Temple Baptist Church - 2-7-2013
1 Thessalonians 5:13
A. Division is the pastor’s nightmare!
1. Last week I preached on “The Devilment of Division” because it is satanic! Satan hates this local church and would love for it to spiritually and physically “blow up!” Though he has this desire, there is a Biblical deterrent.
2. The greatest enemy of the local church sits upon its pews. As Pogo once said, “We found the enemy and it are us!” The unity of the local is our responsibility! If it divides, then it is because we either failed to live responsibly or failed to properly use church discipline upon those who walk unruly.
B. Division destroys, division binds the “strong man,” division is devilment!
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
C. How to stop division within the local church:
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; (How often do believers receive an evil report about someone and then think the very worst. I have learned well over the past 3 years what can happen when one does not give another the benefit of the doubt.)
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. (There are times when people will hurt you. Our Lord said to forgive those who repent 490 times! If you forgive someone 490 times, the 491st time will not be hard either. Where you have people, you have problems and where you have problems, you have hurt feelings. Learn to forgive as you would like to be forgiven!)
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; (Keep the main thing the main thing! Our wants, likes, and dislikes are not really all that important. We need to become expendable! Willing to sacrifice our wants and desires for the betterment and advancement of the gospel. While we fume and fight, sinners perish!)
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 2:1-4 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. (Place others before self. If your way works and their way works, then use their way. I learned a long time ago, in management, that if I have an idea and one who works for me has an idea, use his if they both will work. He will work a lot harder to make his idea to work than he will to make yours work! Learn to be considerate and kind.)
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. (Never, never let your ears become garbage cans for the poison of others. If someone wants to talk about someone else, just say, “Hold on a minute! Let’s you and me go to talk with them and tell what you heard.” It will stop an amazing amount of gossip! Gossipers never want to be exposed because they do not know for a fact what they are repeating.)
6. Follow Your Pastor As He Follows Christ - 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (Your pastor is God’s gift to the local church. God’s Word commands the church to follow his leadership and doctrine as long as he follows Christ and the Bible. Satan will do all that he can to deter you from following God’s man. You may not always fully agree with all that he does; you may not always fully understand what he does; but, if he is godly and in the Bible, he will not lead you wrong!)
Conclusion: “Be at peace among yourselves” is our individual responsibility to the local church and one another.