Friends of God or Friends of the World

friend

 

 

Sunday 07/22/18 

Series: For edification

Message – Friends of God or Friends of the World

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Last week we were talking about Living in the Light of TRUE Grace,

We ended with 2 examples of Modern Christianity being taught and lived IN THE DARK and NOT in the Light of God’s grace.

One was a Hillsong’s New York Campus church trying to be “‘gay welcoming” without being gay affirming and attempting thereby to sidestep the sticky issue of compromising their convictions.

And I am not trying to paint this church black – nor any other “seeker friendly” church for that matter.

Believing the best – as we are commanded to do unless 100% evidence proves otherwise – I believe they are doing this with the best intentions in mind. They are trying to reach and save the lost…and in reaching out to the gay community – even in this wrong way – they are in a interesting way proclaiming that the LGBT community needs saving.

The problem  is their method. The idea being that the BEST and most natural place to turn wolves into sheep is by inviting them into the sheepfold.

Now of course it isn’t said that way. The way it is presented is,

“We need to make the church feel less hostile to sinners because after all – we were all sinners before we came to Christ. So let’s make them feel welcome, knowing that we love them and accept them even though we cannot approve of their lifestyle. This will make it easier for sinners to come to church – they may even begin to want to – and you can feel better about inviting your unsaved friends to church.”

This sad thing is, apart from their hopeful sincerity is that the entire approach is profoundly stupid and if Christians were more literate in the scriptures – it would never even be conceptualized as a good idea – much less presented to the church as a new way of doing and being.

Evangelism of the lost was NEVER intended to be conducted IN the church – it is to be done in the world. Even the world knows this!

If the Hug a Tree, global warming crowd wants to impact your thoughts, they do not try to make their meetings less offensive to naysayers, they use their meetings to indoctrinate their followers and pump them up for to go into the community and have rallies and talk about it with their co-workers, ask their bosses to consider being a “green friendly workplace”…etc.

In other words they use COMMON SENSE! Something that in many church circles long ago left the building!

Let me tell you plainly and with no soft speech.

friends

  • It will desensitize you to the evil, and rather than being a light in their darkness you will be deliberately placing your light under a bushel under the pretense that it’s light will still somehow magically affect them!
    • It’s a type of group insanity really.
  • Make no mistake – Your friendship with the world will bring death into your life and cost you your friendship with Christ!

These decisions have a very heavy price tag!

Consider the words of James, Paul and John on this thorny issue:

  • Someone look up James 4:4-8
  • Someone else look up 1Jn 2:14-20
  • I will look up 2Cor. 6:14-18

James 4:4-8, HCSB “(4) Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy. (5) Or do you think it’s without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit He has caused to live in us yearns jealously? (6) But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (7) Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!”

1Jn 2:14-20, NKJV “(14) I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. (15) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. (17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (18) Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (20) But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.”

2Cor. 6:14-18, NKJV “(14) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (15) And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? (16) And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.” (17) Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.” (18) “I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY.”

The 2nd example I gave you involved a graphic posted on a popular Pastor’s FB page with cartoon illustrations of various distortions of normal heterosexual lifestyles condoning them as “Biblical” just because some of them were mentioned in the Bible

…never mind that murder, rape, theft, slander, hatred, lying and almost countless other sins are also “mentioned” in the Bible…

Following this “pastor’s” rule, all of these behaviors MUST also be Biblical because they are mentioned IN the Bible.

Let me just say…

(The beautiful thing about darkness is that the more dark it gets, the more comprehensively stupid the arguments get.)

We ended with a few notes on not being hypocritical. The sins the world participates in are NOT ANY WORSE than the sins we commit – the fundamental differences between the world and the body of Christ is NOT that we do not sin and they do. No! In fact, “carnal Christians” may even be worse in the area of sin even than the world. The honest Christian, who loves their Lord and seeks to obey Him will still sin and may even struggle against repetitive sin in one or two areas in their life (though it will NOT be pervasive of their whole life). The differences are these…

  • A Christian does not call good – evil and evil good
  • A Christian does not LOVE their sin, but wants to be free from it.
  • A Christian does not hate the light, but comes to it to expose their deeds (as either right or wrong).
  • A Christian will not seek to altar God’s word to make their sin “ok”.

The world on the other hand wants acceptance without repentance. They care NOT that Christ died to free us FROM sin.

If they want anything from Christ at all, it is that they want His work on the cross to free them from the CONSEQUENCES of the sins they are still unwilling to forsake. THAT is the major difference in the sins we are addressing here! This is why we cannot fellowship with them – they don’t just DO dark acts – they ARE darkness.

It isn’t the actions of sin alone – it is their dedication to it, their unwillingness to see it as sin and call it sin, their desire to gain God’s approval without being willing to forsake everything to obtain intimacy with Him!

Christians are often shamed by the world for their sins and we SHOULD feel shame for our sins, but they seek to condemn that they might justify themselves by comparing individual weaknesses in the saints which the saints hate and seek to forsake – with their life of total abandonment to sin and love of it. It is NOT the same thing and no Christian need live under a banner of shame that they have, through their actions, kept a sinner from salvation.

NO ONE can keep the one who is truly seeking from finding! Any claim to the contrary is simply a desire to sidestep personal responsibility for their own spiritual condition and lack of relationship with God…DON’T BUY IT!

 
This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

 

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued critic.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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As I said, as of 2009 I’ve been a Pastor for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!