A curious phenomenon ties together several biblical stories: God makes a judgment and divides His people into two groups, often splitting them down the middle!
Unity seems to be 'godly,' while division is 'ungodly.' However, unity and division are not as black and white as we typically think of them.
God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.
Charles Whitaker, focusing on Paul's admonition to the Ephesians that there be unity in the Body of Christ, suggests that, in the interests of preserving unity, God judges and then surgically separates hypocrites from real believers. This judgment-resultin. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh observes that the self-indulgent, immoral culture of Corinth parallels today's America and the current fractured state of the church. Paul, before he gives the Corinthians a corrective message on factions and party spirit, reminds them t. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Deuteronomy 14:23-26, with the instructions for converting the tithe of the produce into money (second tithe or festival tithe), emphasizes that the reason for this monetary conversion is to learn to fear God. Of the 400 instan. . .
Outcome-based religion holds large membership as its measure of success, believing that the ends justify the means. It avoids doctrine that might divide.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the alarming fragmentation and disunity taking place throughout society and within God's church, assures us that God will ultimately answer Jesus' five-fold prayer for unity in John 17:11. We have a vital part to play in bringi. . .
God's character is not all sweetness and light. Sometimes He has to be a God of judgment and vengeance. The distorted perception of Jesus as a weak, effeminate, and ineffective Savior fails to take into account Paul's revelation that the so-called stern Go. . .
John Ritenbaugh discusses the implication of Dathan and Korah's rebellion in Numbers 16:1-5, agitating for a democratization of priestly responsibilities. God clearly reveals that not everybody set apart is holy in the same way, nor is God dealing the same. . .
The Arnoldists, lbigenses, Cathers, Waldensians, and the Lollards all had Sabbath-keepers in their ranks. Gradual syncretism is a pattern of church history.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Matthew 7:13-14, observes that life consists of a series of choices—often a dilemma of a pleasurable choice on one hand, and a daunting difficult choice on the other. It seems as though God Almighty and Jesus Christ invar. . .
John Reid, reading from the Diary of Elizabeth Smith, a pioneer woman travelling from Missouri to Oregon, described the treacherous wintry conditions on the Columbia River Gorge, suggesting that the closer they came to their goal, the more dangerous the ha. . .
The emerging, new paradigm, purpose driven, outcome-based churches emphasize that the ends justify the means, glorifying relativistic human philosophy.
Martin Collins, wrapping up his sermon series "Back to Life" by focusing on the seventh sign narrated by the Apostle John, the resurrection of Lazarus, reiterates that the statement, "Jesus wept" reveals that Lazarus was precious in God. . .
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