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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Three Aspects of the Rest of God, #3
Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13—NIV)
Far too much emphasis is placed on the number of people who attend an assembly. Not nearly enough stress is put on the spiritual growth of those people. In fact, a new Christian could come away from a service with the idea that all he is to do now is bring in as many new members as he can, and meanwhile wait to go to Heaven when he dies.
How many Christian assemblies are in an uproar today because of the carnality of the membership? A divided, carnal, immoral assembly of believers filled with gossip, hatred, and bitterness is a detriment rather than an asset to the Kingdom of God. Yet it could be true that most Christian churches have these characteristics. What good does it do to "get people saved," as the saying goes, if they are going to end up like this?
Because of the fruit being borne in our day it is not unlikely that it is the enemy who is behind the overemphasis on evangelism to the virtual exclusion of attempts to bring the believers to maturity. In fact, those who do endeavor to bring themselves and others into deeper waters of the Spirit are often scorned as not being concerned about "getting souls saved."
If being saved means we have persevered to the end of our journey, then those who are bringing the disciples along the way are getting souls saved just as truly as are those who are standing at the gate and calling out to the unbelievers. The problem is due in part to terminology. We are viewing the initial act of belief as being salvation without sufficient regard to the necessity for enduring to the end. This viewpoint is unscriptural and destructive.
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:19,20—NIV)
Perhaps Satan knows that he can bide his time. He can encourage the extreme emphasis on initial evangelism and point scornfully toward those who are laboring to bring believers on to perfection, knowing that five years later he can destroy the new converts through their carnality.
If the Kingdom of God is to be installed on the earth it will not be through spiritual babies!
And so the Book of Hebrews is one long exhortation and warning to saved, Spirit-filled believers to not stop at the elementary principles of salvation but to press forward to the rest of God.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1,2)
To be continued.