Preach Hard, Be Friendly (Matthew Corbitt)

Sitting in my parents living room with some old buddies from bible college, we began to do what we like to do most, write ridiculous songs and sing them to an audience of ZERO. We had spent the past hour in much the same fashion, laughing, joking and talking about the good old days.

Across the room a buddy of mine who has not had internet access in several months made a commotion. “Oh my goodness.” We all ran over to see what had happened-he was simply staring at facebook. In just the past few months, he was astonished to see how many of our friends and acquaintances have left the faith to pursue a more humanistic approach to theology.

Person after person, family after family. He began to scroll to all of those that he was once so close too. To see the shock and amazement on his face was a sight unto itself. You could tell he was rattled.

I guess being “connected” to all of my friends in the fashions that I am have dulled the senses a bit. I knew that many, if not most, of my friends were contending within their own walk, but the knowledge had been slow coming, definitely not all at once.

You see, before this point in time, I never really used facebook to check up on people. (It's mostly a external hard drive for my pictures and friends pictures.) So we began to go through old friends, and do some research and see who still loved Jesus, and who had lost their way.

Friend after friend after friend. The more we began to pull up, the more we found that have fallen, and decided not to get back up, the more we found who just decided to walk away, and the more our hearts were broken.

Classmates, football buddies, fellow coffee shop junkies, it appeared that the new trend of “cool” didn't look anything like... like Jesus.

[Now before I go any further, let me make a editors note to all of the SIN-JUSTIFYING, SELF-SERVING, HYPOCRYTES {*a soft feminine tone because that means its in love*} who are anxious to point out my faults. I am not perfect by any means and im sure I fail more than most people. I know what is right, and what is wrong, but that doesn't mean I do right all the time. I am not being “Self-righteous” because I understand completely that no matter how much a person separates themselves from the world, they can never obtain salvation that way. On the other hand, I do understand that faith is an action. Faith produces works. Confessing Jesus doesn't mean faith, it means you've repeated a few words, just as “I love you” doesn't mean you really love a person, because love is a commitment and it should grow and be cultivated. Faith in Jesus will always produce separation from the world. A false faith will produce an individual that rides the fence. We are justified through faith (Romans 3). It doesn't matter what we think should or shouldn't be in the bible, it is not predicated on private interpretation, it means what it says, and we will be judged accordingly, no matter how badly we justify our satanic-humanistic “do what thou wilt” “follow your heart” theology.]

Now I'm not just speaking of outward holiness, I am speaking of an overall lifestyle, or “conversation” as the new testament would say. It seems that much of our holy conversation has ceased. No longer do you find young people actively pursuing a holy God, but rather fitting Him in on Sunday, while the rest of the week they serve other gods.

From observation it would seem that it always starts off as such small things, barely registering on the scale of wrong for most of us Apostolics, but then leads to destruction.

I am not sure if this epidemic is a result from a lack of understanding or simply not caring about Jesus. For my own peace of mind I am going to assume the former of the two.

Assuming the a simple lack of understanding, I would pray that my generation get back into the Word and dig some things out for themselves. Study our forefathers and figure out why they took certain stands. Get back into the Bible and find God for ourselves. Now is not the time to give up, now is the time to dig deep and begin to push forward, but a push forward can only be sustained if Gods people will study to show themselves approved and get some solidity about their holy convictions. (and a backbone despite the fact that we now come from a society of jellyfish.)

Listen, I'm not perfect, and as many of you would attest, I'm quite far from it, but when you fall, get back up. You have to learn from your mistakes and do better next time. You have to get back up, you have to get back up, you have to get back up! We are in a war, it is essential that we begin to help our brothers and sisters up and bear one another's burdens if we are going to make it in this late hour. Just because a brother has fallen doesn't make him cease to be your brother!

To hit home and make all audiences hate me today I dare say this- If you're WPF and a UPCI brother messes up, you better get up and help him, or I pray a swift kick in the pants from Jesus upon you. You're wrong, and you will be judged. If you're UPCI and an ALJC brother messes up, you must help him. ALJC-PAW help him. AMF-PAW- help him. My goodness, if we are to be the church of the last days, we have to come together and be the bride of Christ, not squabbling children.

I love the Oneness movement, period. I have a few groups within it that I prefer to associate with, but my preference doesn't give me credence to pursue the downfall of another to elevate the status of my organization. Now I know that there are several Oneness groups out there that are about to prostitute the gospel, that is obvious, but wouldn't it make sense for those who are strong in the doctrine to go to those weak and begin to instruct them instead of ceasing fellowship with them altogether? (Now if you are simply “conservative” and are not biblically strong, it would do you no good to attempt to instruct someone who is weak in doctrine, you are simply blindly following someone and should be chastised until you search out why you do what you do for yourself instead of thinking that your sleeve length will get you into heaven.)

This is definitely a shotgun blog, and I have been all over the map, but there is something that just wont let me go. I hate to see people give up, I mean I HATE to see people give up! I hate even more to see people give up and “Apostolics” tear them down. Am I innocent? No, I've done it, and I bet you have too. The thing is we must change as a movement if we are to expect to see Jesus. Does this mean we shouldn't preach strong? No, Ezekiel 3 tells us we must still sound the warning, but you have to preach strong and be friendly to people. Yelling at them from the pulpit and not having fellowship with them is not Love its hate, just as not preaching holiness ans separation is not love, but hate.

Preach hard, be a friend, Selah.