Public Suspension of —– —–
2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 (NKJV)
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Paul closes his letter to the Thessalonians with several exhortations to the congregation at large. He begins by urging them, “brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.” Note that Paul’s command presumes that it is possible to grow weary in doing good – after all, we don’t warn about things that aren’t possibilities. In endeavoring to do good we face much opposition – both from within and from without – and so Paul commands us to never grow weary. The temptations of the Evil One, combined with the allurements of the world and the lusts of our own flesh, often make the task of doing good challenging, the temptation to grow weary alluring.
Because of the strength of this temptation, the temptation to give up doing good and simply start doing whatever, Paul exhorts the church to take seriously those who refuse to obey the Word of God. As Paul remarks elsewhere, a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. If a congregation permits sin to go unchecked, then that congregation cannot be surprised when such sin spreads. So notice that Paul urges the Thessalonians to act – “if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.” Paul’s command involves two parts – first, the Thessalonians are to “note” – mark – point out – publicly identify such a one. Second, they are to refuse to keep company – refuse to enjoy communion, including normal fellowship at the Lord’s Supper – with such a one. Why? What is the purpose of this marking? This suspending of normal fellowship? Note Paul’s words: “that he may be ashamed.” In other words, the purpose of this discipline is to awaken the sinner to the seriousness of his sin. As Solomon writes in Proverbs 20:30, “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart.”
It is with sober hearts that the elders inform you today – in accordance with Paul’s words that such things are to be announced in the public assembly (1 Cor 5:4) – that —– —– is being suspended from fellowship in the Lord’s Supper.
For some time —– has been wavering in her service of Christ. During this time numerous folks have endeavored to encourage her and come alongside her. Within the last two weeks, however, she has made clear that she is turning away from Jesus and embracing a life of sin. It has become plain that for many months she has been lying to and deceiving her parents and others, using them to further her own selfish ends. She has been committing and is continuing to commit sexual immorality. She has rejected the Bible’s authority, declaring that it is not relevant for today. She has intentionally absented herself from corporate worship and avoided accountability.
—–’s parents and the elders have spoken to her and urged her to turn back to Jesus, to beware trampling under foot the blood of the covenant by which she was distinguished from the world. She has rejected these overtures. Our Lord commands us in Matthew 18:15-17:
““Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church…
In accordance with these words of our Lord, that when a brother or sister will not hear the exhortations of two or three witnesses the matter is to be brought before the church, the elders are bringing —–’s sin to your attention. Our purpose in so doing is twofold: first, that you would pray for —– and her family that the Lord would give —– eyes to see and ears to hear, that she would return to the Lord and flee from the foolish and destructive path that she is choosing. We know that all of us by nature are frail and prone to sin and deception, that but for the grace of God we would turn from him and serve self, and so let us pray that He would indeed have mercy upon her, bringing to her mind and heart the many things which she has been taught over the years.

Second, our purpose in bringing this to your attention is that you would consider writing to —–, expressing your love for her as a member of this body and urging her to repent and return to Jesus. The elders will provide you with contact information in the week to come should you choose to do so.
Suspending —– from the Lord’s Supper is an act of love, “For whom the Lord loves he disciplines even as a father the son in whom he delights.” —– is our sister and so as we admonish her we treat her “not as an enemy but as a beloved” sister who has lost her way. And these reminders of the deceitfulness of sin remind all of us of our need to confess our sins to the Lord. So let us kneel as we confess our sins and pray for our sister.
Our Father,
We are prone to sin, tempted to grow weary doing good. The temptations of the Evil One distract us, the enticements of the world draw us away, the lusts of our own flesh incline us toward evil. But for your sustaining grace we would each pursue our own way rather than the way of Jesus. We none of us by nature desire to take up our cross and follow Jesus – for following Jesus means dying to sin and self and none of us relish the prospect. We pray your mercy upon us. Remember your lovingkindness and mercy toward our sister —–. Restore her to her knees that she would bow before you and seek your forgiveness, that she would abandon the path of sin and destruction on which she has set herself and that she would return ot the narrow way that leads to life. We pray also that you would keep all of us from sin and deception, pour out your grace upon us that we would hunger and long for righteousness and purity and every good way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and by the power of Your Spirit,