteen chapters of instructions about controversies, sins, and the spiritual giftedness of these believers. And now he concludes this letter with this statement: “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!”
If we believe that Paul’s letter is inspired of God, then God the Holy Spirit led him to write those words! There are two and only two categories of human beings: (1) those who love the Lord, and (2) those who don’t. For that second category, only God’s judgment awaits. They are presently under God’s curse and will be so for all eternity unless they repent of their sins and trust in Christ. Such a categorical statement is intolerable to our present culture, but is nonetheless true.
A Possible Outline:
(A Study of I Corinthians 16:22)
I. The Imperative of Loving the Lord
God’s Word commands us to love the Lord our God with all our strength!
II. The Consequences of Not Loving the Lord
Only God’s curse awaits those who choose not to love the Lord!
III. The Expectation of Those Who Love the Lord
Those who love the Lord are looking forward (and seeking to “hasten”) the return of the Lord!
Today’s Challenge: If I acknowledge that there are two and only two categories of human beings — those who love the Lord and long for His returning and those who don’t and are under God’s curse — I will do something about it! I will seek to share the gospel of God’s grace with all I meet, either face-to-face or online!
Tags: curse, gospel, I Corinthians 16, judgment