Come Out From Among Them

8 01 2014

In our day and age the church seems to have become so tied in with the world that we are concerned with what the world thinks about us. We try to be “diverse” or “relevant” or “Understanding.” This has led to the forsaking of doctrines such as eternal punishment, and the righteous justice of God. We want the world to esteem us well although the Bible says, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:18-20) Let’s look at a few areas we as Christians have failed to fully separate from the world.

1.We have focused our attention on the attributes of God that are easy to understand such as His love. We then act as though because He is love that there can be no eternal punishment. This is a false view of God’s nature. He is love as the Bible clearly says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8) While we embrace God’s love and are thankful for it we cannot forget that God is also just, holy, righteous, merciful, longsuffering, angry, and jealous. We cannot simply highlight parts of God’s character we like and hide the ones we don’t. We try to portray to the world a god they will accept if they like him well enough. God is to be accepted on the basis He is God. Like it or lump it as my dad use to say. If God in His entire being seems distasteful, or unlikable then refuse Him to your own peril but we are not helping sinners by painting for them a half picture of the God of the Bible. We must as a church present God in His entirety to the world.

2. We have reduced God’s love to mere human affection or worse even lust. We are told, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) While the truth of God’s love for mankind cannot be denied I have listened to so called Christian radio (who’s tactics and music sound no different than the world) air stuff like “God is passionately in love with you” or  “God’s heart beats for you” or “God has a major crush on you.” We try to make God’s love to be on the same level as the mushy, gooey love that Hollywood presents to us and it lowers and cheapens God’s definition of love.

3. We try to make church less like church hoping to draw people in. I often hear of trying to get people in church who wouldn’t go otherwise. Listen if they won’t go then go to where they are and share the Gospel with them. In many places church has gone from solemn to a party scene, from an assembly to a hang out. We do all we can to take the sacredness out of church and make it more like a movie theater or rock concert. Your not going to win genuine converts that way and even if it worked it is trying to take upon yourself the work of the Holy Spirit which is drawing the hearts of men.

4. We stop going out and sharing the Gospel hoping to have more results through friendship evangelism. Let’s be clear evangelism is not about results. I don’t go share the Gospel because I am trying to win a soul. I go because God has commanded it. I go because I am obedient. Sometimes I plant, other times I water and if God chooses to give increase while I’m there then wonderful. Many churches see evangelism as a means of church building and when they don’t see church growth they give it up. They have a faulty view of evangelism in my opinion.

5. We fear being outcasts in society. We want so much to be accepted in our communities but this is completely outside the realm of Scripture. The disciples had a bad reputation and yet many converts. The view of them by Rome or the Sanhedrin didn’t effect their outreach at all. When people saw the marked difference between the followers of Christ and everyone else they wanted that themselves. In our day we want to be as much like our culture as possible. There is no difference and then we hope to win them over by emphasizing how happy we are. The early believers couldn’t do this because they were being hunted down, tortured and killed and yet people still converted.

It’s time the church return to the principles of fundamental Christianity. Gospel preaching, Bible believing, soul winning, and separated living. It’s time our services return to the solemn worship of the Lord, it’s time we stop having services with people in mind and have them with God in mind.



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