Temple Baptist Church - 1-31-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:13
A. In these last days, Satan has done a job on local churches and one of his greatest tools is that of division.
1. In verse 13, Paul says, “And be at peace among yourselves.” I have spent many hours preaching and teaching on the subject of division because it is a tactic that Satan uses effectively over and over.
2. A house divided cannot stand in spite of doctrinal purity and adherence to the Bible! Satan does not attack liberal or apostate “churches” because they are actually on his side to begin with.
B. Unity is the “strong man” that Christ spoke of when speaking of a house divided. Division is the “cord” that binds the “strong man.”
1. The cause of division is carnality - 1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
2. The result of division is confusion - James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
C. When writing to the Corinthian Church (the carnal church), Paul spoke first of the divisions within the body. 2 Corinthians 12:20 “For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults.”
1. He feared finding the people living in carnality and sinfulness. A true pastor or man of God desires only the best for the church and its members.
2. He feared the people finding him in a chastening mode instead of purely loving one. A true pastor or man of God wants to be loving and kind at all times but has the love and boldness to deal with sinfulness when it becomes necessary.
D. What does the devilment of division do to the local church?
1. Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church. (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and un-forgiveness in their hearts. They are Achans!)
2. Division Destroys The Commission Of The Church. (Missions has been damaged because of gaining a family and then losing a family through spiritual nonsense!)
3. Division Destroys The Testimony Of The Church. (Church fights and splits have been detrimental to the prosperity of the church, both physically and financially.)
4. Division Destroys The Posterity Of The Church. (Children both see and hear the ungodliness of the parents. It affects their spirituality and, eventually, they are lost.)
5. Division Destroys The Worship Of The Church. (God and His Holy Spirit are grieved with this division and worship is neither holy nor acceptable.)
6. Division Destroys The Evangelism Of The Church. (Instead of keeping our eyes upon the harvest and doing all that we can to win souls, our time is spent in bitterness and souls are lost.)
7. Division Hinders The Prayers Of The Saints. (Malice and a lack of forgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)