Keeping Godly Company – part 2

Last time, we looked at transcending individual church denominations, (without judgment), to come together as a cohesive peaceful and loving force for Christ and His kingdom. This time lets investigate how we can increase the quantity of our godly company. 

First, we must do away with our opinion of the quality of the people that we meet: 

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of all the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us… Acts 17:25 – 27. NKJV

Everyone is created by God; and He wants every one of them to embrace His salvation. Jehovah does not turn anyone away. Neither should we. Otherwise, we are practicing judgment. Judgment can be applied towards actions, but never towards the people who act. We don’t know how life may have stepped on them. Remember, it’s not about what we think about others, it’s about what God thinks. 

This is just as relevant in our treatment of brothers and sisters in Christ who may have fallen out of faith, or, are practicing their faith in the framework of ‘situational ethics;’ i.e. considering some sins as being acceptable. 

We must lovingly approach them to see where their attachment to the world remains, how they think a particular sin behavior benefits them, to search for any hidden roots of pride or envy, or to discover how they might perceive that God has let them down. 

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Gal. 6:1 NLT

We need to show them the grace of God in our behavior towards them. Believe me, they already feel convicted. We must try to follow the example as our Lord: extending mercy and compassion, using the word of God to bring healing love and restoration, and pray with them that they might be in right relationship with God again – to the God who always forgives. Then they can continue on in their life on the highest and best path, with the indwelling guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The second way we can increase the quantity of our godly company is to answer our ‘Great Commission,’ to win new souls to Christ. Everything we’ve looked at so far, should be incorporated with our approach to a secular potential child of God as well; except this time, we must begin with a clean slate. 

We must ask them about themselves first. What is their occupation? What do they do for fun? Ask about their family. How do they think life is treating them? Get to know them and procure a feeling of how the world has shaped this individual. 

Keep in mind that they may not even know that they practice sin:

Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Ps. 19:12 CSB

Then ask the big questions (e.g. How did life start? What happens when you die?). For a very detailed treatise on the gospel and the giving of it, see my previous posts Christ’s Foot Soldiers, posted from 6/5/19 – 7/14/19.

The irony is, that if you are lovingly speaking the gospel, the sinner will feel convicted; but that’s what is required so that they can see the need for salvation. 

Some may even take offense, because they don’t want to give up their lifestyle. God will gather who He gathers. We must be purposeful in our zeal, because an eternal separation is coming. 

If they are unwilling, they will live out eternity in the presence of their master – the accuser. At that point, you’ve done your best. It’s between them and God. You must separate yourself from a willful sinner:

“As you go into the house, give it your greeting [that is, ‘Peace be to this house’]. If [the family living in] the house is worthy [welcoming you and your message], give it your blessing of] peace [that is, a blessing of well-being and prosperity, the favor of God]. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties].” Mt 10:12 – 14. AMP

“Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin.” Nm. 16:26 NASB

‘Sinners cannot walk with Saints.’ Charles G. Finney

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs. They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Mt. 7:6 NLT

Ah, but for those willing to embrace Jehovah and the gift of His Son, hallelujah. God has opened their hearts through you, so that they can understand what must be done to live the life that opens the door, so that the Holy Spirit can take residence:

For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness. 2 Pt. 1:4 – 6. AMP

Yes, if you cry out for insight, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek skillful and godly wisdom as you would silver and search for her as you would hidden treasures; then you will understand the [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] and discover the knowledge of God. 

For the LORD gives [skillful and godly] wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity [those of honorable character and moral courage], He guards the paths of justice; and preserves the way of HIs saints (believers). 

Then you will understand righteousness and justice [in every circumstance] and integrity and every good path. Pr. 2:3 – 9. AMP

Pretty soon, you’ll have godly company on every side…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Keeping Godly Company

Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Amos 3:3 NLT

We keep harmonious company with followers of Christ, who, is our primary focus; and together, we bring as many people of the world to His kingdom. That’s the way it was in the very first church of Christ:

All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer, [waiting together]… Acts 1:14 AMP

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:46, 47. NASB

And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul… Acts 4:32 NASB

So it should be with all the children of God. Yet, as long as we have egos that we are attached to, there will be differences and judgments. Indeed, out of them were born all of the church denominations – something I feel is injurious to the church yet is probably not going to go away until the church of Christ is united in heaven.

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of whether we sprinkle or dunk, pray on our knees in church or standing with our hands outstretched, with reserved preachers or those who are pulpit-pounding, fire-and-brimstone clergymen, or be it hymnal based or a bit of rock and roll. It doesn’t matter. What matters is God’s grand vision of loving Him, others and ourselves, and winning souls for Jesus, bringing God glory – all of which will plant us all smack dab in His heavenly eternity.

Not one of us is the same in our perceptions and understandings and how we act on them. This is why there should always be striving for loving dialogue between Christian believers of all flavors. 

We can’t do that if we judge one another regarding our approach to God’s word, our sacred rites to honor the Father and the Son, or over the way others might worship, (as long as they do not run counter to scripture). In fact, God clearly prohibits it:

Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands of falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand. Rm. 14:1 – 4. CSB

Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister. Rm. 14:13 CSB

So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. Rm. 14:19 CSB

Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice. Rm. 15:5, 6. CSB

We can come together as Christians, regardless of our denominations, if we can cling to the real Truths together, as brothers and sisters, in times of adversity or joy, helping each other, by touching God together. 

We are all united in the presence of God. We can get past the elementary ‘like attracts like,’ which pervades the denominations, and remember who we are in Christ, respecting each other’s way of reaching out to God and bringing hope to the hopeless masses.

The apostle Paul was a great example of a chameleon-like transformer in order to effectively preach the gospel. He never would have let denominations get in his way:

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law, I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside that law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 1 Cor. 9:19 – 21. ESV

We have a great big wonderful job to do, and we need all the help that we can get…

Goodnight and God bless.