Engaging Culture - Part 2
By Pastor Frederick K. Price Jr.

In Second Corinthians 6:11: The Apostle Paul is speaking:

O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.

You are not restricted by us . . . .

Look at what Paul is saying. He's saying, "I'm coming to you to tell you the truth, but, unfortunately, you think the truth is restricting you. I'm here to tell you that the truth I speak gives you liberty."

Paul tells them, You are not restricted by us. You are restricted by your own affections. In other words, that freedom that you think you have in sin has you in bondage.

Verse 13-14:

Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open."

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

Yoked? What does that mean? Does it mean to be equally yoked with a believer?

Yes, it means I need to be equally yoked together with believers.

So, why is it okay to be equally yoked together with believers, but not okay to be “unequally yoked with unbelievers?”

What does it mean to be yoked or yoked together?

It has to do with fellowship, but I want to share with you what biblical fellowship is. Biblical fellowship is not just saying, "Hey, how are you doing?" I'm going to give you a word, and I guarantee you that you know what the word means for one of the definitions of fellowship.

The word is Intercourse. Do you know what intercourse is? What do you think the Bible means when fellowship is defined as intercourse? No, it is not talking about sexual intercourse or sexual relations, but about the oneness you enter into during intercourse, so fellowship would be social intercourse.

In other words, I'm getting to know you intimately. You are getting to know me intimately. You don't just know my name. We're joined together, so Paul is saying now that you are a believer, now that you have a new nature, now that you are the righteousness of God, you cannot have social intercourse with the world. You cannot have that exchange anymore.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?" Lawlessness is sin and unrighteousness. So, Paul is asking what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? Again, fellowship is intimacy or social intercourse.

Verse 14: For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion –  which also means intercourse, a oneness, a real oneness – has light with darkness?

Verse 15: And what accord accord meaning agreement – has Christ with Belial? Belial is one of Satan's princes.

Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

You might ask, "How, then, are we supposed to preach to the lost?" The Bible shows us how to do that. You preach to the lost without social intercourse. You do not need intimate fellowship to preach to the lost, and it should not take you a long time.

 "Well, what if they are family members?"

You’ve got to tread lightly. Let me share this with you: when we’re born again, and if our siblings are not born again, by faith you and I are closer to one another than we are to our relatives. That is how the family of God works.

How many family members have severed relationships? How many have strained relationships simply because one believes in the Christ and the others do not?

There is no other reason. Think about the whole of the Jewish people. Those who have received Messiah and are hated by their family. It does not matter that they have the same DNA. They are going after their Jesus while the others don't acknowledge Him as Messiah. That's going to cause a great strain in the relationship.

So, even if it is a family member, when you become a part of the family of God you have a new family. Thank God if your family members are in the family of God, but if they are not, that social intercourse cannot continue. It is not supposed to, and I know it can be, or might be easier with someone you do not know.  I know it can be difficult, but we still have to go with what the Word says.

Verse 16: What agreement has the temple of God with idols?

Let's read it this way: "What agreement has the temple of God with the temple of idols? For you are the temple of the living God. You – we – are the temple.

As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.

That is what you and I are to do in Christ – come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.

I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

So, you and I as believers are in the kingdom of God. We have been commissioned to reach the lost, in the same way our Master came to seek and save the lost. We see Jesus in the presence of sinners, but those sinners did not have the same relationship with Jesus that the twelve disciples had with Him.

Look Second Corinthians 5:14:

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died.

Now, if we are not careful we can sound as if everybody is already saved just by reading this one verse. You have some that have taken this one verse and have decided that everyone is already saved, which would then mean that everyone born into the world after Christ ascended was no longer born into sin.

In other words, this would be their thinking: If the first Adam represented all of mankind and his disobedience caused us all to immediately become sinners, then would not the finished work of the last Adam rectify that and cause us all to automatically be believers?

No, it does not work like that. A choice has to be made.

Verse 14-15: For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died;

and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Now, some would say, "They're saved. You just have to tell them they are because they don't know it yet."

`           That could not be what Paul is saying because if that is what Paul is saying, then Paul contradicts himself and all the other epistles and all the other letters. But you can make a case and make it sound good and give you a new kind of Christianity. That is lazy Christianity.

All you have to be told is, "You're already saved. Carry on."

Verse 16-18: Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ – not since everyone is in Christ – he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

Who is the us? All of us in Christ. All who are in Christ have been given the ministry of reconciliation.

That is not our specific assignment. It is our general assignment. We have all been called to do this. We have all been given the ministry of reconciliation, which is to go and tell people they have been reconciled to God. We are telling mankind a way back to God is available, and that way is Jesus the Christ.

Verse 19: that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them – which we actually deserve but thank goodness for His grace – and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

So the word of reconciliation is what we preach in our ministry of reconciliation. I am to go into the world and tell the world, "You no longer have to remain lost. There is a God who loves you. Here is how you get to him."

Verse 20: Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.

Each and every person that professes Jesus as Savior and Lord has been given the ministry of reconciliation to preach the word of reconciliation everywhere they are. We are to engage culture wherever we are. We are to preach wherever we are, and I guarantee you a door will open. You do not have to force this thing. A door will open if you make yourself available.

We should be marketplace ministers. We should be ministering everywhere we go at every opportunity, and we do not have to force it. There are a variety of ways we can engage a person in conversation about the gospel.

You have heard people say, "Oh, my God." Ask them why they said that. When they say things like that, that is an open door to talk with them about deity, about spirituality.

"You just said, 'Oh, my God.’”

“Do you know who God is?”

“Why did you say that?"

We have been given that ministry. We have been given that Word. We are to preach the gospel. You do not have to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher to do such things because all of us are ministers.

Verse 21: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (the Father).

Chapter 6, verse 1: We then, as workers together with Him--"

I am a worker together with Him. I have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Did not Jesus say: Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

You have heard of the Great Commission, right? But in order to get the full picture of the Commission you have to read every part of the Commission, and there are five parts to it.

Matthew 28:18:

Jesus says, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

He has it all, both in heaven and on earth.

"Now, I'm about to go to heaven, and you're going to be here on the earth. You go and transfer authority in the earth realm. I am the head in heaven. You are the body in the earth.”

He says, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. . . .

In order to make a disciple, I would have to preach the gospel. The lost need to be found. The found need to be taught and equipped.

             . . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

He said, go out and make disciples, and once you have made them disciples, once you get them saved, start discipling them. Start teaching them to observe that which I taught you.

All right, that's Part 1. Part 2 of the Commission is in Mark, right?

Go to Mark 16. Now, one of the interesting things about Mark 16 is that the earliest manuscripts stop at Mark 16:8. There is no verse 9 to verse 20 in the original manuscripts. Yet we have these 11 verses in our Bible, so what do we do with them? Well, all we have to do is read these 11 verses and see if they contradict the rest of the Bible, which they don’t.

There are some fathers that claimed their version, or their copies, did include these verses. Either way, the verses do not contradict the rest of the Scripture, so we can accept them as Scripture. If these verses did contradict the rest of the Bible, we would need to throw them away. They do not, because everything I read in verses 9 through 20 I find elsewhere in Scripture, so they are in harmony.

So, what does Mark record regarding the Commission?

Chapter 16. Look at verse 14, which reads:

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart. . . .

The eleven? Are you getting this? These are the eleven. Judas is missing. These are the 11, His disciples. He has been raised from the dead, and they still are wrestling with unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen, right?

Mary said, "He is risen." Peter said, "Show me," which means he did not believe. Peter, who wrote some of the Epistles. Peter, one of the apostles of the Lamb.

Verse 15: And he said to them, “Go into all the world."

How much of the world? And do what?

. . .  and preach the gospel to every creature."

This is talking about human creatures.

Verse 16: He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”                                                                                         

That's what John 3:16 through 18 tell us. He who does not believe is already condemned,

but you can let a person know that as a result of not believing, the only thing you have to look forward to is condemnation.

All right, verse 17.

"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons, and they'll speak with new tongues;

This is looking forward to when the day of fully--day of Pentecost fully comes, the time that this was spoken.

To be continued.

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