1. The word of God is measured & balanced - Blessing those who obey God & cursing those who disobey Him.
2. We strive for the balance revealed in the scripture, preaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
3. We sometimes hear & must answer the charge from our own brethren that we are "too negative" in our preaching & approach. - cf. 2 Tim. 4:2-4.
4. Let us consider Jesus & His apostles: Were they "positively negative" about certain things in their preaching & practice?
I. POSITIVELY NEGATIVE ABOUT IMMORALITY - 1 Cor. 6:9-11.
A. Toward Those Who Fail To Separate From The World - cf. 1 Cor. 10:5-11; Jas. 4:4; 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1.
B. Toward Those Who Lead Others Into Immorality - 1 Cor. 15:33; Rev. 2:20-23. (By one's teaching, practice &/or influence).
1. cf. Loose attitudes toward modest dress (cheerleading, swimming suits).
2. cf. Social drinking ("culture based," harmless).
3. cf. Gambling (greed, legalized stealing).
4. cf. Mdr error (remarriages against Matt. 19:9, alien sinner not amenable, etc.)
-Unquestionably, there is a period of time we use to attempt to save the immoral - Jude 22-23. But
-Jesus & His apostles were "positively negative" about immorality! We must be, too!
II. POSITIVELY NEGATIVE ABOUT FALSE DOCTRINE - Matt. 15:7-9; Rev.
A. Toward Those Who Teach Error - Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Pet.2:1- 3; 2 Jno. 9.
1. False teachers will lose their souls! (Too many are afraid to say it!)
2. Mark & turn away from them - Rom. 16:17-18.
B. Toward Those Who Accept The False Teacher & His Error - Matt. 15: 12-14; 2 Jno. 10-11.
1. These are the spiritual moderates, middle-of-the-roaders, "enlightened" & tolerate ones! - cf. Matt. 12:30
2. These condone (will not stand against) error & the false teacher - Eph. 5:11.
3. These condemn this sort of lesson, charging "negativism, legalism, extremists, creedalism, sectarianism, brotherhood watchdogs, McCarthyesque, etc.," while at the same time having fellowship with error & the false teacher, regarding them as "faithful soldiers of the cross"!
-Unquestionably, there is a period of time we use to attempt to teach & save those captured by false doctrine - 2 Tim. 2:24-26. But
-Jesus & His apostles were "positively negative" about false doctrine! - Jno. 3:19-21 We must be, too!
III. POSITIVELY NEGATIVE ABOUT SPIRITUAL NEGLIGENCE - Rev. 2:5.
A. When It Takes The Form Of Hypocrisy - Matt. 15:7-8.
1. Hypocrisy begins in a heart not given to God - v. 8; cf. Isa. 29:13.
2. To "say & not do" is hypocrisy - Matt. 23:2-3.
3. Religious conduct to be seen of men is hypocrisy - Matt. 23:5.
4. Exalting oneself among others is hypocrisy - Matt. 23:11-12 (6-12).
5. Outward appearance & inward corruption is hypocrisy - Matt. 23:28.
B. When It Takes The Form Of Persistent Failure To Grow - Heb. 5:12; 1 Cor. 3:1-4.
1. After years of persuasion some refuse to apply themselves toward their own spiritual growth.
2. We must continue to persuade & pursue spiritual maturity!
C. When It Takes The Form Of Willful Spiritual Blindness - Matt. 13:13- 15; Jno. 9:40-41.
-Unquestionably, people grow at different rates & we must patiently exhort & help each other grow to maturity - 1 Ths. 5:14. But
-Jesus & His apostles were "positively negative" about spiritual negligence! - 1 Cor. 14:38 We must be, too!
1. Since Jesus & His apostles were positively negative about immorality, false doctrine & spiritual negligence, we ought to be as well! - 1 Jno. 2:6
2. How negative are you about these sins in your life? Repent, obey the gospel & live for & with Jesus!