With whom do we fellowship here? Is it all professing believers? No, it is those who are born of the same spirit as us. We can discern the apostasy and the disingenuousness in those who refuse to repent when they are confronted. No, that is not who John is talking about. We are to love and fellowship with God’s people, those born of the Spirit like us.
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 (NASB)
As the elect draw closer and closer to Christ in obedience and fellowship the more and more they will be seen to be identified with Him and will, therefore, be hated by the world, just as He was and just as He said would happen (John 15:18-25). If the visible church has invited the world in and has become so conformed to it that there is no difference, what will happen within these “churches” when the elect within become conformed to Christ as I shared above? It will be the same result. They will be seen as outsiders and troublemakers. They will be seen as people needing “sensitivity training” or as intolerable and close-minded. They will be seen as uncompromising and will, therefore, have to be driven out or, at least, ostracized. Not every church is in this sad shape, thank the Lord, but the number is growing, and intolerance for true Christian exclusivity and doctrinal purity in the U.S. and other Western Countries is growing and is starting to contaminate our churches.
How should we respond? We must remain in the mode of drawing closer and closer to Christ, becoming more and more like Him. Our obedience to our Lord is foremost. We are to reflect to all the love of God that has become manifest in us.