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Should the church disfellowship persistent Masons?

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Some in the church feel that it is unloving to disfellowship anyone. However, it is imperative that the church give a clear explanation of the consequences of sin. The church must make clear why Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity. Freemasons should be given the opportunity to repent. 1 John 1:8-9 makes it clear that if a Christian confesses his sins, God will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We should want that for all church members.

God wants us to realize that we can often recognize those who are not saved. John wrote:

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin; because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.                        (1 John 3:7-10)

God wants us to recognize those who are unsaved for several reasons. First, He wants us to share the Gospel with them. In addition, he wants us to take care, lest a relationship with them be a snare to us, leading us into sin. If we should look at a man who is persistently involved in a grievous sin, such as worship of a false god, we do him no service and we do the truth no service by trying to believe that he is really a Christian.

Failing repentance, it is important that the persistent "Christian" Mason be told, "What you are involved in is so seriously incompatible with Christianity that we are convinced that you are not a saved individual. We want to make it plain to you that, failing repentance, your actions are deserving of, and will result in, eternal condemnation. Jesus warned in Luke 13:3,5 that unless a man repents, he will die in his sins. Gal 1:8-9 makes it clear that involvement in the promotion of a false gospel results in condemnation. The Scriptures make it clear that idolatry will prevent a man from entering heaven. Freemasonry incorporates both elements, a false gospel and worship of a false god. Since Freemasonry does not follow in the teachings of Christ, the GAOTU cannot be God the Father." (See 2 John 9.)

When the church explains the issues, repentance is always the desired result. If repentance is not forthcoming, it is necessary to deny fellowship with the individual. In a very real sense it is impossible to withdraw fellowship from a persistent Mason. Why? Because we have never actually been in fellowship with him to begin with. The persistent Mason has refused to repent. Jesus warned that unless we repent, we will die in our sins. Jesus explained in Matthew 7:21 that, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." It is impossible to withdraw fellowship because the persistent Mason is not in fellowship with God, or His Son. John defined how we come to be in fellowship one with another.

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

Fellowship is only possible because we are in fellowship with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. If one is not in Christ, he is not in fellowship with the church, the body of Christ. This is true regardless of how much the unsaved individual and members of the body of Christ may desire to be in fellowship. The relationship is not lateral, from one believer to another, but rather vertical from each believer to the Father and Son. Jesus is the vine, we are all simply branches. New branches are grafted into the vine, not into another branch, or a group of branches. If a man is not in fellowship with the Father and Son, it is literally impossible for him to be in fellowship with Christians.

Many people mistakenly believe that the church is for everybody. The church is the body of Christ. Unsaved people are not part of the church. The Gospel, which the church is to share, IS for everybody. Yet, most will reject it. There are two significant aspects to the Gospel. First, because of sin, everybody initially stands condemned. Man is not able to satisfy the penalty for sin without spending eternity in hell. Second, only Jesus was able to pay the price for our sins. His sacrifice is applied to our sins only when we have functional faith in Him. Functional faith produces repentance and other fruits in keeping with salvation. Without the first aspect of the Gospel - condemnation, there would be no need for the second aspect - salvation. It is necessary for an individual to understand that he is deserving of condemnation before he can embrace the salvation which comes through faith in Jesus.

Telling an individual that, "We are not in fellowship, because of your unrepentant sin.", is an important aspect of sharing the Gospel. We attempt to convince him of the first aspect of the Gospel, condemnation, in the most clear manner we can. It is an act of love. Withholding our counsel and allowing a persistent Mason to believe that we view him as one who will inherit eternal life is an act of treachery. It is not love, but rather a selfish act which is motivated by a desire to avoid pain or conflict in our lives at the present time. When we withhold the warning, failing repentance and acceptance of the truth, the individual will suffer eternally. Ezekiel made it clear that if we issue the warning and the individual does not heed it, his blood would be on his own head. However, if we fail to issue the warning, he will still be taken. In that case, we will be held accountable for allowing him to go to hell without issuing a warning. (Ezekiel 33:6)

The assumption that we are in fellowship is automatic once a profession of faith in Jesus is made. By observing the fruits of an individual we are able to test the validity of that assumption. The act of declaring that we are not in fellowship is an act of love. Denying fellowship does not mean that the church will not share the Gospel with an individual. In fact, the act of denying fellowship is a valid demonstration of our recognition of the first aspect of the Gospel. It is only through recognition of condemnation that we can share the gift of salvation, so that fellowship can be established. First we must convince them that they are sinners. Then, we can share the One who paid the price for sin.

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