1 Corinthians 11b
1 Corinthians 11:17-19… But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part, I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you.
Whereas Paul praised the Corinthians in 11:2 for their keeping of the traditions that he had passed onto them, in the instructions he is about to give in vv. 17-34 concerning the Communion table, he “does not praise [them].” He is angry about their abuse of the solemn sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) which he will expound upon further in vv. 20-22.
Paul begins in v. 17 with another sharp rebuke – “I do not praise you.” His tone is one of angry frustration concerning a group of professed Christians who were acting like pagans. His anger is justified as a leader in the Christian church because the people he led to Christ were misrepresenting Christ to the world around them. They were coming together “not for the better but for the worse.” “Coming together” signified their regular corporate gatherings when they ate together to commemorate the Lord’s death through the breaking of bread (representing Christ’s body) and the drinking of wine (representing Christ’s blood). The gathering itself was to be one of worship, and it was intended to bring about an intense fellowship among Christians. But the opposite was occurring, for while coming together to remember the death of Christ they were bringing death upon themselves (see v. 30) through their conduct – “for the worse.”
In v. 18 the phrase “in the first place” is better translated as “chiefly.” The chief problem was that they were coming together as a church to observe the Lord’s Supper with “divisions” (Gr. skismata) among themselves. (The word for “church” in the Greek text is “ekklesia.” It’s always used in reference to a gathering of believers, never a church building). Of course this is not new in the study of the Corinthian church, for the members had already drawn the battle lines over which preacher they preferred, and there were many divisions as a result (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:1-3). The divisions that Paul had heard about he also believed, at least “in part.” Possibly he was giving them the benefit of the doubt by only believing part of the report he had heard.
In reference to the report concerning the divisions in the church in v. 19 Paul adds an interesting tidbit, saying that there must be “factions” (Gr. heresy) in the church. This word is a reference to “separate groups” which are “necessary” in order that those who are “approved” (genuine; honored) might distinguish themselves from everyone else. The necessity for this is so that God’s true and mature servants will rise to the top and be evident to all in the church. Therefore, divisions among people in the church are as inevitable as they are essential so that the genuine believers – and leaders among the believers – will rise up and show themselves to be the mature Christians they are in the midst of the immature and divisive ones.
Food for Thought
Churches haven’t changed much over time. They’re still filled with divisions and power-struggles; still not too good at unity unfortunately. We fight about songs, Bible versions, dress codes, and whether or not it’s wrong to drink alcohol, play cards for a quarter, or give candy out at Halloween. However, divisions and factions are given to us for a reason: so that the mature will rise up and show themselves approved. How do you measure up to that? Are you part of the problem of divisions in the church, or are you a part of the solution? It’s the immature and divisive ones who speak out and gripe about non-essentials. But it’s the “approved” Christians who deal with the immature ones and distinguish themselves as God’s faithful. Let that be you.
1 Corinthians 11:20-22… Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God, and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.
In the early church the members were accustomed to sharing in the Love Feast. They gathered together regularly and shared a meal. In the first century church, as today, there were various classes of people. There were the rich, the poor, the slave, and the free. There were men, women, and there were children. And when they came together to commemorate the Lord’s death at Calvary through this Supper they were classless and sexless – they were one people united for a common purpose. True to their nature, however, the Corinthian Christians had corrupted this meal. They were once again in error, and Paul addresses the issue in vv. 20-22.
The “Lord’s Supper” in v. 20 refers to a meal Christians ate together. In that day most people ate light breakfasts consisting of bread and wine. At lunchtime most would eat informally in the square or in the streets. The only sit-down meal most people enjoyed was the evening meal, in Greek called the “deipnon,” and it was the main meal of the day. It was the one meal that was not inhibited by time, and consequently folks could linger over that meal and enjoy the company of their families – whether Christian or immediate. When they met with their church gatherings for the deipnon, what was supposed to be a common meal for all to enjoy had instead become an eating frenzy for the rich. For it was the rich who provided most of the food. The poor, who could bring only a little if any, and many others, were being segregated while a certain few would gorge themselves before everyone else arrived. They brought their own food, and instead of waiting for the less fortunate to arrive so as to share, they would eat it up and drink it up. While one person was hungry, another was drunk; while one person starved, another was stuffed, and the first word in v. 22 conveys Paul’s opinion of this: “What!” Though not in the Greek text as such, this is clearly his attitude reflecting his rage over such behavior.
Verse 22 asks the rhetorical question along the line of “Don’t you have houses in which to eat and drink?” The underlying point of Paul’s question is “Stuff yourselves at home, and stop showing your contempt for Christ’s people (the church) by depriving them of your food!” By depriving the poor of food at the Love Feast the perpetrators were showing their hatred for God and His people, for they were “shaming those who had nothing.” And as such, although these Corinthian Christians were hoping to receive praise from their spiritual Father, he says, “Shall I praise you? No!” And why should he? They were cliquing up and drawing distinctions between race and class in the church where there are no distinctions. All are one in Christ.
Food for Thought
A church were social class distinctions are made is no church at all. Whether black, white, male, female, educated, or uneducated, we are one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28). This doesn’t mean that all cultures MUST worship together, but it does mean that no culture is better or worse than another. Our styles may differ, but our God is the same. He sees no distinctions. The church ought also to come together regularly as a group of believers to commemorate the Lord’s supper – a time where we share all things in common; a time where no one hurries off to be somewhere else. A time when God’s children fellowship and enjoy each other. God’s people are never more united when we come together to commemorate His death and his future return.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26… For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
What Paul “received” in v. 23 concerning the night of Christ’s death he “received” from the Lord Jesus. He told Paul about his death, his betrayal, and about the “bread” and the “cup.”
On the night Jesus died he “took bread,” gave it to the disciples to eat, and he “took the cup also” to give to them to drink. This was the common practice while observing the Passover meal which commemorated the night the Israelites made their exodus from Egypt in 1446 BC under Moses. The Passover celebration was observed by all Jews once per year. It began with a blessing from the host accompanied by a cup of wine that was passed to each one present. The first cup was passed while bitter herbs were eaten. One person would give the message of the Passover at that time. They also sang Psalms 113-118 (Hallel Psalms). The second cup followed, and unleavened bread was eaten. Then the main meal was served which consisted of a roasted lamb. The third cup of wine was then passed while singing ensued, and then the fourth cup was consumed which celebrated God’s coming kingdom as the ceremony closed. It was the third cup of wine, the “cup of blessing,” that Jesus blessed and which became the cup of Communion in Luke 22:20… “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Verse 24 says that Jesus gave “thanks” for the food, from the Greek eucharisto from whence we get the “Eucharist.” Now just as the bread represented the Exodus it now came to represent the body of Jesus Christ, for he says, “This is my body which is for you.” In the same way the “cup” which symbolized the blood of the lamb that had been smeared on the doorposts the night of the exodus from Egypt, it now represented the blood of Christ. In the same way that blood had always ratified covenants in the Old Testament (old covenant), now the NEW covenant would also be ratified in blood. Except that this blood of Jesus Christ was blood shed “once for all” (Hebrews 9:28), and it didn’t just set free Jews from Egypt, it set all peoples and nations free from the curse of the Old Covenant as found in the Law of Moses. That covenant could not be fulfilled by mankind, so Jesus did it for us. Consequently, partaking of the Lord’s Supper is now done “in remembrance” of Christ’s death on the cross. And as often as God’s people eat of the bread and the wine, they are to “remember” Christ’s sacrifice for them. In doing so Christ’s death is proclaimed “until he comes.” When he comes, we’ll eat it again WITH him.
Food for Thought
Transubstantiation is the belief that the bread and wine of the Eucharist actually becomes the literal body of Jesus Christ in the mouth of those who eat it. But this is wrong because it contradicts the fact that Christ died ONCE and for all. He need not be sacrificed repeatedly to forgive sins. Consubstantiation says that Christ is WITH the bread/wine at the Eucharist. However, Christ is at the right hand of the Father! The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus on the night he died. He revealed to Paul in 1 Cor. 11:23-26 that it is done in “remembrance” of Christ’s sacrifice through its observance. Christ is always WITH us, and his sacrifice need not be repeated, for it was fully efficacious the first time on the night he died. When we partake of it we show that we belong to Jesus Christ and await his coming when we will all celebrate it together.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30… Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.
The word “therefore” is there to draw a conclusion regarding the abuse of the Lord’s Supper. The gluttonous of those who gathered for the Lord’s Supper and the many others who partook of the Communion “in an unworthy manner” were not merely in danger of a rebuke from Paul, they were “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” All that Christ had done for his children during his torturous death on the cross, namely, taken the consequences of their sin upon himself, was being mocked by those who abused the practice of Communion. Though they gathered to honor the Lord, their behavior did just the opposite. The rich abused the poor by eating all the food and drink – revealing that they were not properly remembering the Lord.
If partaking of the Lord’s Supper was meant to remember Christ and his death, then any conduct apart from that would equate to doing so in an “unworthy” manner. This word has been quite misunderstood by many in the church today to the point of keeping well-meaning people from partaking of the Lord’s Supper. In the context of Paul’s argument, partaking of the meal “unworthily” does not necessarily mean to do so with un-confessed sin in one’s life. Rather, and as Today’s English Version (TEV) of the Bible translates, it means to partake “in a way that dishonors him.” And this is what many of the Corinthians were guilty of – partaking of the Lord’s Supper without proper reverence for the true meaning of the Supper. They were consequently, “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Their “guilt” was that they were liable for Christ’s death and putting themselves under the same penalty as those who actually killed him. They profaned the meal itself by scorning the poor, being gluttonous, and getting drunk. In doing so they profaned the message of the cross of Christ.
The solution to staying far away from the guilt the Corinthians had incurred upon themselves was to “examine” oneself. Dr. Ken Wuest translates this word as “to put to the test for the purpose of approving, and finding that the person tested meets the specifications prescribed, to put one’s approval upon him.” In other words, each person, prior to partaking of the Lord’s Supper must decide for himself if his sole motive for eating is to proclaim the Lord’s death before he comes. If it’s for any other purpose (to look spiritual, “just because,” etc.), then it is to partake unworthily and to bring guilt upon oneself. And those who did so, according to v. 29, were eating and drinking judgment upon themselves for having not examined themselves properly. Verse 30 illustrates what eating and drinking judgment upon oneself looked like. Some were “weak” – a word signifying spiritual flaws through torment; some were “sick” – a word describing physical illness; and some were “sleeping” – a euphemism for death.
Food for Thought
God is so serious about the message behind the Lord’s Supper that when Christians partake of it wrongfully, they suffer most severely for it – through both sickness and even death. It is very likely today that the same is true. This explain why so many “sleep” and are “sick.” Christians are commanded to observe the sacrament of Communion. And when we do, we must do so for the right reasons. Even though most churches celebrate Communion with small juice cups and broken off crackers, the message is the same, namely, the death of Christ for sins – a proclamation of man’s redemption for those who place their trust in him alone for salvation.
1 Corinthians 11:31-34… But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you may not come together for judgment. And the remaining matters I shall arrange when I come.
In 1 Cor. 11:28 Paul says, “Let a man examine himself.” “Examine” refers to testing oneself as if testing metal to see if it’s genuine (i.e., burning the dross off of silver). Then in v. 29 Paul speaks of eating and drinking “judgment” upon oneself for partaking of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way. He is supposed to “judge” himself – to evaluate his motives for partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Since believers are not under God’s wrath because of Christ’s sacrifice at the cross, the “judgment” spoken of in v. 29 is not about eternal damnation. Rather, it concerns being disciplined as a child of God. God’s children are disciplined in v. 30 through spiritual weakness, physical illnesses, and even death – all because they failed to “judge” themselves (“to distinguish; to discriminate”) properly by evaluating their motives before Communion.
In v. 31 we are told to “judge” (Greek diakrino) ourselves rightly so as to avert being “judged” (Greek krino). The first word for “judge” is different from the second in the Greek text but translated in English the same. The former “judge” (diakrino) is about self-examination. The Corinthians were quite comfortable judging others, but Paul’s warning was for them to judge themselves prior to coming to the Communion table. If their own self-assessments were properly done – which would inevitably humble them – they could only then avert God’s “judgment” (krino). In other words, a suitable self-judgment would ward off Divine judgment.
God’s judgment on His children is signified by the Greek krima for He disciplines those He loves (cf. Hebrews 12:6). It is distinguished from a judge sentencing a criminal to prison for life because it deals more with a loving Father toward His disobedient and and/or stubborn children. His discipline on His children proves His love for them. This discipline keeps His children from being “condemned” with the world. “Condemned” is the word appropriately used in relation to a judge sentencing a guilty criminal to life in prison (Greek katakrima). If God didn’t “judge” His own children through discipline, out of His love for them, then they themselves would be condemned, but “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). So, in v. 32, the krima (judgment) refers to God’s discipline of believers, and katakrima (condemnation) refers to His treatment of those who reject Christ.
The solution to the Corinthian problem was easily solved. First, they were to examine their motives for partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Second, in vv. 33-34, they were to wait for everyone to arrive before eating of the Supper. Finally, if they were hungry prior to the meal itself, they were to eat at home because the gathering for the Lord’s Supper was not about satisfying one’s hunger. It was about remembering Christ’s death in fellowship with other believers. Any other reason would bring about God’s judgment, that is, His discipline (krima).
Food for Thought
Our God loves us and has a plan for our lives. He has set up His order of worship in the Lord’s Supper, and it is not subject to negotiation. Our disobedience to God’s divine order, even in small matters, can and will bring about His discipline, for He disciplines those He loves. It is possible that life has turned sour for you recently. Examine yourself today, and determine whether or not it’s God’s discipline on your life for your own disobedience to His Word.
- Why do we interpret “This is my body” as a metaphor? First, the Passover lamb was a commemorative meal, so the Lord’s Supper is too. Second, Christ had not yet died when he said this, so it couldn’t have meant it was his literal body. Third, to sacrifice Christ’s body over and over through a belief that it actually becomes his body is heresy in that Christ died “once and for all.” Fifth, there are many times when Christ uses the metaphor… “I am the vine…” “ I am the door…” Finally, in John 6:51 where Jesus said that he was the “bread of life” and those who “eat” of him… The Greek tense is aorist, and this signifies that Christ wasn’t speaking of the Lord’s Supper but of receiving him as the “bread of life” in comparison to the manna as a “once for all time” act. It’s about salvation, not commemorating the Lord’s Supper.
- Christ died on the cross at Calvary. He shed his blood to save us from God and His wrath. He did everything we could not, and we worship him through the Lord’s Supper – a time where we as a group of Christians saved by grace remember his selfless act of love, grace, and mercy.
Four ideas surrounding the Lord’s Supper:
- Transubstantiation – the belief that the bread and wine actually become the very body and blood of Christ. Christ is literally present as substance in the elements. Did not emerge as a doctrine in the Catholic church until Pope Innocent III in AD 1215. Provides spiritual food for the soul. Christ is sacrificed at each Mass to atone for the sins of the partaker.
- Consubstantiation – the elements do not change into Christ’s actual body and blood, but he is present IN, WITH, and UNDER the elements. The recipient receives forgiveness for sins in partaking of the Supper.
- Reformed View – Christ is not literally present in the elements but is present spiritually. The Supper commemorates Christ’s death, bestows grace to seal partakers in the love of Christ, and brings spiritual nourishment while bringing the partaker closer to God.
- Memorial View – Christ is present neither spiritually nor physically in the Supper. The Supper commemorates the death of Christ, and the worshipper is reminded of the benefits of redemption and salvation brought about in Christ’s death.
Points of Agreement:
- The Supper was established by Christ Himself
- Jesus commanded the repetition of the Supper
- The Supper proclaims the death of Christ
- The Supper imparts some sort of spiritual benefit to the participant.
Christ died “once for all”…
- Rom 6:10 * Heb 7:27; 9:12
- Heb 10:10
- 1 Peter 3:18
- Jude 3; 5
From the Gospel accounts it is clear that Jesus ate the Passover meal on Thursday evening. We also know that some Jews celebrated the feast on Friday however, and this presents a seeming contradiction. When Jesus was taken to Caiphas then to Pilate the Jews did not want to enter Pilate's courtyard because it would defile them and keep them from observing the Passover. That was clearly a Friday, and it is clear that they had not yet eaten their Passover meal due to their concern over being made “unclean.”
Jesus too was resolute in keeping the Mosaic Law, so it would make no sense that he would bend it by eating on Thursday, Nisan 13 instead of Friday, Nisan 14. Furthermore, the only lamb that could have been eaten was a lamb slaughtered by the priest with the blood sprinkled on the altar, and it is preposterous to even think that a lamb would have been slaughtered by the priest on Nisan 13. This was forbidden.
The answer has to do with the various ways that Jews reckoned time. The Jewish historican Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish writings teach us that the Jews in northern Palestine calculated their days from sunrise on one day to sunrise on the next day – a 24 hour time span. This area included Galilee where Jesus and his disciples grew up, so it is clear that they observed this particular method of time reckoning (sunrise to sunrise). However, the Jews in the southern part of Israel, which centered in Jerusalem, calculated their days from sunset to sunset. This was no doubt a confusion then as it is now, but there were some great benefits of these two ways of reckoning time in Israel. It allowed all the slaughtering of lambs to be broken up into two adjoining days (four hours instead of two), and the feast was legitimate on both days to both sets of Jews because both believed that it was Nisan 14 – the only day allowable by Law to slaughter the Passover Lambs. Being Galileans, Jesus and his disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday and to end at sunrise on Friday. The Jewish leaders who arrested Jesus (priests, Sadducees, and Pharisees) who used the other form of reckoning because they dwelled in the south (Jerusalem) considered Passover to begin at sunset on Thursday and end at sunset on Friday. With this in mind it makes sense as to how Jesus could have celebrated the Passover on Thursday and still be legitimate. He celebrated the Passover on Thursday and became the Passover Lamb on Friday. His death occurred at 3:00 on Friday, and this is important because the Passover slaying of the lambs by the priests only lasted from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. When Christ died at 3:00 he died within the time period that the Jews used to slaughter lambs for the Passover. At the very time those lambs were being sacrificed, "Christ, our Passover also was sacrificed" (1 Cor. 5:7).
Look back to Christ’s death
Look forward to Christ’s return
Look within at your own heart
Look all around in order to help others
· The early church ate together often, and the Love Feast seems to have been the climax of such a meal.
· Lord’s Supper isn’t just a time for our own spiritual autopsy; it’s a time for thanksgiving.
- in an unworthy manner. I.e., ritualistically, indifferently, with an unrepentant heart, a spirit of bitterness, or any other ungodly attitude.
- When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself—His life, suffering, and death (cf. Acts 7:52; Heb. 6:6; 10:29).
Nowadays the Supper is usually intended to produce soul-searching introspection and silent confession to Christ so that no one will sin against the spiritual presence of the Lord by irreverent observance. Paul’s application was probably more concrete. No doubt his experience on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:4-5) contributed to this, for the body of Christ is the church, which consists of individual believers (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12, 27). His body, the church, is also pictured by the bread of Communion (5:7; 10:16-17). Thus to sin against another believer is to sin against Christ (8:12). Those guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord were those who despised a poorer member by utter disregard for his need (11:21-22). These came to the remembrance of Christ’s work of unity and reconciliation (cf. Eph. 2:15-16) with a trail of deeds that had produced disunity and alienation! If these would examine (dokimazetō, “test to approve,” 1 Cor. 11:28) themselves, they would see that they lacked God’s approval (dokimoi, v. 19) in this behavior. They should seek out the wronged brother and ask his forgiveness. Only then could a true spirit of worship flourish (cf. Matt. 5:23-24 and Didache 14. 1-3). Coming to the Lord’s Supper without that sin confessed brought judgment on the guilty participants. Only by recognizing (diakrinōn, “properly judging”) the unity of the body of the Lord—and acting accordingly—could they avoid bringing “judgment” (krima) on themselves.
11:30-32. What that judgment entailed was then explained by Paul. In brief, it was sickness and death (cf. 10:1-11). The solution was self-examination (diekrinomen, 11:31; cf. vv. 28-29; 5:1-5; 10:12), self-discipline (9:27), and promoting of unity. The alternative was God’s judging (krinomenoi, 11:32), which was a discipline that they were then experiencing. This was not a loss of salvation, but of life (cf. 5:5).
Hence there are various degrees of this unworthiness, so to speak; and some offend more grievously, others less so. Some fornicator, perhaps, or perjurer, or drunkard, or cheat, (1 Corinthians 5:11, ) intrudes himself without repentance. As such downright contempt is a token of wanton insult against Christ, there can be no doubt that such a person, whoever he is, receives the Supper to his own destruction. Another, perhaps, will come forward, who is not addicted to any open or flagrant vice, but at the same time not so prepared in heart as became him. As this carelessness or negligence is a sign of irreverence, it is also deserving of punishment from God. As, then, there are various degrees of unworthy participation, so the Lord punishes some more slightly; on others he inflicts severer punishment.
Christians doing it right: When Pliny was governor of Bithynia, he wrote to the Roman Emperor Trajan, asking why Christians were being exterminated, and added: “I have been trying to get all the information I could regarding them. I have even hired spies to profess to be Christians and become baptized in order that they might get into the Christian services without suspicion. Contrary to what I had supposed, I find that the Christians meet at dead of night or at early morn, that they sing a hymn to Christ as God, that they read from their own sacred writings and partake of a very simple meal consisting of bread and wine and water (the water added to the wine to dilute it in order that there might be enough for all). This is all that I can find out, except that they exhort each other to be subject to the government and to pray for all men.”
The juice: A young man accepted for the African missionary field reported at New York for “passage,” but found on further examination that his wife could not stand the climate. He was heartbroken, but he prayerfully returned to his home and determined to make all the money he could to be used in spreading the Kingdom of God over the world. His father, a dentist, had started to make, on the side, an unfermented wine for the communion service. The young man took the business over and developed it until it assumed vast proportions—his name was “Welch,” whose family still manufactures “grape juice.” He has given literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to the work of missions.
People doing it in an “unworthy way”: In a bulletin of a Roman Catholic church in Wisconsin this amazing statement by a priest was printed: “There have been a number of people leaving the church a few minutes after they have received holy communion. … This is a great dishonor to our blessed Lord. The Church tells us Jesus remains in our bodies fifteen minutes after we have received holy communion. That means that our thanksgiving should be at least fifteen minutes long. … We should not leave the church until our Lord is no longer with us!”
- Unbelievers who partake merely partake of Christ’s bread and not of Christ himself merely “taste” the goodness of God without actually eating it.
- Various degrees of this unworthiness… fornicator, perjurer, drunkard, or cheat receives the Supper to his own destruction… Carelessness or negligence is a sign of irreverence but is also deserving of punishment from God.
Looking forward to Christ’s return: Houston pastor John Bisango describes a time when his daughter Melodye Jan, age five, came to him and asked for a doll house. John promptly nodded and promised to build her one, then he went back to reading his book. Soon he glanced out the study window and saw her arms filled with dishes, toys, and dolls, making trip after trip until she had a great pile of playthings in the yard. He asked his wife what Melodye Jan was doing. “Oh, you promised to build her a doll house, and she believes you. She’s just getting ready for it.” “You would have thought I’d been hit by an atom bomb,” John later said. “I threw aside that book, raced to the lumber yard for supplies, and quickly built that little girl a doll house. Now why did I respond? Because I wanted to? No. Because she deserved it? No. Her daddy had given his word, and she believed it and acted upon it. When I saw her faith, nothing could keep me from carrying out my word.”
John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:531.
John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, electronic ed., electronic ed. (Garland, TX: Galaxie Software, 2000), 1 Co 11:23.