"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." -- Romans 1:16

NOTES AND QUOTES FOR TODAY:

Must We Always Be Contending

For The Faith? – III

” If you are in the majority, you are in the wrong crowd.” 

Be Ye Separate , saith the Lord…” 2nd  Corinthians 6:17

Now some of the pitfalls with our kind of ministry – is spiritual discernment.  Believers should exercise discernment; that is, we should all examine every teachings through the lens of Scripture.   People think it is just not necessary! We are bluntly told not to talk (write) about false teachers; we are told by one correspondent with our ministry, “ do not worry about questionable guys.” The other criticism is , “ you are fixated with it – that is all that you do!”  Time and time again we are being told that we need not concern ourselves with the “peripheral” issues that may keep us from winning this world to Christ. We are not to “do battle” over the less important issues.

We have a command we follow in carrying our ministry of warning as given in Jude 3 and 4 which reads, “Beloved, …….. ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, …….turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Even though Judas heart beat was to talk( write) about our common salvation, led by the Spirit he found it necessary to warn the believers about false teachers. Warning people about false teachers is a command in the Scripture; and we must do it! It should be a task, and we do it in love.

Twenty Six of the Twenty Seven books of the New Testament books directly warn about false teachers and their false teachings! Only the book of Philemon has nothing to say about false teachers and false teachings. So this is to say that warning people about false doctrines and false teachers is a prominent theme of the New Testament. Our Lord himself time and again gave warnings; and all the Apostles did that repeatedly. False teachers have been a problem in the church practically since day one; and they remain so today!

. We ask our friends, to suspend preconceived notions and honestly seek the instruction of the word of God in these matters, which those of us in this ministry are faced with on a daily basis. We should place our loyalty to the Scriptures far above than to any man or institution. We are told: 

1.“We should never publicly judge or criticize any Christian brother.”

The Bible records numerous examples where one believer publicly rebukes another for inconsistent or foolish conduct. Christ himself found it necessary to openly rebuke on more than one occasion. In Galatian 2 Peter was again severely rebuked, this time by Paul, and “before them all. Paul also found it necessary to expose Demas for his worldliness and desertion. John the apostle of love, refused to spare the ambitious self-seeking Diotrephes from public exposure in his third epistle. The letters which record these incidents were written for public eyes; some were even written to be circulated among the churches.

One of the purpose for open censure (rebuke) is to make mis-conduct painful and therefore, hopefully lead to correction and restoration of the offender. It is also necessary to protect weak believers from the influence of the wayward and then, ultimately, to keep the body of Christ, the Church, pure. The little leaven must be removed (dealt with) before the whole lump is affected.  Yes, motives for such exposure must be positive. We seek only to correct and restore, in order to advance the Lord’s work.  May the Lord deliver us from a quarrelsome spirit that relishes the strife of controversy. Those who are always looking for something sour are just as unscriptural as some of those they may be attempting to correct. “rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in truth.” 1st Corinthians 13:6 Such people first need to remove the beam from their own eyes.

2A preacher should never mention names in the Pulpit, but just assert positive principles and let the hearer make the application.

A curse of our day is the fear of man that has fastened itself upon many of our pulpits. What is needed is that raw moral courage that dares name sin and issue ultimatums. A study of the preaching of the New Testament reveals a bold specificity.   The Apostles for example preached “to” sinners – not “about” sinners. The faithful preacher must draw the application of his words; the man in the pew often does not or, if so, he will make the application only to others.

Paul instructed Timothy to rebuke before all those that sinned (1st Timothy 5:20). Though this did not, perhaps, necessarily entail specific names of immediate listeners, Paul himself certainly did not hesitate to mention the names of doctrinal heretics and compromisers in places of influence. In the short letter to Timothy he mentioned no less than eight names (Phygellus, Hermogenes, deserted Paul; Hymeneaeus and Philetus, heresy; Jannes and Jambres, withstood Moses; Demas, worldliness: And Alexander the Coppersmith, harmed Paul.”

Some men take pride in the fact that they are “positive preachers”. The difficulty with this is that if a man is truly for something, he must also be against something! It is impossible to be truly positive without being negative. We see that in more than one occasion the apostle Paul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, told Timothy to “reprove” and “rebuke” (2nd Timothy 4:2). That is he demanded negativism in preaching.

3.“Scripture forbids us to “touch the Lord’s anointed” by criticizing the man of God.

This statement is much of the time used by those who want to insulate themselves or others from criticism of their disobedient practices. However, a study of the Scriptural context suggests the idea of physical harm, and not criticism as such. God warns in 1st Chronicles 16:22, “ touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm.” This was the warning, to the heathen nations, not to physically harm the Israelites in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Verbal criticism does not appear to be the issue.

Again we find in 1st Samuel, 24 where, David, “stretched out his hand against God’s anointed” by cutting of the skirt of Saul’s robe in the cave of Engedi. Here also the action is physical, not verbal. Physical attack is again obvious in 2nd Samuel 26 when Abishai wanted to “ stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed” by killing Saul in his own camp as he slept next to Abner.   Such terms as “touch” and “ stretch forth the hand” imply physical, and not verbal, action of public censure and criticism of disorderly preachers is “ touching the Lord’s anointed”, then Paul was guilty of such when he exposed Peter’s inconsistency in Galatians 2.   The warning is, nevertheless, a valid warning against any kind of physical abuse of the man of God.

4.“Because ‘the Compromising Preacher’ is doing more good than harm in his soul-winning practices, we should not oppose or criticize him – never criticize a soul-winner.”

Such a position ignores an important Scriptural principle that Christ Himself set forth in His sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:15-20). Here the Savior taught that an individual’s ministry is incapable of producing a mixture of good and bad fruits simultaneously. A many may appear to produce good fruit along with the bad but in the long run, when the fruit is tested, the apparent good will prove defective also. On the other hand, the shallow Christianity of our day things that the fruit of Biblical Fundamentalism is bad, but time will prove it otherwise.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “ he that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Disobedience always produces a flawed harvest. A little leaven leavens the whole lump and turns the blessing of a good ministry into a curse! To excuse a man because there is apparent good fruit among the bad is folly. The bitter harvest of the blighted conversions now being reaped in our churches has sprung, in part from the soil of tolerance which says in effect, “ I never criticize a soul-winner.”

5. “I can fellowship with any man who is sound in doctrine, loves the Lord, and wins souls.”

This is a statement that has a spiritual, perhaps even Scriptural ring to it. But is it biblical? Now, soundness of doctrine is necessary, but not the only basis of fellowship. A man may be impeccably orthodox in doctrine, but heterodox in his practice. If doctrinal soundness was the only criteria, Israel could have fellowshipped with Balaam. Nowhere was it ever suggested that he taught heresy as such. In fact some of the greatest prophecies came from his lips. Balaam is considered a false prophet because of his associations and influence of his example (Numbers 22-25). His practice and not his doctrine married Israel to the world.    Yes, a man not only preaches with his lips, but with his life also. There are many who not only preach sound doctrine but also bring to the pulpit a lesson in Scriptural disobedience, by the pattern of their life, that many that follow them can yoke up with Romanism, Judaism, endorse Ecumenical Evangelism, support Conventions of apostasy – the cooperative programs.

We hear from those who say, “we can’t know all things about every man, so none of us can be perfectly consistent.” that is true! We are not talking here about perfection. We all sin and fail the Lord and we need his daily cleansing! But this is no excuse for not “try the spirits” whether they bee of God. We are talking about professing brethren who practice a continual pattern of disobedience and refuse to be corrected. The word of God is clear, if a brother continues to walk disorderly, we are commanded not to have fellowship with him.   A careful study of the following passages of the scripture indicate that obedience to the Word of God is the only basis for fellowship. (1st John 1:5-7; Psalms 119:63; 2nd Thessalonians 3:6-14; Romans 16:17; Psalms 101: proverbs 13:20)

Galatians 2:11-14 Here Paul sharply rebuked Peter “ before them all” for his misconduct. The strong language here makes inconceivable any fellowship between the men until Peter repented. Paul made Peter’s compromise painfully public – Galatians was a circular letter! And here we bear in mind that it is Peter’s disobedience, and not Paul’s exposure of it, that caused this dissension.

6.“Soul winning is primary, separation is secondary. We must win the lost at any cost.”

Such is the cardinal doctrine of the New Evangelism. Yes, soul winning is our great privilege and responsibility as believers. One who refuses to reach the lost is disobedient to the clear commands of Scripture. As important as evangelism is, Scripture never makes soul-winning paramount to obedience to the Word of God.    Our service, of whatever kind, is to be guided by Scriptural procedures. The Apostle John’s greatest joy was, not that his children were soul-winners, but that they “walk in truth. (3rd John4). According to Samuel, our obedience is more important than our service (2nd Samuel 15:22). No, we do not win souls at the cost of Scriptural disobedience.

True obedience will result in in a more permanent , and always spectacular harvest of souls. A close look at the fruit of the faulty methods in operation today suggest that despite glittering statistics there is very little fruit that remains. Faithfulness of the people, in the local churches as a whole today; their loyalty to the Scripture is the test of a successful church.

One may legitimately ask, “ is separation then the answer to all our problems?” it is all that important?” The answer would be, of course, no, it is not the solution to all of our problems, but it is much more important than many usually realizes.   A major emphasis of the Old Testament is Israel’s separation from the heathen nations round about them. Study of the Old Testament reveals that separation is the cardinal, not a peripheral, thrust of the Bible. Separation is especially crucial doctrine for the days.

In addition to the authority of the Scripture , the other major doctrine which must be obscured and de-emphasized, if the end time ecumenical movement is to bring all together, is that of the doctrine of separation. Further more the purity of doctrine and of the Church to must be ultimately secured by this linchpin of ecclesiastical separation.

In conclusion we say this, that, “ intolerance should not be identified synonymous with a self-righteous and uncharitable spirit.” We must “speak the truth in love.” and weep over the erring brethren! The prophet Samuel cried all night, over the compromise of Soul, and again, Paul, by the space of three years he cried“ … and warned everyone night and day.” (Acts20:31).

Our hearts should be breaking over the division that is being caused by the disobedience of God’s men. But to weep and not attempt to correct and restore or rebuke, when necessary, is little more than sentimentality and is certainly not Biblical love.

Separation is not an option, it is an obligation!

May God Help us!!

 

From The Staff of The Peoples Gospel Hour

 

 

 

 
 

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The Bible reveals two ways which people are following to get into heaven. One way, the true way, is God’s way. God’s way into heaven is the way of peace and truth and righteousness. It is the only way approved of God. This way centers in the Lord Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). The Bible declares that there is another way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).

There are so many popular ways today filled with lost multitudes all over the land, such as the way of morality, the way of respectability, the way of religion, the way of churchianity, the way of baptism, the way of christening, the way of confirmation, the way of penance, the way of confession, the way of “doing the best I can”, the way of self, the way of education, the way of philosophy, the way of false isms and cults that crowd the street. Little wonder then when we speak to people about the way of salvation, that so many have asked, “How can I know which is the true way? There are so many different ideas and so many religions.”

But there is ONE difference between God’s way of salvation and man’s way, and that difference is found in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice that man leaves Christ out of the center of his way. You will discover that the modern false cults and isms demote Christ to a mere man and add something to what He has already done for your salvation and mine. We become children of God through a supernatural birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7)

“May the Lord bless you, and make you a blessing!”  – The PGH Staff.

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