Temple Baptist Church - 6-27-2010
Introduction: The pastor’s nightmare! Division!
A. I would say that the subject of division is one that I preach on more than any else, especially over the past few years as the coming of our Lord draws nigh. I have preached and will continue to preach against division with the local church body because it is imperative that we remain united and strong as the work of the Lord is of the utmost importance. This type of preaching is not a new thing nor can it be a sporadic one. It must be preached often with a no-nonsense approach.
B. Satan has pulled out all of the “stops” in his unending efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the local church. The most important unit on the face of the earth other than the family is the local church. Satan hates the local Church! We must not be ignorant of Satan’s devices and one of his best is that of division.
C. There are a multitude of Baptist churches at this time that are without a pastor with some of them having “run the pastor off” because of division. At times, wicked people get in the church and divide but, more often than not, saved people get their priorities wrong and strive, one with another.
1. Church Division Comes Through Carnality – James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
2. Church Division Comes Through Biblical Ignorance - Ephesians 4:2-7 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
3. Church Division Comes Through False Brethren - 3 John 9-11 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
4. Church Division Comes Through Satanic Influence - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
D. Division causes much damage to the local church by:
1. Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church. (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and unforgiveness 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 loosing 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 unforgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)
What Division Will Do
1. Division Damages The Believer.
a. It Will Divide You From The Pastor – Your Friend
b. It Will Divide You From The Pulpit – God’s Message
c. It Will Divide You From The People – Your Brethren
d. It Will Divide You From The Peace Of God – Your Joy
e. It Will Divide You From The Place – God’s House
f. It Will Divide You From The Purpose – God’s Harvest
2. Division Brings Reproach Upon The Name Of Christ
a. It Brings Division Into The Local Church
b. It Brings Confusion Of The Church’s Purpose
c. It Brings Reproach Upon The Testimony Of The Local Church
d. Ultimately, It Damns Sinners To A Devil’s Hell
How To Stop Division!
1. Always Give Others The Benefit Of The Doubt - 1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
2. Learn To Forgive And To Forget - Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
3. Keep Your Eye Focused Upon The Purpose - Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
4. Esteem Others Better Than Self - Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Philippians 2:1-4 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5. Stop Gossip Dead In Its Tracks - Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.