IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE THAT WE ARE DIFFERENT!

Intro.

1.  1 Pet. 2:9-10 - Christians are God's own special people (purchased possession).

2.  There are many counterfeits in the religious world today! False Christs (Matt. 24:24); False prophets & apostles (Matt. 7:15; 2 Cor. 11:13-15); False brethren (Gal. 2:4); False teachers (2 Pet. 2:1); False churches (cf. Rev. 2:5).

3.  2 Cor. 6:14-18: There is no room for Christians to fellowship, endorse & join up with religious error…reprove it & avoid it! - Jude 3; Eph. 5:11; Rom. 16:17.

 

I.  OUR RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION MAKES A DIFFERENCE! - 2 Cor. 6:14-16 (Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 22:18-19; Jude 3).

  A.  Because Christ, Through His Gospel, Adds The Saved To His Church - Rom. 1:16; Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23).

  B.  Because To Have Fellowship In / With Any Other Church Than Christ's Is To Sin Against Christ & Be Lost!  (Chart:  2 Cor. 6:14-16)

    1.  Whether we stand in righteousness or lawlessness - v. 14 (Rom. 6:2; Matt. 7:23).

    2.  Whether we stand in light or darkness - v. 14 (Eph. 5:8-11).

    3.  Whether we stand with Christ or Satan - v. 15 (Gal. 2:20).

    4.  Whether we stand with believers or unbelievers - v. 15 (Eph. 5:5-7)

    5.  Whether we stand in the temple of God or with idols - v. 16 (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 10:21-22).

 

II.  WE ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE DENOMINATIONS.

  A.  How To Be Saved - Jno. 6:45; 8:24; Lk. 13:5; Matt. 10:32; Mk. 16:16.

      Infant baptism (original sin); faith only, etc.

  B.  How To Worship God - Jno. 4:23-24 [Acts 2:42; Eph. 5:19].

      Ceremonies (liturgy); Entertainment; etc.

  C.  What Work The Local Church Does - Acts 6:1-4.

      Social organizations, businesses, etc.

  D.  How To Live Holy Lives - Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 6:1-2, 15-18; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Col. 3:17.

      Situation ethics; conscience guide; what feels right must be right.…

 

III.  WE ARE DIFFERENT FROM MANY CHURCHES OF CHRIST.

  A.  How To Be Saved: (Some already reject plan of salvation):

    1.  Rubel Shelly:

      a.  Christians in all the denominations (cited in Behold The Pattern, p. 274).

      b.  Don't need to understand baptism is 'for the remission of sins' to be valid conversion - I Just Want to be a Christian, 142-144 (BTP, 277)

    2.  Richland Hills church of Christ (Rick Atchley).

Can we identify ourselves / worship with these churches & be approved before God?  No!

Does God approve of us giving our encouragement/support/fellowship to those who do?  No!

  B.  How To Worship.

    1.  "Holy wow" - (Rubel Shelly, BTP, 308-309)

    2.  Worship teams (solos, singing groups).

    3.  Use of instrumental music:

      a.  Jeff Walling, Mission Viejo church of Christ, Mission Viejo, CA; BTP, 214-215.

      b.  Rubel Shelly.

    4.  Women leadership - (Bering Drive church of Church, BTP, 523; Highland church of Christ).

    5.  Other worship innovations (Highland church of Christ).

Can we identify ourselves / worship with these churches & be approved before God?  No!

Does God approve of us giving our encouragement / support / fellowship to those who do?  No!

  C.  The Work Of The Church.  (cf. Highland church of Christ, Abilene, TX)

    1.  Social & recreational arrangements (fellowship meals, church meals, fellowship halls, gyms, family life centers, etc.

    2.  Social education/business enterprises: Day cares, counseling centers.

    3.  Support human organizations to do the work of the local church.

Can we identify ourselves / worship with these churches & be approved before God?  No!

Does God approve of us giving our encouragement/support/fellowship to those who do?  No!

  D.  How To Live Holy Lives.

    1.  Social drinking ("Jesus Might Fit In At Cheers", Mike Cope, PTS, 368)

    2.  Homosexuality (A Cappella Chorus, PTS, 368; Larry James, Ibid.)

    3.  Divorce & remarriage - (Aliens not under gospel, Redefine adultery: Not Under Bondage; The Divorced & Remarried Who Would Come To God; Rethinking MD&R; Unity in some doctrinal & moral diversity using an appeal to Romans 14; etc.)

Can we identify ourselves / worship with these churches & be approved before God?  No!

Does God approve of us giving our encouragement/support/fellowship to those who do?  No!

 

IV.  WE MUST INVESTIGATE BEFORE WE ASSOCIATE! - Eph. 5:11; 2 Jno. 9-11.

 

Conclusion

1.  We must either continue to stand opposed to digression & apostasy, or give up our claim to be "of Christ" (and give up our salvation)!

2.  2 Cor. 6:16-18 - God will accept us when we refuse to be "unequally yoked" to unbelievers.