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The Influence of Unbelievers

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;" Revelation 18:4

Recently I ran into a woman from my former church. She's a pleasant lady and I was glad to see her. My husband and I left that church before we were even married. The wolves and goats had taken over and the Leadership was afraid to exercise church discipline as it could bring about law suits thus began a mass exodus. The shepherds responsible for the flock sacrificed the flock out of fear. That's sin and that Leadership will have to answer for that. God noticed hence the mass exodus of genuine Believers.

So I asked her about the church and she suddenly looked sad and said " you's the same." My next question of course was, "why haven't you left?" Her reason for sticking it out was she and her husband had been members for years and, by remaining, she hoped God would use them and the other few Believers to shine light in that darkness and bring about change. That seems pretty noble and I don't doubt she loves the church, but is this the right thing to do?

Maybe you have found yourself in a similar situation and are hoping God will somehow use you as an instrument. Maybe you hang around unbelievers in places you shouldn't be, but rationalize that you can be a witness to them. My husband and I know a guy who frequents casinos and bars to "witness" to all of his worldly friends for hours on end. Maybe your church's doctrine/teaching has changed and they've gone the way of the world to build up their congregation and given up sound teaching which offends the ungodly.

Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9). He chooses to allow us participation in His work. He doesn't need us. He's been working just fine without us for eternity. We always make more of a mess than help anyway. It's a privilege from God and not a necessity. We can't save anyone, only God can. We can plant a seed and water it, but only God makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6). Even the seed we plant or water doesn't come from us, it's the Holy Spirit. Whether there is not a single Believer around for thousands of miles means absolutely nothing. God can and does save without us. He's been doing it since creation.

"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1 Corinthians 10:12

"Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position." 2 Peter 3:17

We have to constantly be on guard against our own flesh and fight that war from sun up to sun down. We are prone to sin. We still possess the sin nature. We will continue to be locked in hard battle with it until the day we take our last breaths. We will not influence the group, they will influence us. We will give in to sin  before they give in to godliness. The odds are stacked against us in those environments and situations and not the other way around. We will fall before they rise. We're not here to change the world or build empires. The world will be destroyed. We're here to glorify God. To purposely put ourselves in extremely precarious and compromising situations or environments is not only unwise, but downright dangerous to us...not them.

"Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD." Isaiah 52:11

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17

We shouldn't be running toward the world, but continuously running from its influence and beating it off with big sticks while grabbing as many as God wants along the way. Right now we can't escape the world. We're here for as long as God sees fit. Like Lot (2 Peter 2:8), we should be looking around us grieving and tormented in our spirits by the unrighteousness that constantly offends God, surrounds and influences us. We see this scenerio played out several times in Scripture with many great kings. God warned the Jews several times to not mix with the people around them lest they fall.We are warned to keep ourselves separate from the world and all that's in it.

When the goats have taken over churches then we must separate ourselves. Church is the one place we, as Believers, are to come together, edify each other, pray for one another, feed and meet each other needs. We can't do that when the sheep have been run out and all that's left are goats. All we're doing is coddling the goats and hoping that by us being sheep and if we squeeze them hard enough, they will somehow turn into sheep. The church is not made up of unbelievers. It's made up of Believers. Christ is the Head and Husband of a regenerated Bride not a Bride that has some regenerated and a lot of those who could be one day if we're holy and righteous enough around them. Church is for believers not unbelievers. The church is to reach out to unbelievers and do all they can to win them, but without lowering Biblical standards, teachings or accepting and enabling worldliness in its midst to attract the world. God makes Himself attractive.

I know, I know, most churches spend countless amounts of money, resources and time to attract the world, but they're wrong. To read more about it from Spurgeon check out Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats?  

If we continue in these types of situations, we're having the exact opposite affect. Instead of standing for righteousness, we're enabling. Taking a stand and separating ourselves is like a blaring train horn. When the saints see and understand the assault on God's holiness and character, the insult against His crown, but do nothing, they're accomplices. The greatest harm to the ungodly by Christians is when we talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. When we call ourselves godly, but tolerate and flirt with the world in an attempt to "win" them.

"We live in a day where we think that in order to be relevant to our culture we must be like our order for the Gospel to be relevant we must somehow adapt it to our culture. And nothing on the face of the earth or in bowels of hell could be further from the truth. The worst thing that could ever happen to a preacher, the worst thing that could ever happen to a church is to become civilized and respectable." - Paul Washer

All churches have a certain amount of unbelievers and no church is perfect, but if your church is made up of mostly the world, governed and taken down worldly paths to please worldly church members, if those unbelievers are perfectly comfortable there, something is very wrong.

I'm not saying we have no influence at all. That's not true either, but we don't have what we like to think we have. We are in enemy territory of which we ourselves were made from and saved from. Throwing a few sheep into a goat pen is not going to make the goats act like sheep. The sheep will eventually mimic the goats. We will eventually participate in their sins and go back to old man habits (Revelation 18:4). This is why we are to be separate. This is why we are to flee and come out from among them.

"As a private member of a church, I have no right to be a member of a church whose doctrines I do not accept; indeed, I ought not to regard it as a possibility that I could remain to profess what I do not agree with. I am responsible, as a member of a church, for all that is taught and all that is done by that church in its church capacity; and if I am protesting in my heart, and yet in my proper person continue part and parcel of that church, I am not acting truthfully to God." -Charles Spurgeon


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the Truth, Ariel...God bless you for your boldness. I love it!!!

Ariel said...

God bless you too and thanks for reading!

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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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