Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 11, 1966
NUMBER 14, PAGE 1-2a


Roy E. Cogdill

Fellowship requires participation. It carries the idea of joint/participation or each one taking part to the extent of his ability or opportunity. We have learned that one cannot have fellowship with God except through the Gospel. Fellowship with God is impossible except as we walk in the "light of the glorious gospel of Christ." (II Cor. 4:3-7) Those who walk in the darkness of evil and error have no fellowship with God. (I John 1:3-7)

All of this clearly indicates that our lives, worship, and service to God must be brought into harmony with God's will as it is revealed in the Gospel. It is not enough to be right in the way we live. We must be right in what we believe and in our religion also. This point has never been learned by many people. They have the attitude that if one lives a decent life, guilty of no flagrant violation of God's moral law, and professes some kind of religion, he is bound to have fellowship with God, if he is sincere in such profession. This is not so!

We must know the truth to be made free. (John 8:32) We must believe the truth to escape condemnation. (II Thess. 2:11-12) We must love the truth to be saved. (H Thess. 2:10) We must walk in obedience to the truth if we would be in fellowship with God. (I John 2:4; I Peter 1:22; Hebrews 5:7-9)

God places a curse upon those who go beyond -outside - His Word. His anathema has been pronounced against any man or even an angel from Heaven, who preaches any other gospel. (Gal. 1:6-11) Those who will not abide in the doctrine of Christ and go beyond or transgress it, cannot have fellowship with God or Christ. (II John vs. 9-11) These and many other passages teach positively that a man not only cannot teach error and have fellowship with God, but he cannot even practice error and enjoy that fellowship.

When men participate in false worship they have fellowship with the Devil. He is the author of error. It does not come from God. (I Cor. 10:20-21) When we have fellowship with Satan, we do not and cannot have fellowship with God. One cannot even support or fellowship false teachers without partaking of their evil works and becoming an accessory with them. (II John vs. 9-11)

The doctrines and commandments of men make religion vain. To fellowship them by using human innovations in our worship, being members of religious organizations which men have founded, or giving support or even encouragement to human doctrines and creeds, means to lose fellowship with God.

Tolerance in the realm of human opinion and judgment is one thing, but to tolerate evil (Eph. 5:11) or error (II Cor.6:14-18) is another. Paul refused to give way to false brethren so that the truth of the Gospel might continue with the Galatians. (Gal. 2:4-5) Jude exhorts that we are to "contend earnestly for the faith which ins once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude verse 3) Peter warns, "But there arose false prophets also among the people as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that brought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." (2 Pet. 2:1-2) He follows this warning with a number of examples of God condemning those who didn't heed and obey His Word. In these examples we have God on record as never tolerating those who rebel at His will: (1) Angels were cast down into hell; (2) The world in Noah's day destroyed by the flood; (3) Sodom and Gomorrah were wiped out of existence for what men now want to recognize legally as a way of life; (4) Salaam, who loved the hire of wrong doing so much he would not take God at His Word.

False teachers are now and have always been the same. They have no scruples. They make merchandise of the souls of men in order to have their way. They walk after the flesh, despise authority, are daring, self-willed, having hearts exercised in covetousness. They "utter great swelling words of vanity and entice in the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from them that live in error; promising them liberty, while they themselves are bond servants of corruption." (II Peter 2:18-19) But "in their destroying they shall surely be destroyed. So will all who listen to them. God has no mercy to bestow upon those who deal lightly with His Word.

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