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March 18, 2002

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Q/A Topics:
        -Purity in Service vs Go into all the World?

Purity in Service vs Go into all the World? (041) READER COMMENTS: In many of your articles, I have deep appreciation for your ability to express Gods Word so clearly. As for your "Purity in Service" my heart struggles with the notion that we are to "separate" ourselves from "unbelievers" because it is an "abomination". When our Lord Jesus sat down to dinner at Mathews house, he sat with tax collectors and sinners and the Pharisees asked the disciples "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" (Matt.9 vs.10), vs. 11 says -On hearing this, Jesus said, " It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ' I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Paragraph Omitted for space... Jesus is always kind to people, compassionate to people, even those who were not followers of Gods Word. But through His Love, people (sinners-all of us) are able to see the Glory of God. Should we not, as "believers", those who Witness the Glory of Gods Word, through the Blessing of Christ Jesus, deliver His "lessons" to the most "uneducated" (unbelievers)? Showing compassion for their shortcomings, delivering Gods Word to these people to help untangle their lives. Paragraph Omitted for space... Yes, God hates sin. But God loves all. He sent His Son to Save us and we need to bring sinners into Gods fold with a hug and not a push! READER COMMENTS: I do agree with what you preached about "Purity in Service", however, there is a practical problem which has to be solved first concerning our Lord's Commandment: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, (aliens or unbelievers) baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 If we totally separate ourselves from unbelievers or uncircumcised of heart and flesh, as what we used to be, then how can we make disciples of them? I don't think it is God's will to encourage His children to go to exetremes. We have to sanctify ourselves in our service for sure, in the meantime, we must obey our Lord's Commandment to make disciples. How to balance God's Words is really a good lesson which we have to learn all our life. VW ANSWER: First of all, a reminder that this "Purity in Service" (041) was a rerun of what was originally mailed a couple (?) years ago as a 'Portion'. Back then, also, we addressed: "Unbelievers in the Assembly" (Aug,99 commentary) And if you read through to the bottom of that file, you will see links to a couple of Q/As 1) How to 'weed out' unbelievers 2) Place set apart for unbelievers So, we won't cover old ground here. But let's address this matter of Jesus eating with tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, etc. And our commission to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk16:15) Notice that Jesus was sitting in Matthew's house. (Mt9:10) Jesus went 'to' where the sinners were gathered. When He met with the woman of Samaria, He did not walk by in a door-to-door canvasing campaign, hand her a printed invitation to "come hear Him speak" at the local "First ??? Church of ???" It says that He "needed to go" through Samaria (Jn4:4) and He talks to her 'where' she was. When He meets with Zaccheus He calls out, "..come down, for I must stay 'at' your house." (Lk19:5) -On the other hand, at that last Passover dinner, it was -just- Jesus and the disciples. (Mt26:18) - When the disciples returned from a mini-missionary journey, Jesus says to them, "Come apart by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have opportunity to eat." (Mk6:31) In other words, separate away from the multitudes for personal rest and nourishment. -When Jesus went to pray, He first "sent the multitudes away" (Mt14:23). -He went away by Himself to spend all night in prayer, and then selects the 12, and then, comes out of this place of privacy to minister to the multitudes. (Lk6:12-19) -The "Olivet Discourse" is a meeting between Jesus and the disciples... "privately" (Mt24:3) Not the multitudes. We are to "go -into- the world" to preach the Gospel. But until they are saved, they should not be in the assembly of Believers, met for the purpose of "[giving] attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." (1Tm4:13) Aah, but... there's the rub, eh! How many assemblies are actually heeding this exhortation? They are doing EVERYTHING ELSE BUT being grounded in "sound doctrine". (Tit2:1) They have abandoned doctrine in-order-that they can be disobedient and lure the unsaved in. Instead of spreading God's Word "from house to house" (Ac2:46, 20:20), they 'hire' preachers to "grow-a-church" for them. How else can he 'reach' them all, except they be invited to that 'building'? So, instead of "equipping" the Believers "for the work of ministry" (Eph4:12), he is forced to continually preach "salvation messages" and have "altar calls". The Believers stagnate and do not grow; all they know is the "rudiments" of the 'basics' of repentance and faith for salvation. (Heb6:1) And as the unbelievers are mixed in with the assembly, they do not get saved, and instead drag the Believers down to hell with them! As the repeated weekly "salvation-messages" are not having any effect, then they seek about, devising schemes on how to 'lure' more people in. That, then, is where the rock music, espresso stands, and all the other worldly pagan "entertainment" is brought in, "defiling" God's sanctuary. The world will only come to where more of the 'world' is offered to them. Pagans will only come to where they find more 'paganism'... that which is familiar to them. That which matches their sinful, lust-filled hearts. Are sinners 'saved' in such an environment? Not hardly! Those that do "go-forward" do so to a message that does not save. They are not exhorted to "repent". Why should they? They've just been entertained with the likes of their own sin. To preach repentance in such a setting would be laughable! The so-called "christians" in such an environment are no diffferent from the world. Why should the world change, when they see so-called "christians" being just like themselves? But Believers become corrupted to become like the world. We have a higher calling than that! "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." (1Jn2:15) Such "[c]hristians" are not "[C]hristians"! (Rom9:6b) The "good news" they proclaim is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The exhortation to preachers for the assembly of Believers: "Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, desiring to hear pleasant things, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths." (2Tm4:2-4) Amen!


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