by Brian A. Yeager
Sometimes I believe that brothers and sisters in Christ forget the relationship that they ought to have one with the other. Sometimes there are things that are done one to the other that are completely erroneous. Often times Christians forget that we, if remaining faithful, will share Heaven. Yet, they want to hate each other here on this earth. The Bible tells us how we should continue in our walks with brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 13:1) "Let brotherly love continue."
What kind of love should our brethren receive from us? Should they receive the kind of love that we would give to ourselves? As a matter of fact we should love each other as Christ loved us and be even willing to give our lives for one another. (I John 3:14-16) "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
Have you ever seen a congregation that has many that will not even converse with each other? This is called division. Division is wrong. (I Corinthians 1:10) "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." There are those that would contend that they are not friendly because of differences of doctrine and character. This case would be correct. This case would also call for more action than the cold shoulder. (Romans 16:17-18) "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 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." (II Thessalonians 3:6) "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." For brethren to bicker and fight is wrong. If there is a doctrinal problem that should be handled with the mindset of the saving of a soul.
Looking at the love a Christian should have for his or her enemy really gives clarity to "brotherly love". (Matthew 5:38-44) "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
Christ commands us to love each other and he tells us that this will be sign that we are his disciples. (John 13:34-35) "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Do you treat your family pet better than you do your fellow Christians? Do you dread seeing so and so at services? Stop the non-sense today and make this the day that you will let brotherly love continue. Love the souls of one another and be right in Christian love!!
The Church must be the pillar and ground of truth on teaching about issues. Such as marriage, divorce, and re-marriage (Matthew 5:32-33, Matthew 19:9, and I Corinthians 7:10-11). Such as attendance (Hebrews 10:22-25). Such as the womanís role in the Church (I Timothy 2:11-12 and I Corinthians 14:34-35). Such as the qualifications of elders (Titus 1:5-9 and I Timothy 3:1-13). Such as preaching only Godís word and not opinions (II Timothy 4:2 and Galatians 1:6-12). Such as teaching on the importance of evangelism (Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15-16). Such as what moves one to be a Christian (Romans 1:16). Such as defending the Church and the truth (Jude 3). Such as practicing and teaching Church discipline (Romans 16:17-18 and II Thessalonians 3:6). Such as instruments of music (Ephesians 5:19). Such as Bible authority being the only authority (II Peter 1:3, Revelation 22:18-19, and Deuteronomy 4:2). Such as fellowship (Ephesians 5:11 and II John 9-11). I could go on and on about the issues the Church needs to stand and deliver the truth on. The Church simply needs to be a ďstore-house of truthĒ.
The Church should be the escape from the world, a place where Christians know that only Godís word will be taught. We must be armed with Godís word to keep the Church in the state that it should and shall be. It is time for those who do not proclaim nothing other than the faith once delivered unto the saints to join the ranks of denominationalism outright and to stop pretending to be in that which can only be truth, the Church! Onward Christian soldiers, be prepared to restore to our Savior his bride pure and white.
Copyright 2001 by Brian Yeager
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