A number of people in the Church have created a new system of getting people out of sin, and too many good-willed Christians are buying into this unbiblical notion of “encouraging the sinner.” Speaking life is good yes, but in what context? When someone is sinning? Paul addressed the Corinthians very sternly about their acceptance of someone sinning among them. He didn’t tell them to speak life over them. He told them:
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:4-5 NKJV)
When you sin, you are in death because the bible itself says sin brings death. Those in sin need to know they are not walking in life and need to repent from their sin that is destroying them in order to begin walking in life. There is a time to be more firm and a time to be more gentle, depending on the sinner, but you are never to avoid speaking the truth about sin and how the Holy God hates it. Mind you, He hates it because it is the greatest offense to Him and His purpose for us as living beings: to glorify and imitate Him, to be like Him. Whenever we sin, we misrepresent God and slander His holy character. God is love, God is good, God is many wonderful things, but He particularly emphasizes His holiness.
Hearing the truth doesn’t cause people to stay stuck in their sin. There is freedom in the truth. Jesus taught that light exposes darkness and those who love darkness will stay there by their own choosing, not because the truth of their sin made them stay there. Once light is shed on darkness, a choice is to be made that all of us, by God’s granting, are able to make, for He gave us free will: Choose Him or choose self.
I know people who stay stuck in sin because they don’t fear God because no one has really confronted them on it, but only encouraged them. But when God sent His prophets to the Jews because they were sinning against Him, God had the prophet call out ALL of their sins. God labeled them and then delivered harsh judgment.
People must be warned. There is a time for everything, and when someone is sinning, it is NOT the time for encouragement.