Summary: We are told what to do avoid and what to do in order to cease the troublemakers. 1- Avoid the foolish 2- Warn the contentious 3- Dodge the divisive
INTRO.- Troublemakers. Ever met any? Ever been one?
ILL.- After the revival had concluded, the three pastors were discussing the results with one another. The Methodist minister said, “The revival worked out great for us! We gained four new families.”
The Baptist preacher said, “We did better than that! We gained six new families.” The Presbyterian pastor said, “Well, we did even better than that! We got rid of our 10 biggest trouble makers!”
Troublemakers are found in every sphere of society. In the home, at school, in the work place, and sadly, even in the church. Troublemakers in the church comes in all sizes and shapes and genders.
ILL.- One church a board member in a church said to me, “I am the board.” At another church one deacon would never leave anything alone in board meetings. If no one said anything he always had something to say and usually it was argumentative. He always wanted to have the “last word.” It seemed like he always wanted to stir up some kind of trouble.
II Timothy 4:14-15 “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.”
We’re not sure who Alexander was but he opposed the gospel message. I would hope there would never be a person like this in the Lord’s church.
III John 9-10 “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”
Diotrephes doesn’t sound like a very good person. That’s putting it mildly. Again, we don’t know who he was but he may have been some kind of church leader. Nevertheless, he thought he was “Mr. Big” and loved to be first.
ILL.- I know of a preacher back in MO who could do everything well: preach, teach, call on people, organize, administrate things very well, etc. but he never had the attitude that he wanted to be “Mr. Big” or run the show. He worked with his church leaders very well. Some church leaders have the “run it” or “ruin it” attitude and neither is good.
Romans 16:17-18 “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”
If someone is divisive in the church, that is, causing trouble, division, arguments, etc. They are not serving Christ. They are self-serving and that’s no good! We all are here to honor the Lord and edify the church, not serve ourselves!
PROP.- We are told what to do avoid and what to do in order to cease the troublemakers.
1- Avoid the foolish
2- Warn the contentious
3- Dodge the divisive
I. AVOID THE FOOLISH
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Avoid foolish people and those start foolish controversies and arguments.