Summary: Biblical advice for the church from a departing pastor

What Should We Do Now?

Philippians 4:1-3

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 24, 2010


*I was saved through the ministry of this church in 1975, and after answering God’s call to the ministry, I returned to serve as associate pastor from 1983-1992. After serving as the pastor of another church for 6 years, I returned to McClendon in 1998, serving for another year and a half as associate pastor, then almost 11 years as pastor. So to help the church understand why I was leaving, I gave them a personal testimony about how the Lord had moved me in past years. Then I gave a few comments about my plans for the near future and said:

*That’s what I am going to do, but a much bigger question is: What are you going to do? There are many uncertainties, but you will certainly be fine, if you apply the truths we see here in God’s Word. -- So today let me expand on some Biblical truths I shared at our last deacon fellowship.

1. What should you do now? -- First, STRIVE for HARMONY.

*In vs. 1&2, Paul desperately wanted that church to strive for harmony, and he said:

1. Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

2. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

*Euodia and Syntyche were having a disagreement, just like we have sometimes with our family, our friends, at school, at work, even at church.

*We don’t know what the argument was about. It wasn’t important enough for Paul to mention. (Have you ever gotten into arguments over nothing?)

*We also don’t know who was to blame.

-Both of these women were good, Godly women.

-Both of them were saved;

-Both of them had worked together with Paul to spread the Good News about Jesus. -- But now they were fussing, and fighting.

*Sometimes even the best of us don’t get along like we should, but God’s word says: “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”

-The KJV says “I beseech” or beg. The NIV says “I plead.” -- God’s Word says, “I implore, beseech, beg, plead with you to agree with each other in the Lord.”

*Bro. James Strittman is one of the most Godly men I have ever known. He and Mrs. Flora have faithfully served the Lord for close to 70 years.

*Several years ago, I visited with Bro. Strittman, while Mrs. Flora was in surgery.

-We talked about church, and he asked me about some of the churches around us that were struggling at the time.

*Then Bro. Strittman told me about a church he considered going to pastor one time. He said at first glance everything seemed fine. They had recently carpeted the whole church, and they had air conditioning, back in a day when most churches didn’t. But then Bro. Strittman looked a little deeper and found that no one had been saved in that church in over 2 years. That greatly concerned him. And over time it became clear that the people in that church were fussing with each other.

*Bro. Strittman said that on the day they voted to call him, the vote was 145 to 6.

-At the end of the service, one of the men who voted against him came out the door and said, “Preacher we want you to know that we weren’t voting against you. -- We were voting against that other 145!”

*Bro. Strittman paused for a moment and then he said: “I sure am glad the Lord led me in another direction.” He also said he could understand why people weren’t being saved. The church people weren’t loving each other. -- And that kind of fussing kills the witness of a church.

*“It kills the witness of a church,” Bro. Strittman said. And in John 13:35, Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

*What should you do now? -- Do everything you can to get along with each other.

-You must strive for harmony.

2. And SEEK to HELP.

*You must seek to help. -- Listen to Paul in vs. 2&3:

2. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

3. And I urge you also, true companion, HELP these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

*Paul said, “Help these women!” That word “help” is a strong word with the word picture that means “seize, grab, capture or catch.” Paul said, “Help these women!” -- And God wants us to be helpers too.

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