Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ecclesiastical Separation

Temple Baptist Church - 3-26-2008

2 Corinthians 6:11-18


A. God commands that the believer be separate from the things of this world. Separation has been both distorted and avoided. It has also become one of the churches greatest “battle fields” of our day and those who biblically separate are labeled as divisive, cultic, unlearned, and unloving. This simply is not so!

B. There are several areas in which God commands separation. God still demands Separation out of his children. I did not say isolation I said separation, I know the bible says in (Pr 11:1) "A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." I know their must be a balance in our doctrine, but we are not out of balance as fair as being to separated we are out of balance not being separated enough!! Three areas of such separation are:

1. Personal Separation From Conformity To The World – Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but are ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (We have preached on this subject in an earlier message.)

2. Doctrinal Separation From Apostasy – 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. 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. (We have preached on this subject in an earlier message.)

3. Ecclesiastical Separation From False Churches - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

C. It will also do us well to understand that these are commandments of God, not preferences of men! I want to look at Ecclesiastical separation tonight. Ecclesiastical separation is not just separation just for the sake of avoiding people we don't like, or fighting just for the sake of fighting. It is a battle for the purity of doctrine and continuance of the church. Ecclesiastical separation is life or death!!

1. It Is An Ancient “Battle Ground.” – John 10:19-21 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

2. It Is A Continual “Battle Ground.” - John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

3. It Is A Blessed “Battle Ground.” – Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

4. It Is An Important “Battle Ground.” - Psalms 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

D. We live in the ecumenical age of the church. Doctrine has previously defined church groups and denominations with very distinct lines. Today, in light of the one world church approaching, these distinct denominational lines have blurred, faded, and in many cases disappeared.

1. We now have the Charismatics who draw from every denomination from Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Pentecostal, and cults.

2. We now have the Neo-evangelicals who also do the same: Chuck Swindol, etc.

3. We now have the Community Church Movement which does the same.

4. There are ecumenical worship services for Christmas and Easter where every “wind of doctrine” is both involved and comfortable with each other.

5. The local Ministerial Association has long been on the scene with Prayer Breakfasts and etc., involving preachers of every “stripe.”

6. Welcome to Laodicea! Welcome to the world of the Antichrist! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
E. In these verses, we find some things to note:

1. The Concern Of The Apostle Paul – verse 11 - Paul spoke of his love for the Corinthian Church.

2. The Condition Of The People – verse 12 - They were “straightened” from within! They were distressed by some that were in their fellowship.

3. The Character Of The Enemy – verses 14-16 - They are easily discernable.

Righteousness vs. unrighteousness
Light vs. darkness
Christ vs. Belial (Belial – one of low ascent, a low life!)
Believer vs. unbeliever
Temple of God vs. idols

4. The Communion Of The Church – verse – 17-18

a. Come out – not stay in
b. Touch not
c. I will receive you
d. I will be a Father to you

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