Summary: 1- Respect your leaders 2- Live peacefully with all 3- Warn some, encourage others 4- Never seek vengeance
INTRO.- ILL.- A man asked the preacher, “How many active members do you have in your church?” The preacher said, “They’re all active. Half of them are working with me and half of them are working against me.” AND THIS DOES HAPPEN IN SOME CHURCHES. What’s a preacher to do in a situation like that? Don’t answer that!
ILL.- The following question was asked: “When you have fifty people all of different opinions, what do you have?” Someone replied, “A BAPTIST CHURCH.” No, it could be any church but that would very sad.
Hopefully, some unity of the Spirit exists in all churches that follow Christ.
ILL.- One Sunday afternoon as a farmer was making hay the preacher stopped by to see him. The preacher asked the farmer why he hadn’t been to church and the farmer replied, "To tell the truth, I would rather work in the hay field and think about the church than sit in the church and think about hay."
While that may sound accurate to some people, I don’t believe that argument holds water. Most folks who miss church because they are doing something else, are not thinking about church!
ILL.- An usher went up to a man who had on his hat in church and asked him to remove it. The man said, "Thank goodness, I thought that would do it. I’ve been coming to this church for months and you are the first person to speak to me."
I don’t think anyone would have to wear a hat in this church in order to be greeted or spoken to. And it shouldn’t happen in any church.
ILL.- The preacher’s sermon went on and on and on. Finally, the preacher said, "What more can I say?" From the back of the church someone said, "Say Amen." Meaning, it’s time to go home. You’ve preached long enough.
ILL.- A preacher got carried away in his sermon and preached for two hours with no signs of ending. Finally, one of the members got up to leave and the preacher said, "Brother, where are you going?" He said, "I’m going to get a haircut." The preacher said, "Why, didn’t you get one before you came to church?" The man replied, "I didn’t need one then."
How do you deal with people? Hopefully, you deal with all people with as much graciousness as possible.
Gal. 5:13 "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love."
Serve one another in love. That’s the main way how we are to deal with one another church.
PROP.- Our text gives us some specific insight into how to deal with people IN the church or how to treat them.
1- Respect your leaders
2- Live peacefully with all
3- Warn some, encourage others
4- Never seek vengeance
I. RESPECT YOUR LEADERS
12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
ILL.- Rodney Dangerfield said, "I get no respect."
- "When I was born... the doctor came out to the waiting room and said to my father... I’m very sorry. We did everything we could... but he pulled through."
- "When I played in the sandbox the cat kept covering me up."
- "I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio."
- "With my father I got no respect. I asked him, "How can I get my kite in the air?" He told me to run off a cliff."
All of us go through times when we get "no respect" or it may seem that way.
ILL.- Preacher Henry Ward Beecher once received a letter with one word written on it. It read: "Fool." The next Sunday he read the note in the pulpit and said, "I have received many letters from people who forgot to sign their names, but this is the first time I received a letter from someone who signed his name but forgot to write the letter."
ILL.- After receiving a nasty letter the preacher sent it back to one of his members with this note attached: "The enclosed letter arrived on my desk just a few days ago. I am sending it back to you because I think you should know that some idiot is sending out letters with your signature on it."
ILL.- A local preacher joined a community service club and the members thought they would have some fun with him. Under his name on the badge they gave him was printed "Hog Caller" as his occupation. Everyone made a big deal as the badge was presented to him. The preacher replied by saying, "I am usually called the ’shepherd of the sheep,’ but you know your people better than I do."