Trying The Spirits 2010

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Hi M____,
Thanks for your question.
You ask about accepting Facebook invitations.

It is good that you consider these invitations as an invitation for fellowship in Christ and yes, you do “remember correctly”, “a man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition reject.”

Tit 3:10  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Tit 3:11  Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

It does not say “third, fourth, or one hundreth”, but first and second. Christ said the same thing in Mat 18.

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear [ thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [ it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

You and I should always give a person we have never met the benefit of the doubt at first, and assume that he is sincerely seeking only to know what the scriptures teach. But once you have presented the scriptures and it has become clear that this person is not in fear of the Word of God and isn’t even fazed by the scriptures you present to him or her and is simply pushing an unscriptural agenda, you are to determine whether this brother or sister has heard the truth from another brother or sister, and if he has, then you are commanded to witness to the Truth twice, and then you are to “got to the church” and let them know that this brother is teaching heresy. That is what the scriptures teach is necessary to keep unity in the body of Christ. That is what is rejected by the so- called ecumenical movement which pervades all orthodox Christians in today’s world.
These Biblical instructions concerning heretics can all be done over the internet, but it is important that “your brother” hear your witness “from one or two other brothers”, whether that is via the internet, the phone or in person once you know that the person with whom you are communicating has heard the same witness from another brother in Christ, and you have personally witnessed to him “the… second” time, then you and I are commanded to “tell it to the church, and if he neglects to hear the church, let him be to you as a heathen man and a publican.” What that means is “have no company with that man.”

Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

“Have no company” is not a command to be uncivil toward anyone. Rather it is a command not to let that person into your spiritual house to discuss spiritual matters with him, and what it is, is a command against bidding Him god- speed, or placing your blessing on his false doctrines.

2Jn 1:9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

These are the words of Jesus Christ. These words essentially deputize all Christians to become what all heretics call “heresy hunters.” Anyone who dares to “try the spirits to see whether they are of God” and then dares to “go to his brother” about a sinful doctrine is only doing what God commands us to do. Nevertheless, that person is invariably labeled “divisive, elitist, cold hearted and a heresy hunter” by those who despise having their doctrines exposed and contrasted with what the scriptures teach.
This is all being done via the internet. The Lord has given us this medium of communication, and Facebook is part of the internet, but like the rest of the internet it can be abused. Some children share pornography, while others are harassed to the point that it drives them to commit suicide.
Some people use Facebook to keep from having to actually communicate one on one. In other words, they use Facebook on a daily basis, sort of like some people send out an annual letter to let all their family and friends know how they are faring on a daily basis. You go to the computer, and there it is: “So- and- so is playing tennis today at 10 A. M.” That is fine for those who do that, but others simply don’t have time to do that, and it really is just a matter of personal preference.
On the other hand I have received and answered many sincere questions concerning scripture on Facebook. So Facebook does serve to keep many people connected, but for my purposes of sharing the gospel, it simply is not ideal because scriptural answers generally require more space than the box on Facebook provides. I often answer Facebook inquiries in e- mail, if I have that person’s e- mail address.
But again, that is a personal preference, and Facebook can be and is good for those who want to use it.
I hope I have answered your question about using face book invitations as a means of witnessing and also your question about “trying the spirits and rejecting a heretic after the first and second admonition.”

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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