- Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
- Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
When a nation goes to war as did America in WWII, our soldiers proudly wore the uniform bearing the stars and stripes of this great nation. The enemies would also wear the uniform of their nation therefore making it easy to distinguish which side someone was on. The uniform of a Christian is the doctrine given by Christ to the Apostle Paul to usward as we operate in this present dispensation of the grace of God. It would be a disaster for the USA to go off to war today using the battle plans from WWII just as much as it is a disaster for a person to go to their Bibles and utilize the doctrines that God Himself has set aside and is not in operation during this present dispensation. Unfortunately, when the typical church goes selects an assembly it is not based upon doctrine but rather what aspects appeal to their wants and taste. Have you ever been invited to a church wherein the person says something like "we have the best music in town" or "the people are so nice"? How about "our preacher isn't long winded" or "you can feel the Lord is there when you walk in the doors"? I have heard all of those. As I reflect back on my church experience never do I recall anyone saying that their church will equip and edify you in sound doctrine. Am I the only one? (tongue in cheek)
If a service man was known to be endorsing our adversaries position he would be labeled an enemy of the state and his or her picture would be all over the news channels. When a person endorses or adheres to doctrines not associated with the Gospel of the Grace of God, they have identified themselves as an enemy of the Gospel and that requires a Bible believer to mark them, make it known, warn others, and avoid them.
- Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
- Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Beseeching someone is not something that leaves a choice between acting or not acting. The case has been made and the only action or choice you have is to follow Paul's direction. It's not a warm and fuzzy situation where nobody gets their feathers ruffled. It is soldiering and is hardness. You will be called names, despised, made fun of, and the such. These things should not come as a surprise because our pattern Paul gives us a heads up......
- 1 Corinthians 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
- 1 Corinthians 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
If you heard someone say that Jesus had two heads and walked on his hands, the error would be so obvious, who could miss it. When the distinction is not so obvious to the unsuspecting hearer or the person who is not yet weaned from the milk, it is the duty of the person of full age having their senses exercised capable of discerning good and evil to identify the error and correct the issue. This will not make you famous or popular among the church crowd which is the largest mission field in your area as well as mine, but who is going to do the job if you do not? Remember, we have been besought!! Paul tells us of a time when....
- 2 Timothy 4:3 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;
- 2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
That time has come and was established long ago, even in Paul's time. Therefore, Paul gives us this charge.....
- 2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
- 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Ready or not, here I come! In season, out of season. Reprove, nobody is gonna like that one because they think they have it all figured out already. Rebuke, folks are gonna say you don't have any looooooove, Exhort, give them encouragement and something to look forward too. Longsuffering, don't give up on them knowing you didn't understand Mid Acts either and it takes some time. Doctrine, don't start with doctrine if the person isn't saved. A doctrinal discussion with an unsaved person is like trying to teach a baby how to drive and automobile when their feet won't even touch the pedals. It's a process. Now let's get engaged in the battle for the souls of men. When an army is taking an enemy position, often times the commander will shout..."CHARGE"....Paul has given us that command in 2 Timothy 4:1....Let's roll!!