Survive and Thrive as a Follower of Christ – Chapter 1

 

survice&thrive

EXTREMELY DANGEROUS ASSOCIATIONS

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even of Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” (Psa.133:1-3 KJV).

It would be wonderful if all of the Father’s elect children could dwell in unity, faith and purpose, associate with each other, and participate in each others formal worship assembly with the confidence that one’s participation is pleasing to the Father and Jesus Christ. However, this is definitely not the situation we find among the Father’s elect today.

In this age, there are hundreds of congregational associations that teach the keeping of God’s law, the observance of the Sabbath, the annual festivals and overtly appear to be attempting to worship and serve the Father correctly. However, most of these various associations are separated by major doctrinal differences about subjects which are extremely important to one’s salvation. These doctrinal differences and certain attitudes and behaviors keep the Sovereign Father’s elect from being unified in belief and purpose

Because the Bible clearly warns that the Father’s elect children should avoid heresies, heretics, and participation in other religions, the follow­ing are some questions that the elect who are serious about their salvation should ask and answer about spiritual associations with others in the body of Christ:

  1. Is there anything wrong with associating on a spiritual level with people who believe most of the same things you do in regard to the true God and his teachings, but are clearly in error in one or more important doctrines?
  2. Can one participate in formal assemblies and associate on a spiritual level with people who hold major doctrinal differences without compromising one’s beliefs or spiritual integrity?
  3. Does it really matter to God the Father and Jesus Christ who one associates with on a spiritual level or what group of the elect one chooses to assemble with for formal worship if one considers these people to be the Father’s elect?

This chapter will examine these and other important issues concern­ing associations on a spiritual level with the Father’s elect as individuals and collectively, as well as our responsibility to fulfill our calling and maintain our spiritual integrity before the Father and Jesus Christ.

A SERIOUS WARNING

The prophet Amos recorded this prophecy concerning the results of ancient Israel’s rebellion against the Creator God:

“Only you have I known out of all the families on earth; therefore I will punish you for your lawlessness. Can two walk together, except they are in agreement?” (Am.3:2-3 Para.).

This question also applies to the Father’s elect children today, because they are considered spiritual Israelites who must live as examples of God’s way of life just like the ancient Israelites were to do. Moreover, the Father is going to send the Creator God (Jesus Christ) to punish the descendants of ancient Israel in the end of this age for their disobedience to his laws, precepts, and principles. Furthermore, he is sending Christ to punish his disobedient children who refuse to honor the covenant they made with him at their baptism.

Can two walk together, except they are in agreement?” The answer is no.

Your Crown

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ gives a very serious prophetic warning to a group of people called the church at Philadelphia. He says to them, ‘”Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no one take your crown” (Rev.3:11 KJV Para.).

There are basically three ways a person can lose their crown:

  1. Failure to perform the responsibilities the Father has given them to perform.
  2. Allowing themselves to be influenced by evil people and become spiritually corrupt (They forfeit their crown because they allow sin to rule their life instead of righteousness).
  3. Not taking their call to salvation seriously and becoming too lazy to put forth the time and effort necessary to secure a place in the Family and Kingdom of God.

TWO CATEGORIES OF THE ELECT

Many of the elect think that Jesus Christ will unify all of the elect in the end of the age to perform a great work for God the Father; however, this will definitely not happen. The prophecies about the church during the end of the age show the Father’s elect divided into two distinct categories—obedient and the disobedient.

The Obedient

The prophecies of Daniel, chapters 11 and 12, Habakkuk 1:5, Acts 13:40-41, and Rev.3:7-10 show that just before Jesus returns he is going to give many who are obedient to the faith tremendous opportunities to serve him and his Father. Because of their obedience and their diligence in performing their responsibilities, the elect in this category are found worthy to escape the horror that will take place during the end of the age (Lk.21:34-36; Rev.7:1-3; 12:6).

The Disobedient

The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew, chapter 25 and the mes­sages to the seven churches of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 show that most of the Father’s elect children will be living in disobedience to his laws, precepts, and principles and will not be good standing with him.
The elect in this category are not found worthy to escape the horror that will take place during the end of the age (Rev.12:17). It is Jesus’ intent to deal with these individuals in a severe manner in order to awaken them to their calling.

CONCERNING UNITY

If there is only one Body of Christ (Eph.4:4-6) to which all the elect belong, one spirit, and one faith, why is there a lack of unity among the Father’s earthly children, and why are they separated into various congregations that are generally antagonistic toward one another? The following are the three major reasons why no unity exists among the Father’s elect children today:

  1. The elect’s spiritual leadership
  2. Rebellion against God and his ways
  3. Looking to the wrong source for salvation

Spiritual Leadership

Concerning unity within the body of Christ, the apostle Paul wrote:

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph.4:11-13 KJV).

Paul says that one of the reasons certain men are given positions of leadership within the body of Christ is to unify the Father’s elect in doctrine and purpose. Being unified in doctrine and in purpose is truly the ideal; however, realistically this will not happen before Christ returns because of major problems which exist among the spiritual leadership of the elect.

Congregational Leadership

Today, a major reason for disunity among the congregations of the Father’s elect is their spiritual leadership.
Jesus’ reprimand to the Jews and the spiritual leaders of his day for their rebellion against truth is just as appropriate today as it was then (Matt.15:7-9), because many of the men in leadership positions within the congregations of God are not qualified to lead the elect of God for one or more of the following reasons:

They may be unconverted.
They are not authorized by Jesus Christ to lead the elect. They are false ministers masquerading as servants of God. Their motive for leading is self-serving.
They are living in rebellion against God including blatant sin. They are afraid to teach truth for fear of losing their positions. They are otherwise not fulfilling their responsibility according to scripture.

If this were not true, there would be unity of belief and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork among the spiritual leadership of the church.

Satan’s Deception and His Ministry

Satan’s deception through false ministers causes much disunity and division among the various congregations of God. At the very beginning of the early church, Satan began his plan to destroy the elect of God by sending his ministers to subvert, deceive, and destroy the congregations of the elect from within. The apostle Paul warned the elect at Corinth to be aware of this threat to their eternal lives:

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [deceived] Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that comes [and is] preach­ing another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit [an evil lying spirit], which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted [a false gospel]. . .” (2.Cor.11:3-4 KJV). See also Gal.1:6-9.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming them­selves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2.Cor.11:13-15 KJV). See also Deut.13:1-5; Jer.23:21-22.

Satan has many ministers disguised as true ministers of God (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Although these servants of Satan are actively deceiving the world at large, some of these individuals are within the congregations of God and are actively subverting the elect of God.
Although some of the individuals who claim to be the ministers of Christ are truly deceived themselves, some are not—they are willing tools of Satan. These individuals actively attempt to destroy the ill-informed, the unsuspecting, and the naive. Jesus knew this would happen and gave the following warning to his followers to beware of those who were not sent by him to shepherd his people:

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matt.24:4-5KJV).

The history of the church shows that Satan and his servants have been very successful in their mission to destroy the elect and in the destruction of those who are dedicated to restoring the faith once delivered.

Rebellion

Adam and Eve rebelled against the Creator God in the Garden of Eden. After being delivered from the slavery of Egypt, the children of Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness. Mankind in general has been in a condition of rebellion from the time of Adam to today (See Ezk.20:12-13; Isa.30:9-10; 66:3). Furthermore, many of the elect today are living in rebellion against God and his way of life. See Matt.25:1-13; Rev.chps.2-3.

Rebellion comes in many forms and always separates the rebellious from God the Father and Jesus Christ. The following prophecy about ancient Israel’s rejection of God easily applies to many of the elec today:

“This is a rebellious people, Which say seers,.. . speak to us smooth things, . . . cause the Holy One of Israel to cease” (Isa.30:9-11).

The rebellious among the elect do not want to hear things which will reveal their true spiritual condition, because recipients of God’s truth must either conform to or reject truth. In order to conform to truth, a person must change from unrighteousness to righteousness. The rebellious do not want to change from their self-willed and self-serving attitudes and behaviors and conform to God’s ways; therefore, these individuals seek spiritual leaders who will not challenge their rebellion against God, but will instead teach them things which validate their concept of truth.

The apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to continue to teach truth, even though a time would come when most of the elect would reject this truth:

“I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables” (2.Tim.4:1-4 Para.).

The rejection of God’s truth—both actively and passively—is rebellion against God, which is why Jesus Christ is going to punish six of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Looking to the Wrong Source

Many of the elect fail to follow the clear warnings in the scriptures to take responsibility for their own salvation. These individuals place their confidence in a spiritual leader or an organization to secure salvation for them. These individuals are looking to the wrong source to secure their salvation. They have either forgotten or never truly understood the apostle Paul’s admonition to the Philippians and Timothy about the effort required to secure salvation and to be an accountable and responsible member of the body of Christ:

“Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with _fear and trembling” (Phil.2:12 KJV).
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness” (2.Tim.2:15-16 NKJV). See also Rom.12:2; 1.Thes. 4:10-12; 5:21; 2.Pet.3:13-18.

If ungodliness did not exist among the Father’s elect, there would be unity ofbelief and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork among the elect and their spiritual leadership.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION

Does God assign guilt by association and will he punish the innocent along with the guilty? It is a biblical fact that the innocent were sometimes punished with the guilty under the covenant the Creator God made with ancient Israel, because the innocent were either in the wrong place at the wrong time or had not heeded warnings to remove them­selves from among the disobedient.

It is also a biblical fact that, during the gospel age of salvation, the innocent have been and will continue to be punished with the guilty under certain circumstances. This condition of guilt by association not only places one’s physical existence in jeopardy but also one’s salvation.

One of the ways a righteous person can put themselves in a situation where they place their salvation in jeopardy and risk being punished by Christ along with the wicked is through associating with unrighteous individuals or with an errant congregation of God’s people.

The prophecies in the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3 show that some of the elect within six of the seven congregational associations have attitudes and behaviors that are acceptable to the Father, so they are worthy of being given eternal life in the his Kingdom. However, these prophecies also show some individuals are unworthy to escape the punishment which will be given to those with whom they are associating. But, why are these worthy people going to suffer punishment and trials along with those who are not worthy. The answer is that they are guilty by association.

In order to understand why the righteous will be punished along with the unrighteous and why Jesus Christ assigns guilt by association, we must understand our responsibility toward God the Father, Jesus Christ, and our fellow brethren in the body of Christ. The failure of the worthy who are among the congregations of the unworthy to follow the clear instructions of the Bible to perform their responsibility to the Father, Jesus Christ, and their brethren is the reason they will be punished along with the unworthy. The worthy fail to do the following things:

  • Correctly respond to the spirit of truth
  • Rebuke their sinful brethren
  • Challenge false doctrine
  • Warn of the consequences of sin and belief in false doctrines

Because they have failed to “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude v3 KJV) and shirked their responsibility to stand for righteousness, rebuke sin, challenge false doctrines, warn their brethren of the consequences of sin and belief in false doctrines, and aggressively stand for righteousness, they have become partakers of their brothers’ sin (1.Tim.5:22; 2.Jn.vs.9-11); therefore, they will be punished with them.

Is Ignorance an Excuse?

A person is not given perfect knowledge and understanding of all the mysteries of God’s plan or his laws, precepts, and principles at the instant they receive the holy spirit. However, ignorance of these things is no excuse for holding onto unrighteous attitudes, behaviors, and false doctrines, because all of the basic foundational truth required to live a righteous life and remain in good standing with God the Father and Jesus Christ can be acquired if one is willing to do the things described in the following scriptures:

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness” (2.Tim.2:15-16 NKJV). See also 1.Thes.4:10-12.

“The heart of the righteous studies how to answer; but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things ” (Pro.15:28 KJV).
“All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won’t collapse, for it is built on a rock. But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on the sand. For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it willfall with a mighty crash” (Matt.7:24-27 LBP).

“Do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, the acceptable, and the perfect will of God” (Rom.12:2 Para.).

“Prove all things; holdfast that which is good” (1.Thes.5:21 KJV).

Although the holy spirit imparts knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and discernment, we must ask the Father for these and follow through with diligent and thoughtful Bible study:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8 KJV).

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are opened to their prayers. . .” (1.Pet.3:12 KJV). See also Jn.16:24; Mk.11:24; Rom.12:12; Col.4:2.

“Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law does he meditate day and night” (Psa.1:1-2 KJV). See also Psa.119:15-148; 1.Tim. 4:12-16.

The Bible

It is important to understand that the Bible was written primarily for those whom the Father has called to salvation during this age. Through the Bible, it is possible to learn from the experience and teaching of others and gain valuable knowledge, understanding, and inspiration to help us in our daily walk with God:

“Every scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be perfect, fully furnished for every good work” (2.Tim.3:16-17 Para.).
“Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1.Cor.10:11 KJV). See also Dan.12: 9-12; Col.1:7-10.

With Knowledge and understanding comes a tremendous responsi­bility to be faithful and to practice the truth that has been given. The faithful must constantly keep in contact with their heavenly Father in order to keep clearly focused on their primary goals.

WITHDRAW FROM THE DISOBEDIENT

The biblical record is very clear about what to do when people have been warned about unrighteous behavior and refuse to repent. In Matthew, chapter 18 and in other scriptures, there are instructions which show how to discipline the disobedient within a congregation; however, what does one do when an entire church refuses to repent of their unrighteous attitudes, behaviors, or false doctrines?

What the apostle Paul says to the Thessalonians and to Titus also applies to an entire congregational association:

“Now we [the apostles and elders] command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly, and not after the tradition received from us” (2.Thes.3:6 Para.).

“Stay away from foolish questions, and genealogies, and argu­ments, and quarrels about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. and after the first and second warning avoid the heretic, knowing that such a person has been perverted, and sins, being self-condemned” (Titus 3:9-11 Para).

What the apostle Paul wrote about avoiding individuals who are disobedient or promote false or misleading beliefs may seem harsh to some people; however, it is not. It is how a righteous person must react to those who refuse to live righteously or discard false doctrines.

These are serious warnings to anyone who does not want to suffer the consequences of associating with the elect who are rebellious. The biblical instruction is clear. If one is to remain in good standing with God the Father and Jesus Christ, one must separate themselves from those of the elect who are in disobedience and refuse to repent.

Some of the elect continue their association with individuals or congregations that claim to follow Christ, even after learning they hold false doctrines or are otherwise living in sin and refuse to change from their error. The following are some of the many reasons some of the elect continue these dangerous associations:

  • A misguided sense of loyalty or duty
  • Fear of losing friends, a spouse or a family member
  • Fear of being labeled self-righteous
  • Fear of being alone without spiritual fellowship

Although many excuses can be made for continuing to associate with the elect who are disobedient, once one truly knows and understands that an individual or a congregation is holding false doctrines or practicing sinful behavior which will cause a loss of salvation, but refuse to change once they are shown their error, the biblical instruction is to stop asso­ciating with them until repentance is evident.

When deciding whether or not to associate with individuals within the Body of Christ, one should try to understand what their spiritual attitudes, behaviors, and doctrinal views are. If these are found to be inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible, a prudent question to ask oneself is why would I want to associate with the elect whom Jesus is going to punish for their rebellion?

LOVE TOWARD THE BRETHREN

Many worry that, if they disassociate themselves from their disobed­ient brethren, it shows a lack of love for these individuals. This is a valid concern; however, love for an errant brother or sister in the Body of Christ should always be viewed from the biblical perspective and not the world’s perspective, because the two are very different and sometimes totally incompatible.

The apostle John wrote many things about how to determine if someone has love for the Father, Jesus, and the brethren. However, many do not understand that love for the Father, Jesus, and the brethren is tied to keeping God’s laws, precepts, and principles. A person who truly keeps them is a loving person, but a person who refuses to keep them does not have the love of God abiding within them and is not in harmony with the Father and Christ:

“And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. . . He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bides him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2.Jn.vs.6, 9-11 KJV).
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not
grievous” (1.Jn.5:2-3 KJV).

The Father’s elect children must show godly love toward one another, and godly love does not compromise the truth of God. The very act of disassociating oneself from the disobedient elect for the right reasons is in itself an act of godly love, because it is done for the purpose of revealing the need for repentance from wrong attitudes, behaviors, or false doctrines to the errant elect.

CHOICES

Never loose sight of the fact that, when a person has agreed to the covenant terms and conditions between themselves, God the Father, and Jesus Christ, that individual has embarked on a journey which will lead to eternal life or eternal death, depending on their choices and faith­fulness to the agreement. The decision to choose good over evil is the same today as it was under the Creator’s agreement with ancient Israel:

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut.30:19 NIV).

There is only one opportunity for salvation and those who venture into a covenant with God the Father put themselves in a very serious situation concerning attitudes, behaviors, and doctrinal issues. Our heavenly Father honors personal and group covenants and will continue to honor them as long as the elect who are part of these covenant relationships maintain their integrity.

Chose the Right Pathway to Eternal Life

Another reason why it is extremely important to choose one’s spiritual associations carefully and to place one’s faith in the Father and Jesus Christ and not in a person or an organization is that Jesus says the pathway which leads to eternal life is difficult to find and stay on:

“You enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many will be going in there. Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leads to eternal life, and there will befew that find it” (Matt.7:13-14 Para.).

“Strive to enter in at the narrow gate: for I say to you, many, will seek to enter in this gate, and shall not be able” (Lk.13:24 Para.).

It is difficult to find because it takes total commitment to the Father’s truth. In order to make sure that one has chosen the right path, one must spend much time and effort in seeking the Father’s will in prayerful fellowship with him, in the study of his word, and in meditation on the things which pertain to his way of life.

THE SEVEN CHURCHES

The seven prophetic churches of the Book of Revelation reveal many keys to establishing and maintaining a harmonious relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. One of the primary lessons which can be learned from an analysis of these seven churches is that one must maintain righteous attitudes and behaviors and reject false doctrines in order to find favor with the Father and his Son.

Although there is much that can be learned from the entire Body of Christ and there are many benefits which can be derived from associating with individual Christians and with the various congregations of God, there are also many serious dangers in associating with the elect who are not in harmony with the Father and Jesus Christ. If one is associating with the elect who are truly committed to God the Father and Jesus Christ and in submission to them, one is most fortunate indeed, because this is the exception and not the rule among the congregations of God.

The Church of Philadelphia

Why is it that the prophetic church of Philadelphia in the Book of Revelation the only church that Jesus Christ does not punish? The answer is that they are the only individuals who are striving for total obedience to their heavenly Father and his law, and they are in total harmony with the Father and his Son.

The primary reason why the elect of the Philadelphia church do not fellowship with or perform a spiritual work with the elect who hold the attitudes and behaviors of the other six churches is that the Philadelphia attitude and behavior is a righteous reprimand and rebuke to the other six who hold unrighteous attitudes, behaviors, and false doctrines. Simply put, there is little common ground between those of the Philadelphia church and the other six on which to build a relationship, because the Philadelphia church truly obeys Paul’s instruction to not fellowship with those who are disobedient to the faith. See 2.Cor.6:14-15; 2.Thes.3:6; Tit.3:9-11.

Self-delusion

Most of Father’s elect want to think of themselves as having the attributes and behaviors of the Philadelphia church of Revelation, chapter 3. However, most are self-deluded and haven’t really examined what is required in order to be accepted by the Father as a Philadelphian who is worthy of special consideration, empowerment, and protection.

Clearly, the vast majority of the elect do not have the characteristics that the Father and Christ require of the Philadelphia elect, because six-sevenths of the entire body of the elect are shown as not being in good standing with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

For most of the elect, the discovery of the identity of the Philadelphia church will come too late as the parable of the ten virgins teaches. Clearly the time to identify and cultivate the Philadelphia attitude and behavior is before it becomes apparent that one is a part of one of the other six churches.

SUMMARY

Although it can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience to associate with and worship with the Father’s elect, in the final analysis, one’s walk with the Father and Christ is an extremely personal matter. A person who is seeking to please the Father and Christ and obtain eternal life in the Kingdom of God should be very cautious about choosing with whom to associate inside and outside the body of Christ:

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph.5: 15-17 KJV). See Col.1:7-10.

Jude cautioned the elect of God:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write to you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write to you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (v3 KJV).

During the time that Jude wrote his letter, the truth of God was being corrupted by the heretical teachings of evil individuals and spiritual leaders. This scripture shows the importance of striving to recapture the system of beliefs which were delivered to the early church. The original Greek language of Jude, verse 3 gives the sense that it will take more than a casual effort to recapture the faith which was once delivered; it will take a diligent and dedicated effort.

Many of the Father’s elect allow themselves to be seduced into false doctrines and a false sense of security through one or more of the following:

  • The influence of evil spirits or people with whom they associate
  • A lack of zeal and diligence to their calling
  • The influence of their spiritual leadership
  • Rebellion against God’s instructions to resist evil
  • The influence of heretics and false Christians

If this were not true, there would be unity of belief and a spirit of cooperation, teamwork, peace, and harmony among the Father’s elect and their spiritual leadership.

Who is Accountable and Responsible?

In the final analysis, the Father holds each individual he calls to salvation personally responsible and accountable to work out their own salvation (Phil.2:12). Therefore, it is your responsibility to determine whether or not to associate with individuals or congregations that are not in harmony with your heavenly Father and your Savior.

By B. L. Cocherell b8w1
http://bibleresearch.org

Download the PDF version of the full book here

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