Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Oct. 3, 1999, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia:
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:1-10
Text: 1 John 1:6
Introduction: The word, “fellowship,” occurs in 16 verses of the Bible. Three of those verses are found in tonight’s scripture reading: 3,6, and 7.
Fellowship is a companionship. It is a state of friendship and communion between two people. God and Adam were in fellowship until Adam sinned, and that fellowship was broken. One of the goals of salvation is to put man back into fellowship with God. Unregenerate man is God’s enemy, and the gospel message invites him to be reconciled to his Maker:
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
When a person is saved, he has the wonderful opportunity to walk in fellowship with God. However, that fellowship is often broken by believers. Many Christians are not in fellowship with God. Many church members are not in fellowship with God. Many Sunday School teachers are not in fellowship with God. Many preachers are not in fellowship with God. Many churches are not in fellowship with God.
I. CONSIDER THE REALITY OF BROKEN FELLOWSHIP
Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
A. The state of broken fellowship is often denied
B. the state of broken fellowship is often disguised
C. The state of broken fellowship is declared by God
* In His word – You’re out of fellowship with God if the Bible condemns your activities and attitudes.
* By His Spirit – grieved within you.
* From the pulpit – God speaks to the individual heart and invites the erring believer to come back to the Lord.
* At the Judgment Seat of Christ – The Lord will reveal our true condition.
II. CONSIDER THE REASONS FOR BROKEN FELLOWSHIP
Acts 15:36-40 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
A. Disagreement with God can break fellowship with Him
B. Disobedience to God can break fellowship with Him
C. Disloyalty to God can break fellowship with Him
III. CONSIDER THE RESULTS OF BROKEN FELLOWSHIP
Jeremiah 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
* 1 Jn. 1:5-7 God is light. When you get out of fellowship with Him, you cut off your source of light.
* You lose light from the word of God.
* You lose light about the will of God.
* Even as a lost person is dead in trespasses and sins, a saved person who is not in fellowship with God is dead as far as fruitfulness, faithfulness, and fellowship are concerned.
* The Israelites got out of fellowship with God and were unable to defeat their enemies.
* We are not losers. We are winners. However, you can become defeated if you get out of fellowship with God.
IV. CONSIDER THE REMEDY FOR BROKEN FELLOWSHIP
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
A. There must be a desire
* God desires to bring you back.
* YOU must desire to COME back.
* Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
B. There must be a decision
* Luke 15:18-19 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
C. There must be a dedication
* Luke 15:20-21 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
* There must be a dedication to come home to God and fellowship with Him.
* There must be a dedication to confess your sins to God.
D. There will be delight
* Luke 15:22-24 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.