Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Child-like or Childish?

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

I greatly appreciated a recent Bible class discussion of Mark 10:13-16. Obviously, there are ways that we need to be like little children. Just as obviously, 1 Corinthians 13:11 reminds us that there are ways we must NOT be childish. The following contrasts help us hold these vital truths in biblical balance.

Positive Child-like Qualities Negative Childish Qualities
Trusting. Innocent. Pure in heart. Naïve. Uncritically believing every assertion.
Freely, honestly loving Possessive, jealous.
Always learning. Eager to learn. Finding joy in learning. Resistant to the labor of learning. Preferring play.
Joyous, stress free, happy. Happy only when I get my way.
Dependent, knowing we need help. Grateful. Overly, unhealthily dependent. Too needy, too high maintenance.
Affectionate. Willing to express affection. Failing to or wrongly expressing affection.
Sharing. Generous. Selfish
Accepting, quick to make friends. Fearful of others, too cautious, too closed.
Filled with a sense of wonder. Still amazed by the beauty and complexity of God’s creation. No sense of wonder. Afraid of the unknown. Fearful of everything new. Bored.
Pliable. Flexible. Able to grow. Overly rigid. Unwilling to make needed changes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

1 and 2 Timothy

Introduction to the Books of 1 and 2 Timothy

Written by George Goldman

Paul met Timothy in Lystra. Timothy was the offspring of a mixed marriage: a Greek father and a Jewish mother, Eunice (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5). Racial descent was determined by the mother; therefore, Paul had Timothy circumcised upon his conversion. (Acts 16:3). None of Paul’s companions is mentioned as often as Timothy.

It is true that Paul’s travels as described in these books (2 Tim. 4:13, 20) do not fit into the Acts account. Yet there is ample evidence for a second Roman imprisonment. Acts has Paul in a Roman prison around 60 A.D. Luke’s detailed account of the trip is found in the latter chapters (Acts 27 – 28). Acts leaves the question of Paul’s release unanswered, but there is strong evidence that he was released after the two years (Acts 28:30). The attitude of the Roman government in the book of Acts favors it; the Prison Letters expect it (Phil. 1:19-26), the Pastorals demand it (2 Tim. 4:16); and tradition asserts it.

After his release, probably in the spring of 63 A.D., Paul went east (Rom. 15:22ff) and also planned to visit Timothy and Titus (1 Tim. 3:14f; 4:13; Titus 3:12). First Timothy and Titus were evidently written before Nero blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians (July, 64 A.D.). During this persecution Paul was imprisoned a second time in Rome and there met his death in 66 or 67 A.D. (2 Tim. 4:6-8, 16-18). Tradition says he was beheaded.

These two letters to Timothy contain much rich and valuable material. All teachers of the gospel should be familiar with them. The minister of God is to see that his teaching is true to the gospel (1 Tim. 1:3); he is to be a man of prayer (1 Tim. 2:1f, 8); he is to instruct the women as to their place in the church (1 Tim. 2:9ff). This is unpopular in ERA circles today but it is still in the Bible (cf. 1 Pet. 3:1-7; Eph. 5:22ff; 1 Cor. 11:1-3); he is to influence both old and young, men and women (1 Tim. 5:1-2); he is to see that the widow is cared for (1 Tim. 5:3-16); he is to rebuke elders who sin (1 Tim. 5:20); and he is to be an example in personal conduct, purity, and holiness (1 Tim. 4:12; 5:21f; 6:11-14). Thus, what the minister says is only part of his job; what he does in the rest of it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Planning for Success

A Simple Strategy for Success

Written by Cory Collins

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” Jn 4:35

Being “shrewd as serpents” (Matt 10:16) involves both prayerful and careful effort in doing the work of the Lord’s church. In order to “grow up into our Head” with the “proper working of each individual part” (Eph 4:15f), we must plan the work and then work the plan.

Our friend Michael Jackson, the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Heritage Christian University, superbly assists every department head in the planning and assessment of its work. Using a six-step paradigm, he helps leaders draw a map and then follow it. Eureka! This system, at least in principle, could be adapted to benefit the work of the local church.

The first step is to define the “Purpose.” Here we would state the function of the church, “to save the lost and secure the saved,” or “to evangelize, educate, and edify.” We could then add the specific mission of any ministry, such as our educational program: “To teach the Word of God clearly and accurately, so that all may know Him and do His will.”

The second step is to list the “Strategic Goals.” These might include biblical concepts, texts, classes, opportunities, and applications which the Bible school aims to provide.

The third step notes “Objectives – Means of Assessment and Criteria for Success.” These are specific, measurable, achievable, time-bound benchmarks that will mark progress. They could include grade-level review quizzes, service projects, student essays, etc.

The fourth step lists the “Assessment Results.” What did the tests, activities, or other instruments indicate? Did the students make the intended score, or exhibit the desired mastery of the concept, or accomplish the pre-selected level of success?

The fifth step states the “Use of Results.” Based on the outcomes in step four, we reevaluate and reconstruct our objectives. If we reached them, we move on to new horizons. If not, we stick with them, diagnose the failure, and devise a better way to proceed.

The sixth step identifies the persons responsible, the due date, and the budget impact. Who are the “go-to” leaders that will implement the updated aims? By what date will they have completed the task? What resources will be required and set aside?

This same, simple strategy can be applied to local evangelism, benevolence, youth, the training of new elders, deacons, and teachers, etc. This six-step cycle can be repeated over and over and over again until the job is done. The Lord’s work is not complicated, but it does require big-picture thinking and nuts-and-bolts participation.

The gospel has the power, but we have the tools. Let’s put them to work.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Best Policy

Honesty Remains the Best Policy

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

If free is unavailable, I like cheap. Target had the cheapest prices on colas last week. As we checked out, I asked Laura to check the receipt for accuracy. We were charged the advertised price on the colas, but there was a mistake. The scanner failed to record her shampoo. I waited in the truck as she returned to pay.

There was no temptation to steal the shampoo. Our consciences are too well trained. We’d have felt guilty because we would have been guilty. From Exodus 20 to Ephesians 4:28, it’s clear that stealing is wrong. Doing wrong always damages the soul.

As we paid the first time with a debit card, Laura asked for $40 cash back. The clerk handed her two twenties. When she paid for the shampoo, Laura used one of those twenties. To her amusement, the clerk authenticated the bill with his “bill checker” pen. Laura told him, “I noticed you didn’t check that twenty when you gave it me, but now you’re checking it as I give it back.” The irony zipped right over his head. Besides, he was just following store policy. I’m fine with following good policy.

Any time we refuse to steal, we’ve followed many sound policies. You could add notably to the following list:

  • Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
  • Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
  • Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
  • Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
  • 1 Peter 1:15, “…But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…”

I’d hate to suffer spiritual defeat over a $6 bottle of shampoo. Doing right pays.

Monday, November 14, 2011

1 and 2 Thessalonians

Introduction to the Books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians

Written by George Goldman

You can read the background of these two letters in the book of Acts (Acts 17). With the possible exception of Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians are the earliest surviving letters of the Apostle Paul. They were written during Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:36 – 18:21) about 49 – 52 A.D. They were likely written within a few months of each other since Silas and Timothy were still with Paul (1 Thes. 1:1; 2 Thes. 1:1).

Thessalonica was the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Its inhabitants were Roman citizens who were ruled by officials know as “politarchs” (Acts 17:6-8). This term which is used in the Greek New Testament and is translated “city authorities” was once thought to be a historically inaccurate statement. It occurred only in the Bible and not in any historical documents. Therefore many concluded that Luke, God’s writer of Acts, was mistaken. Today in modern Thessalonica, Salonica, sixteen inscriptions of this Macedonian term have been uncovered. One is now in a British museum.

The basic doctrine in these earliest letters of Paul concerns the second coming of Christ. The first letter tells of the resurrection of the righteous dead and the “changing” of those alive when Christ comes again (1 Thes. 4:13ff). Paul did not talk about the “soonness” of Christ’s return but its suddenness. Christ would come as a “thief in the night” (1 Thes. 5:2) but no one knew when (Mt. 24:36; 25:13).

The second letter was written to explain some previous oral teaching of Paul’s. “Now concerning” (2 Thes. 2:1) could refer to some correspondence between Paul and the Thessalonians as it does in Corinthians. Here Paul describes the imminent apostasy or “falling away” (cf. 1 Tim. 4:1ff). This apostasy was already under way, the restraint, inspired preaching, would soon be taken away (2 Thes. 2:7). Then the man of sin, the lawless one, would be revealed (2 Thes. 2:8-10). This activity of the “lawless one” could be the protagonists in the Jewish war against the Romans when the Temple was destroyed (66 – 70 A.D.). It perhaps could refer to the Roman emperors in general or Nero (54 – 64 A.D.) and Domitian (96 A.D.) in particular. The miraculous activity the “man of sin” proves that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament affirms that only God’s people can work miracles.

The “day of the Lord” (2 Thes. 2:2) is an Old Testament expression first met in Amos (Amos 5:18-20). It is a day of darkness and not of light, in other words a day of calamity; a day in which Jesus is said to appear and come (2 Thes. 2:8). There have been many days of the Lord in history and one need not apply this expression only to the second coming of Christ. Thus, the great tribulation may have taken place in the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.), rather than being an event occurring before the end of the world (cf. Mt. 24:15-35).

The “rapture” is a current religious doctrine. It comes to us from the Latin translation of the Greek word harpazo or “caught up” (1 Thes. 4:17). The rapture is neither a biblical word nor a biblical doctrine. Second Thessalonians clearly teaches that the wicked are being punished at the same time the righteous are being rewarded (2 Thes. 1:4-10). There is but one resurrection for both good and bad (Acts 24:15). There is no time lapse of seven years. The parable of the tares states the good and bad must grow together until the last day (Mt. 13:24-30). How could we preach the gospel “even to the end of the world” (Mt. 28:18-20), if all the righteous are removed seven years prior to the end of the world?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Forgiveness, Part Four

Adequate Forgiveness

Adequate forgiveness involves God, God’s people, and oneself. If any one of these is omitted, then serious problems will result. Every sinner needs to find at least one person who is willing to listen and, while knowing the very worst, will still love and respect the sinner. Such a person is God and the church is such a society.

Every person needs a social context in which he can openly admit how far s/he has fallen. Yet s/he must still feel loved and accepted in spite of her or his shortcomings. S/he must be supported in developing the kind of God-approved behavior s/he really desires. God’s people believe that sinners are worth saving. They do more than support; they motivate each other to self-control and will power. The church is to help people rise above their failures.

Saul of Tarsus was adequately forgiven because he dealt adequately with his guilt. In Acts 24:16 Paul said, “So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward God and toward man.” Paul dealt with his guilt by confessing it to God, to God’s people, and to himself.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Forgiveness, Part 3

Inadequate Forgiveness

Inadequate forgiveness occurs because we deal inadequately with our guilt. Guilt is a part of every human’s make-up. Personal guilt occurs when people fail to live up to their own moral ideas. They violate what they believe is true and are thus self-indicted. Guilt is the sense of wrongdoing. It is the difference between what we are and what we know we should be. A person who lives with his guilt lives in a self-created prison.

There are three kinds of guilt.

Appropriate Guilt

Appropriate guilt occurs when we actually transgress God’s commandments, harm our fellow human beings, or violate our own consciences. Appropriate guilt must be dealt with by confrontation, confession, forgiveness, restitution, and reconciliation.

Neurotic Guilt

  1. Neurotic guilt occurs when we do not involve God, God’s people, and ourselves in the forgiveness process. God showed His willingness to forgive on the cross. The church we read about in the Bible shows that God’s people openly admitted sin and yet were accepted and loved (Gal 6:1f. Read; Jas. 5:19f.). But to enjoy the blessing of forgiveness, one must be able to forgive oneself. Neurotic guilt is cured by accepting God and His forgiveness, God’s people and their forgiveness, and finally by self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.
  2. There are several examples in the Bible of remorseful people who refused to forgive themselves. Judas Iscariot is the prime example (Matt. 27:1-5). The Bible explicitly teaches that Judas repented and confessed. He could have been forgiven. But he would not forgive himself.
  3. There is such a thing as psychosomatic or functional illness - illness that has no physical basis. Headache, upset stomach, and heart palpitation are just as real as if the physical organs were damaged or diseased. Yet these illnesses clear up almost overnight when adequate forgiveness is attained. So sometimes even our bodies condemn us!

Complete Lack of Guilt

  1. A lack of guilt occurs when we do not respond to the forgiveness process. Many people endeavor to conceal their guilt by denying it. They will never know the blessing of forgiveness. They live lives of hypocrisy and lies. They soothe themselves by saying, “We all sin from time to time.” But when a person is unable to admit his guilt, he is also unable to find forgiveness. The more he denies his need for forgiveness, the more unforgiving he becomes. Isaiah prayed, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins” (Is. 58:1).
  2. The parable of the unmerciful servant illustrates a person with a complete lack of guilt (Matt. 18:23ff). A debt of ten thousand talents represents a billion dollars. One talent was more than fifteen years’ wages. A man would have to work 150,000 years to pay off such a debt and even then the interest on the money could not ever be paid back. It would take 8,600 men each carrying sixty pounds to equal such a debt. With this enormous debt forgiven, the same man would not forgive a small three-month debt of his fellowman. He lacked a complete sense of his guilt. The point of the parable is that if God can forgive our enormous burden of guilt surely we can forgive each other our everyday mistakes. When we need forgiveness we expect God to generously and freely grant it. We must learn to care more for each other and care less about each other’s mistakes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Forgiveness, Part Two

The Conditions of Forgiveness

What a wonderful blessing complete and absolute forgiveness really is. Forgiveness is beautiful (Ps. 32:1f). But as with all of God’s blessings there are conditions for forgiveness. What are God’s conditions for forgiveness?

God’s forgiveness is conditioned on our ability to forgive others (Matt. 6:14f). The unforgiving heart is of necessity a heavy heart. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” That is, the forgiving will be forgiven.

Another condition for forgiveness is that men may preach forgiveness only through the name of Christ; that is, by His authority.

The apostle Peter said to Cornelius, “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:43). The apostle John wrote, “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His sake” (I John 2:12). The apostle Paul preached, “Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38). “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).

The forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon the blood of the covenant. “For this is My blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). The conditions of forgiveness are emphatically and repeatedly discussed in the Book of Acts. The various accounts of conversion teach that faith, repentance, confession, and baptism are all prerequisites to forgiveness. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7f).

Forgiveness is conditioned upon repentance. Complete and absolute forgiveness is conditioned on complete and absolute repentance. Notice how closely repentance and forgiveness are tied together in the New Testament: “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4); “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47; cf. Acts 2:38); “God highly exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). God’s forgiveness is unalterably tied to man’s repentance.

Forgiveness is also conditioned upon confession. For adequate forgiveness to take place, there must be adequate confession. Confession is not complaining. It is not blaming other people. Confession is not substitution. It is not replacing a bad deed with a good one. Confession is not plea-bargaining. It is not pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Confession is not camouflage. It is not exhibitionism or boasting. Real confession is cleansing for the soul. It is catharsis. It cleanses the emotions. Confession is not the cure for the problem; it is only the admission that the problem exists. The goal of confession is to receive forgiveness and not to develop the details of the sin. Forgiveness requires humility but not humiliation.

Genuine confession has a sound Biblical basis: “They were baptized in the Jordan confessing their sins” (Matt. 3:6); “Many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices” (Acts 19:18; cf. I John 1:9f; Jas. 5:16).

Finally, forgiveness is conditional upon reconciliation (Matt. 18:15-17). If a private meeting fails to bring about forgiveness, then arbitrators are to be consulted. Arbitrators are not to take sides. They are not to prove a point, but they are to help in the process of reconciliation. Reconciliation means to bring back harmony, to end alienation, and to begin a brand-new relationship. If this meeting also fails, the personal matter is to be brought before the church. And if this third meeting does not succeed, then the effort is to be abandoned as hopeless until there is an attitude change. This then becomes a condition for forgiveness.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Forgiveness, Part One


While Jesus was on earth He preached in many places: a crowed street in Jericho, a boat by the seashore, a mountainside in Galilee, a well near Samaria, and the temple at Jerusalem. But Jesus’ last sermon was preached on a cross outside of Jerusalem. There was never a pulpit like the cross, never an audience like the one assembled there, and never a preacher like the dying Savior.

The Bible records the dying words of only four men: Jacob, the first Israelite; Moses, the first lawgiver; Stephen, the first Christian martyr; and Christ, the only Savior. After being raised on the cross, Jesus opened His eyes and probability in the back of the crowd He could see the curiosity seekers. As He looked closer, He could see a little group of His disciples, made up mostly of the women from Galilee. Closer still were the priests who were ridiculing Him and the Roman soldiers who were crucifying Him.

Christ’s dying words are the foundation of Christianity. Perhaps everyone expected Him to say something, but no one expected Him to say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The Greek verb here is in the imperfect tense which indicates continuance of action. Each time an insult was hurled, a snide remark was made, a tongue-lashing was given, Jesus repeated His prayer. These dying words have become the standard of Christian forgiveness. Jesus wanted Pilate forgiven for his failure to enforce justice. Jesus wanted the house of Caiaphas forgiven for hitting and spitting on Him. Jesus wanted the soldiers forgiven for ridiculing and finally crucifying Him. Jesus wanted both Judas and Peter forgiven.

Jesus never withheld forgiveness from anyone who sincerely asked for it. Jesus came to teach about forgiveness. He came both to forgive and to tell us we are forgiven. Human nature has not changed through the centuries. We have the same needs, the same drives, and the same capacity for good or evil. The sins of Jerusalem, Corinth, and Rome are the sins of New York, Chicago, and __________, U.S.A. So when one preaches on forgiveness he is preaching an all-important phase of the gospel.

The Meaning of Forgiveness

There are four words in the original language translated forgiveness in the New Testament. The first is a legal term, the second is a gracious term, the third and fourth are synonymous with the removal of guilt. Let’s look at each one of these:

The legal term for forgiveness, apoluo, means to set free, to dismiss, to release, or even to divorce. It is the term used in Matthew 5:32. In John 19:10, Pilate said to Jesus, “Do you not know that I have power to release (legally forgive) you, and power to crucify you?” Paul said in Acts 28:18, “When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case.”

The gracious term for forgiveness is charizomai. It means to freely grant as a favor, to remit, to forgive, and to pardon. Jesus graciously restored sight to the blind (Luke 7:21). God freely gave His Son and will He not freely give us all things (Rom. 8:32). The disfellowshipped man was graciously forgiven when he repented (2 Cor. 2:7, 10). Christians are to have this attitude. In Ephesians 4:32, “and be ye kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” And in Colossians 3:13, “forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” In Colossians 2:13, “And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. . .”

The third and fourth words for forgiveness are the most common in the New Testament: aphiemi and the noun form aphesis. These words have to do with the removal of guilt. “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4). Peter’s question about forgiveness involved these words (Matt. 18:21, 35). This is the word Jesus used on the cross (Luke 23:34). Every Christian needs and receives this kind of forgiveness (I John 1:9; 2:12). The Jews began to question Christ’s authority because He so easily and graciously forgave sin and removed guilt (Luke 7:47ff; Mark 2:5-12). Jesus repeatedly told His apostles, disciples, and all Christians to forgive. This means to remove the guilt and refuse to hold it against one another (Mark 11:25).

How wonderful it is to be released, divorced from sin, and unconditionally forgiven, removed from all guilt.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Testament Textual Criticism

New Testament Textual Criticism

Why should members of churches of Christ care about New Testament textual criticism? How do textual critics go about reconstructing the text of the New Testament? What is next for New Testament textual criticism?

These are a few of the questions Doug Burleson answered in the inaugural Graduate Research Lectures at Heritage Christian University. Burleson, Assistant Professor in Bible at Freed-Hardeman University, will graduate in May 2012 with a PhD in the area of New Testament Textual Criticism from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation, titled “Case Studies in Closely Related Manuscripts for Determining Scribal Traits,” is directed by Dr. William Warren.

Audio from Burleson's Lectures

New Testament Textual Criticism Since 1881

New Testament Textual Criticism Today

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book of Colossians

Introduction to the Book of Colossians

Written by George Goldman

Colossae was an ancient city of about 500 years when Paul wrote this letter. It was known for a peculiar purple wool (colossinus). The city stood on a trade route from Ephesus to the Euphrates. However, the trade route changed and the neighboring cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis became the greater cities. Colossae was the last prominent city to which Paul wrote. Archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of an ancient church there.

The church of Colossae was probably established on Paul’s third missionary journey during his ministry in Ephesus. The congregation was not started by Paul himself (Col. 2:1) but by Epaphras (Col. 1:7, 12f). Archippus was a minister there (Col. 4:17). Members included Philemon and Onesimus (Phile. 1; Col. 4:9).

Paul wrote to the Colossians while a prisoner (Col. 4:3, 10, 18), probably during the first Roman imprisonment (62 A.D.). He wrote this insignificant out-of-the-way place where he had never been because of the erroneous doctrine beginning there. The exact origin of this false teaching is unknown. Some say it was Essenism; or Gnosticism; or even contemporary Judaism with a syncretism of local Phrygian ideas.

Paul met these errors by presenting the all-sufficient Christ. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom, knowledge, and divine perfections (Col. 1:15-23). On the cross, Jesus Christ revealed his importance and freedom from corruptions and newness of life is found in His death and resurrection (Col. 2:8-15).

The letter has four parts:

  1. Salutation and thanksgiving (1:1-8);
  2. Doctrinal section (1:9 – 2:5);
  3. Ethical section (2:6 – 4:6); and
  4. Concluding salutations (4:7-18).

Towards the end of the epistle (Col. 4:16), Paul asks this congregation at Leodicea to which he had also written. This gives the most accurate picture of how the twenty-seven books of the New Testament were collected. Paul’s letter to the Laodiceans has perished (cf. 1 Cor. 5:9).