Giving Away Fellowship
Certainly there must be a point at which you’ve spoken to someone and you eventually realize they are no longer interested or responsive to what you have to say. It’s time to let them go.
If it comes to that, sure, but that’s the nature of the body of Christ. “A little leaven leavens the whole batch. Get the leaven out of the loaf” (1Cor. 5:6-7). That’s a command just like all the others. “If you love Me, you’ll obey My commands.” It’s not like we have a choice—it’s not our church. It’s His Church! So, that’s what we have to do.
But if someone’s having trouble, it’s like it would be with your child. With your own child, you’d lay down your life for them in every way that you possibly could. It’s not some external thing where you’re throwing out words and ideas at them. Rather, you’re taking the initiative to invite them to the next soccer game. You’re calling them during your break at work and inviting them out to lunch to talk about things. You help people like you would if it was your own child that was going astray.
You wouldn’t just see them once a week and then pass judgment on them and walk away. You would do everything you possibly could, day and night, to try to find a way to resolve it, because you love them. If you do that, you’ll find that a lot of people will turn around, who wouldn’t have turned by hearing a sermon or having a confrontation.
In a typical religious body a lot of times the thought is, “Oh, just let them stay. We’ll teach and they’ll hear good things. As long as they’re around maybe they’ll hear something that will touch their heart.” If people take that approach, a person will probably just stay in sin. It takes Jesus’ ways to get Jesus’ results.
If people receive a person and do all the “fun” and “fellowship” things, then that person won’t have the chance to face his own sin and come to know his need for Messiah. You can sabotage a man coming to Jesus by pretending to have fellowship with him, when really the man has no fellowship with God. There was a man we knew who, for seven years, the people with him didn’t pretend to embrace him as a Christian when something was clearly missing. They loved him and cared about him and because of that, they held out—not giving a false fellowship. Then he had the chance to finally find God for real.
We’re only allowed to fellowship people that have fellowship with God. We can’t dish out fellowship to people that don’t have fellowship with God without doing damage to them. We’re deceiving them by giving away something that God is not sharing with them.
That’s very deep. Wow.
I’m sorry, but can I ask if we can move to the lounge? The lady wants to clean. Would any of you like to rest or lie down? You can lie down or walk around if you like?
If any of you are tired we’ll give you a break. :)