Temple Baptist Church - 11-17-2013
A. Off and on over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the heart. Not the physical organ but the very soul of man, the seat of his affections.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Out of the heart are the issues of life and we are admonished to keep our heart with all diligence.)
B. In our verse for this morning, we find two words that should never be found in the same verse: “brother” and “offended.” Yet, in the day in which we live, these two words seemingly abound in the same sentence.
C. The major cause of church splits and division among God’s people is that of people being offended. People are not leaving or changing churches because of major doctrinal issues, they are leaving because of petty differences!
D. Doctrinal impurity and unrebuked sin are not the culprits! Personal priorities and “nit picking” are the most common problems. Now, I am not trying to offend this morning, but the pulpit must not be silent on the problem.
E. We are an army! We are God’s army! We have no rights! When I was in the military, I never considered leaving my unit because I did not like my commander. I never considered leaving my unit because I did not get my way or disagreed with the way it was being run. It was the choice of my commanding officer to either move me or tell me to remain at my post.
1. Local churches are hurt. You work to gain families through the front door only to lose them out the back door.
2. Missions and soul winning are hurt. We endeavor to take missionaries on for support just to see that support drop and missionaries lose it. It once took a missionary less than 12 months to become fully supported and now it takes 3-4 years.
3. The church’s testimony is hurt. Churches get bad reputations in the community and bad reputations take years if ever to live down.
F. We do not quit our secular jobs because we do not like something, we do our job.
1. Satan destroys the local church from within and the major attack is upon its unity. No, I am not a perfect pastor and neither are you a perfect member. We are people; we are saved people; we have a job to do for the Lord and the local church is what God uses to get the job done.
2. As a pastor, I spend much time and prayer concerning just this problem. The number one problem that pastors face is that of brethren who cannot get along or get offended. THE ENEMY FROM WITHIN! Outside persecutions only strengthen the church and work of the ministry. Satan destroys from within!
G. I want to look at some verses that go along with this text:
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. (Forgive ANY THING AND EVERY THING! SATAN’S DEVICE IS UNFORGIVENESS!)
Hebrews 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Follow PEACE WITH ALL MEN! TROUBLE YOU AND IT WILL; MANY BE DEFILED!)
H. I want to make it clear once again this morning that being and remaining offended is sin! It often happens to good families! Though it may happen, there is no biblical excuse for it. Being offended is a sign of carnality, confused priorities, and selfishness.
1. The unsaved get offended: “Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
God wills that the lost receive the Word of God and be saved - 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2. The saved get offended: “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night.”
God wills that the saved get right with the Lord, forgive, and forget - John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
THREE THINGS THAT WILL KEEP YOU FROM BECOMING OFFENDED
1. Fall In Love With God - 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (Love God and you will love what God loves! God loves sinners; God loves saints; God love the local church! The greatest priority of the believer should be to “know Him” and to “love Him!”)
2. Fall In Love With God’s Word - Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (If you become offended it is because of your lack of love for this blessed Book that I hold in my hand! Do not blame others for your offended condition because saved people who love the Word cannot be offended according to this verse.)
3. Fall In Love With Sinners - Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (When we have a heart for the unsaved, our priorities change. But for the grace of God, you and I would be as lost and wicked as anyone else. God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on an old rugged cross for sinners. If He gave so much, how can we give so little?)
4. THEN You Will Fall In Love With God’s People - Colossians 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (God’s people are special! Love them in spite of faults and failures! God does! We expect to be loved in spite of our faults and yet, many times, we cannot forgive the failures of others.)
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
a. We are not to be offended.
b. If you have been offended, I cannot tear down the walls and bars that you have placed in your life.
c. You must recognize your condition and remove the obstacles of fellowship that are in your life.
d. If you are offensive, you need to recognize your sinfulness and repent. We are not here to be harsh or critical of one another but we are here to exhort.
e. Offended or offensive people hinder the unity and, therefore, the mission of the church!