Being the Church!
Meeting together on the first day of the week is for worship, praise to GOD, and meeting as encouragement to each other is instructed in his word. Being salt and light to a lost and dying world is a manifestation of HIS Spirit. Striving to be true Christians and abstaining and resisting all appearances of evil is also a sign or manifestation. What is the definition of abstaining? Syn: To refrain; forbear; withhold; deny one's self; give up; relinquish. This definition of abstaining bring this scripture to life: Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
This brings us to the question of, exactly what is evil. This is where the rubber meets the road. Mature Chrsitians will understand what evil is. Heb 5:14-6:3
14 But solid food is for the mature,[b] who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.[/b]
6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
We can only understand what evil is; by how God views it in the Holy Scriptures. Evil explained will vary from the natural way of thinking.
Proverbs 3:6-8 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Shunning evil also entails acknowledging verbally what evil is. Until we can learn to speak what evil is; we will have a difficult time shunning it or encouraging others to shun evil as well; which is a very important part of the Christian life.
Why is it important to shun evil and does shunning evil have an impact in our happiness in our earthly life or is it just for when we reach HIS Heavenly Kingdom? It is apparent that shunning evil is a now thing; here on earth. If we allow the world to take certain evils and set parameters on what Christians can call evil or speak of; what makes one think that these lost liberals will not continue adding to the list of off limit topics that we can speak of and out against.
When King David; a man after God own heart sinned against God in the act of adultery with Bethsheba, even though David knew he sinned and was well aware of his sin in his own heart; no repentance came or request for forgiveness unto God; until God sent another man to put the finger on David and speak to him of his sin in detail. Was Nathan judging David; as the phrase is coined and often used in todays world; I think not. Nathan was only telling David that God would judge him; because he loved him in obedience to God.
Yes we are all sinners saved by HIS grace.
2 Cor 5:16-6:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 6
6:1 As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2 For he says,
"In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you."
I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.
3 We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange-I speak as to my children-open wide your hearts also.
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate,
United with HIS church and separate from the world. We can't be separate from the world and unite with his church and be salt and light if we allow the world to dictate to the churches what the Christian agenda is. Dictate what we can speak and what we can't speak.
We invite the world to come to Jesus for forgiveness and unite with his church but his word does not instruct us or urge to to allow compromise with the world in that effort.