Summary: It’s not about kicking people out of the church but fixing broken people and broken relationships
Internal Bleeding 1 Cor. 1: 10
Two elderly women were sitting together in the front pew of church listening to a fiery preacher.
When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out at the tops of their lungs, "AMEN, BROTHER!
"When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, "PREACH IT, REVEREND!"
When the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and screamed, "RIGHT ON, BROTHER! TELL IT LIKE IT IS... AMEN!"
But then the preacher condemned the sin of gossip and these two ladies got very quiet. One turned to the other and said, "He’s quit preaching and gone to meddling’."
It my get very quiet in here, this morning because I’m about to stop preaching and go to meddling.
We use “CallemAll” messaging service to get out prayer requests and messages to the church. “TellemAll” is a local church gossip service. Their motto is. “You just tell one and she’ll TellemALL.” [Not actually a real company]
BUT did you know that gossip is listed among the most disgraceful sins in Scripture?
[Rom 1:29-32 NIV] “29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Those involved not only keep doing it, even though they know it’s a terrible sin BUT they condone and encourage others to follow in their sin.
According to Scripture, gossip destroys relationships.
[Pro 16:28 NIV] “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
Again we see in Scripture that gossip and conflict go hand in hand.
[Pro 26:20 NIV] “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”
There is another word in Scripture used for one who gossips and that word is slanderer.
[Col 3:8 NIV] “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
Gossip causes division. Let me show what division causes when it comes to the family and the body of Christ or what we call the church.
1. Division causes an unforgiving spirit.
[Mat 6:15 NKJV] 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
I want to show you 4 things about the person who brings deliberate division to the body.
a. This person has fallen short of the righteousness God saved them for and there is clear evidence that their relationship with God is in word only.
[1Jo 4:20 NKJV] “If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
b. This person feels they have the God given right to say whatever they feel like saying, due to a self-righteous nature.
[Tit 3:1-2 NKJV] “1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
c. The person who creates deliberate division shows they have not taken the necessary step to secure their on forgiveness.
d. This person is living by the standards set by the world rather than the Word.
Bad feelings among the membership causes a divided church.
2. Division destroys.
Those who Gossip and cause division keep some strange company.
[Rev 13:5-6 NIV] “5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander [To destroy] his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.”
Look, gossip is slander and slander causes death and destruction…Even though your goal may be only to get back at someone and in your mind has nothing to do with the church; you are singlehandedly ripping the very foundation out from under the church. Gossip will destroy any church where it is allowed to live and thrive.
Jesus warned in [Mat 12:25 NKJV] “…"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
Jesus also said in Matthew 12: 36 that you will be held accountable for every word you speak…
Paul tells the church in, [Gal 5:14-15 NIV] “14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Paul’s warning is not to look out for the outward attacks but the internal attacks that WILL destroy the church.