I have been a believer for going on forty-five years and I have met a lot of people on the path of righteousness. Over the years I have learned that if I'm going to love a brother or a sister, I would need to overlook a lot of discrepancies. And I am sure some brothers and sisters have felt the same way about me.
Romans 16:17 I urge you my friends: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people's faith and go against the teaching which you have received. Keep away from them.
It seems good to me and the Holy Ghost that some brothers and sisters can never be friends. Some people just have a different way of serving God than others do. Separating yourself from the brethren should not be motivated by hate. Separation can be a good thing if it is implemented to avoid strife and division. Abraham separated from his nephew Lot in order to avoid strife, Abraham did not agree with Lot but he loved him.
We can love others and not be friends.
Some brethren have some ideas and convictions that might not be what you believe. It's ok to disagree but do not become disagreeable. It seems like some brethren look for things that they can argue about, they seem to be programmed to quarrel. We should focus on the things that unite us, not on things that divide us. I have had profound disagreements with the brethren and they walked away mad at me for what I believed. These holy brethren are my brothers and sisters but they are not my friends.
Proverbs 22:24 Don't make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. You might gain their habits and not be able to change.
Some believers have bad tempers and they demand every one around them to come in line with their every whim. Proverbs warned us to be watchful who we hang out with, we could act just like our weird friends. The Apostle Paul praised some brethren because they were following after his example of faithfulness. He did not command the brothers to follow him, he invited them but they had to choose. Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps. Jesus loved everyone but He did not allow those in error to correct Him. He confronted them with the truth and for this they wanted to kill Him. I have had people leave the church because they did not agree with the vision, but then they started lies about me and tried to discredit me. These were brothers and sisters but not friends, they unwittingly aligned themselves with the devil. Peter aligned himself with the devil when he told Jesus not to be crucified, Jesus rebuked him and he went on to be an example of faith.
Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead bring them out to the light.
The brethren are not sinners, but sometimes they do things that sinners do. The Bible warns us to avoid them. Some things we can overlook, but other things can be a deal breaker and we must confront them if we have any hope of fellowship. Some Christians don't act like Christians, you can't tell who they are on account of their fruit. The key to harmony is putting the needs of others before your own needs. Needy people can be difficult to get along with, they always want something from someone but they never give anything to help others. Loving people means you put them first, if you will do this then people will put you first.
Some folks are of the opinion that God will not judge anyone until the end of the world. That is simply not true, God began to judge all those who kept not the law. All of God's commandments and laws come with a judgement for those who keep them and those who break them.
Deuteronomy 11:26-27 I set before you this day a blessing and a curse. A blessing if you obey Me and a curse if you don't.
It doesn't get anymore clear than this, God can bless us if we obey Him but if we won't then we must deal with the devil. If Adam wouldn't have let the devil into our world, we would know only favorable judgement. If we would submit to the judgements of God we could avoid the judgement of the devil. What is the devil's judgement? The curse. If you are in Christ then you get His judgement because we are joint heirs with Him.
Romans 5:18 By the offense of one man (Adam) judgement came upon all men to condemnation.
When Jesus died for the sins of the world, His judgement came upon all men. Unfortunately not all men have received the free gift of justification, so they are receiving Adam's judgement. God's judgement is in the earth and if we are wise we will yield to it, it's far better to be judged now than on the last day! When we are judged in this life we can repent and avoid any and all consequence. Not all judgement is harmful, when the Lord judges us faithful, the blessing will surely follow. I once had a family leave the church because I taught that God's judgement is active today. Shortly after they left, I heard Kenneth Copeland teach what God's judgement in the earth is.
Galatians 6:7 A man's harvest in life depends entirely on what he sows.
God gave us a choice of what we can sow, we can reap of the spirit life everlasting or we can reap corruption of the flesh. When God used the prophets to get His Word in the earth, He gave laws that govern what men chose. We cannot blame God for our consequences, we made our pick and we must deal with it. I know this one thing, when a man truly loves his Lord, it is very easy to obey Him. God pours out blessings to those who diligently hearken unto His voice. In the book of Mathew Jesus refers to a parable concerning some men who were entrusted with some money. Two of the men did what their master told them to do and one became scared and hid away the money. Listen to what the master says to the two faithful men.
Mathew 25:21 His Master said unto the two men, well done you good and faithful servants: you have been faithful over little, I will make you rulers over much.
The Master judged these men here in the sweet now. His judgements, whether good or bad, are being meted out every day. When a man knows how to please His Lord, he has no fear of punishment. He is more dedicated to pleasing the Lord than being rewarded. King David went before the Lord and asked Him to judge him according to his righteousness (obedience). God's judgements keep us on the right path, we should be seeking His judgement just as David did. If God judges us and He finds error, He will point it out so we can repent because He loves us. As long as we are in these mortal bodies, we can repent and find grace and mercy, but on the last day of the world the time of repentance will be over. Judge us O Lord.
Everyone knows that they will die one day, most know they will meet God and a few don't believe in God. Every man will be judged when they die, they will be in Heaven or hell. After the millennial reign of Christ, God will sit on the great white throne and all people in Heaven and hell will come before Him and be judged for their works. When a man dies he will appear before God and the Lord will ask him one question: What did you do with My Son? The response of every man will determine his place in eternity. God wants to know if you invited His kid to live in your heart or did you ignore Him.
Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.
God will judge everyone whether they are ready or not. If we are smart, we will make contact with God's kid! I know a lot of people who ignore God and His Son, and they plan to use ignorance as their excuse. There are several places in the Bible that address the issue of ignorance and it won't persuade God of His impending judgement. Ignorance is a feeble excuse for not wanting to meet Jesus, such are these who are not interested in the Lord.
Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.
The people in Heaven and those in hell have not yet been judged for all the things they have done. There are levels of torment in hell and a man's deeds will determine his level of torment. There is rank and blessings for the people in Heaven and they will be judged according to their deeds. Everything we do in this life matters, whether we are aware or not. If any man wants to find God's kid they will find Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me, with all your heart.
If any man truly wants to know God and His kid, he will find them. They are waiting for him. Along the way, there are some gods that claim to be the real deal but they cannot provide the peace the living God can. According to the Scriptures there are a lot of false prophets around and they abide in places called a "church". False prophets always impose "their" doctrine on people. God pours out His love and He never takes away your power to choose. My old church told me that if I eat meat on Friday I would go to hell. God says, let no man judge you in meat or drink.
John 4:25 The woman said, I know that Messiah is coming, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.
Christ has not come and He dwells in the hearts of those who invite Him. Those who have Him know the truth. The Father has found His Son, He lives with those who want and need Him. God wants all men to search for His kid. It's like a treasure hunt except He is easy to find and it's the greatest treasure known to man. Jesus is hiding in plain sight and people walk right on by all the time. He calls out to them every day but they are too busy to bother with Him. God knows where His kid is but do you? When you have Him, you can lead others to Him!
In the nation of Iraq a terrorist organization came into power, they were called ISIS. They were very demonic, they put men in a tower of tires and lit them on fire. They became famous for taking a pocket knife and cutting off the heads of innocent men. They raped women and children and murdered people indiscriminately, but they would never eat pork. These Muslims are the descendants of Abraham who kept the law that commanded them to avoid all pork products. This is the epitome of religious nut jobs. Religious fools are also alive and thriving in the U.S.A. Some teach that you must worship God on Saturday or you could go to hell! Others teach that only one hundred and forty-four thousand people will go to Heaven. One denomination declares that if a wife is loyal to her husband in this life, they will be put on a planet together and they will be gods. Others claim they are the only ones going to Heaven and some ordain homosexuals.
Acts 17"30 At the times of this ignorance God winked (overlooked) at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
The time is coming when God will judge everyone in the world, but for now He wants all men to repent. Ignorance is a choice, no man will be able to claim he was just plain ignorant. If people don't know the truth it's because they didn't want to know the truth. Religious nut jobs are increasing rapidly and the one thing they need the most is for God to send revival in His body. God's Word is truth and truth is light. The world lives in a world full of ignorance and ignorance is darkness. When God gives us revival, His light becomes brighter so that even the darkness can't hide from it.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation to all men has appeared.
God has freely offered His grace which is a gift to all men, but not all men want it. The Apostle Paul said that Jesus offered him His grace and he accepted it. Paul went on to say that the offer of grace was not in vain. God offers His grace to all men but in many cases it's all in vain. It is not God's fault if a man refuses to accept His grace, it's a gift and therefore must be received freely. When men shun God's grace they write their own book of laws and traditions, these work but only in their imaginations. These religious nut jobs can become so zealous that they will kill anyone who speaks the truth. When some people I know found out I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, they hated me and called me a cult member. Thank God for grace, it empowers us to pray for those who hate us, lie about us and despitefully use us.
Jude 1:10 These people insult anything they don't understand. They behave like irrational beasts by doing whatever they feel like doing. Because they live by their animal instincts, they corrupt themselves and bring about their own distractions.
These people are so arrogant they have no clue they are on the path of their own demise. You know a man is headed for a great fall when they won't even consider the truth of God's Word. Do you know what their reasoning is? Anybody can make the Bible say whatever they want it to say! Despite the self-imposed ignorance of all these folks, God still loves them and is dedicated to their salvation.
Every man has convictions, these are firm personal beliefs that become the anchor of a man's character. The book of Proverbs says as a man thinketh, so is he. Every man has the God given right to think however he pleases. Sometimes a man does not know what to think and so he haphazardly thinks what he hears other men think. Men who struggle to be successful do not have a firm foundation to guide them through the trials of life. Men who succeed in life have a blueprint in their heart that they are dedicated to following.
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray above all things that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul(spirit) prospers.
Bible prosperity covers your spirit, soul and body and it begins in your heart. The Bible teaches that a seed will meet every need. If a man just begins to sow seed he will be discouraged with the time involved to gain a harvest. You can have faith to sow a seed but run out of that faith when it looks like there will be no harvest. But once you get it settled in your heart, time will never be an issue, you know your harvest will come. When you stand believing for your harvest, the devil will attempt to get you to adopt his thoughts. He will tell you all kinds of lies to discourage you and to question God and His Word.
Mark 4:15 These are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts(minds).
The devil knows that if God's Word ever gets settled in your heart he will not be able to hinder your faith. When a man hears the Word and he resolves to believe and acts on it no matter what comes, this man will prosper. The devil has a key he uses to dissuade every believer, it is the power of reasoning (imaginations). The devil will offer you a hundred reasons why God will not respond to your faith. The devil wastes no time in filling your mind with "his" thoughts, but his tactics don't work on everyone! The child of God who hears the Word and commits to acting on it no matter the circumstances will prosper in the Word he holds fast to. God's Word was never given to make sense, it was given to create faith. Some Christians cannot accept God's Word because they are of the flesh and they must be able to see it, touch it, hear it, taste it and smell it.
2 Timothy 2:19 Never the less the foundation of God stands sure and unmovable, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His.
If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, He knows you and if He knows you He is your foundation. In todays society the truth is not highly regarded, the world has chosen to substitute "their" brand of truth. They call good evil and evil good and they oppose everything they don't agree with. Nothing is working for the world because their foundation is established on a sand box. They always have a back up plan for failure, they can always find someone to blame. Those whose lives are established on the firm foundation have a choice who to blame for any failure. It's either God or them and they always choose themselves. Make the necessary adjustment and continue on to victory. People who have no foundation are constantly tossed to and fro by every new wind someone comes up with. Every man that stands on the foundation God offers lives in perfect peace. He know what he is doing and where he is going.