Summary: There are some people the Bible says we are to mark and avoid.
ROM. 16:17-19 “MARKED PEOPLE”
A) This may seem a bit harsh, but there are some people the church don’t need!
* You may say, “Preacher, we need every member we have ... We need the help of everyone.”
* That is very true ... But we need the help of everyone whose heart is right with God and wants
to help the church, not hurt it!
* Let’s face it ... There are some people that the church would be better off without!
B) Phil. 3:18 “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even .......”
* Paul said in his day that there were some who lived in such a way as to be enemies of the cross!
* Who are the enemies of the cross? * In the context of this Scripture, they are the hypocritical
and false believers within the church! (And I can say that we have had some in the past)
* Now ... If one is an enemy of the cross, he’s an enemy of the church, and the church would be
better off without such enemies! * I hope that none of you comes under this heading .......
* If so, I pray before this day is over, you will get right with God and man, and become the person
the church needs ... A person whose life glorifies God!
C) Back to our text ... “Mark them ...” * Let’s look first at the meaning of the word “mark.”
* The Greek word is skopeo and means to take aim, to keep one’s eye on, to look at, to focus upon.
* The Bible also says that we are to avoid them ... But who is it that we are to mark and avoid?
* It’s the divisive person himself who is to be marked and avoided!
D) He is to be turned away from, avoided, not just his sin, but himself!
* We are not to have anything to do with a divisive person! * WHY?
* Because we may give the appearance of approving what he is doing ... Or we may run the risk of
being influenced and stumbling over what he says or does! * With that in mind ...
E) Let us look at some kinds of people today who need to be marked and avoided .......
(1) THOSE WHOSE LIVES ARE SINFUL! * Text: “... offences contrary to the doctrine ...”
A) They bring reproach on the name of the Lord and the church!
* They testify to the world that Christ and the church have done nothing for them!
* If you’re a member of this church and you’re committing open sin, you’re hurting the church!
* The lost is looking for an excuse not to get saved or come to church!
* He wants to justify his sin, so he measures himself by the church member who is not living
right and he says, “I’m just as good as they are.”
B) We are the only Gospel this world will ever read – 2 Cor 3:2 “Ye are our epistle written ...”
* The lost look for Christ in our lives, and if they see sin instead of Christ, Christ is hurt and the
church is hurt too!
* It’s a sad day that we are living in when Christians are not living up to the name of Christian!
* You do know that the name Christian means Christ-like, don’t you?
C) Let me illustrate ... Here’s a man who boasts that he is a church member!
* But in business, he puts over a shady deal ... At the cocktail party he drinks like everyone else.
* On the golf course he uses profanity and bets on the game. (On and on I could go)
* The church would be better off without those whose lives are sinful!
* No church member is perfect, but many are striving to be – Matt. 5:48 “Be ye therefore ...”
(2) THOSE WHO INDULGE IN CRITICISM! * Destructive and constructive criticism!
A) Let me illustrate the difference between destructive criticism and constructive criticism!
* When one person feels there is something wrong in the church, he calls another member off
to the side and harshly criticizes ... That’s destructive criticism ... The kind the devil likes.
* But another person, having the same feeling, keeps quiet about it.
* Then they go to the pastor and talk it over in a sweet Christian spirit with him and they pray
about it ... That is constructive criticism and it leaves no scars!
B) However ... It seems that some people are in the church, not for a blessing, not for help, but
to find something that they can criticize!
* The church is not perfect ... The pastor, deacons, staff, choir ... But neither are you!