(1 TIM 3:15) "BUT IF I TARRY LONG, THAT THOU MAYEST KNOW HOW THOU OUGHTEST TO BEHAVE THYSELF IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH."
(1 COR 14:40) "LET ALL THINGS BE DONE DECENTLY AND IN ORDER."
God has a pattern for each of His churches as to how they should be operated. A pattern how the services should be conducted, and how the membership should behave themselves.
Note: 2 Tim. 2:19-26
There is a very interesting phrase in Vs. 20, "great house". What is "a great house"? This is talking about a local N.T. Church. In every local N.T. Baptist Church there are vessels of gold and silver, vessels of honor; yet in the same church there are vessels of wood and earth, and vessels of dishonor. In Vs 21 he says, (2 Tim 2:21) "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."
In Vs. 19 the thought is "to depart from iniquity". In Vs. 21 a church member is to "purge himself from these". Who are "these"? That is those that are involved in iniquity in Vs. 19, and those that are vessels of dishonor in Vs. 21. He is saying that you and I as vessels are to be vessels of honor, and in being such we must depart from those who are in iniquity, and those who are vessels of dishonor. Notice these four verbs in Vs. 21-24:
Purge - Vs. 21. Flee - Vs. 22 Avoid - Vs. 23 Not strive - Vs. 24.
All of these are connected together tonight as we discuss "Things To Avoid While In Church."
I. Avoid Those Who Are Snooping or Snoopers - Gossipers - Busybodies - Slanderers.
1 TIMOTHY 5:13 13 AND WITHAL THEY LEARN TO BE IDLE, WANDERING ABOUT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE; AND NOT ONLY IDLE, BUT TATTLERS ALSO AND BUSYBODIES, SPEAKING THINGS WHICH THEY OUGHT NOT. (KJV)
The word tattler means: 5397. phluaros, floo'-ar-os; from phluo (to bubble); a garrulous person, i.e. prater:--tattler.
Busybody means: er-ee-er-gad'-zom-ahee; from G4012 and G2038; to work all around, i.e. bustle about (meddle):--be a busybody. He is talking about one who bubbles over in meddling.
2 Thess. 3:11, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies." Or meddlers.
Every person who attends church is not clothed in robes of white. There are some real problem people.
An example: Someone comes to you and says "Our former pastor was..........." They begin to tell of his faults. Avoid them. Get away from them. You don't want to be around anyone who is bubbling over with gossip.
Here's one - Mr. or Mrs. Busybody comes to you and asks, "What do you think the pastor really meant when he said what he said?" Avoid them. Get away from them. Stop inviting them over to your house. Don't go shopping with them anymore. Don't give an answer. Tell that person to go and ask the pastor what he meant.
(Titus 2:15) "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." (Titus 3:1) "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work," (Titus 3:2) "To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men."
Most Christians interpret Vs. 2 "Speak no evil unless the evil you speak is the truth." No - No - No! "Speak no evil of any kind - even if it is the truth."
I interviewed a prospective employee once, who was applying for a job, and all he could talk about was what a sorry character his former boss was. Guess whether I hired him or not?
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" Ephesians 4:12 "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
1 Thessalonians 4:11 "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;"
Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings:"
Talebearers are problem people. (Lev 19:16) "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD."
I'm not sure how far from being a scorner a talebearer is, but Proverbs speaks very harshly about scorners. I would imagine that a scorner was once a talebearer.
Avoid these people. Don't fellowship with them. You may ask, "Do we have anyone like you have described?" I would hope not; yet, we probably do.
II. AVOID THOSE WHO ARE SLOTHFUL OR SLUGGARDS
Romans 12:11 "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;"
Only about five to ten percent of the church membership is willing to help and work in the labors of the church. The other ninety percent is willing to let them.
German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazis because of his testimony, made this statement: "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." To follow Jesus no matter what the cost -- that's the way of the cross.
America has produced two or three slothful generations.
If a man doesn't work, he shall not eat. We see the results of a welfare society right among us. We get calls from people everyday wanting BHBC to pay their bills for them from utilities to food, rent, and gasoline. It is a way of life with many. We see the people standing at the busy intersections holding a sign: "Stranded, need money and food." That's not true. They are lazy. They are panhandlers. They wouldn't work if you paid them $15.00 an hour.
I think I will make a sign that says, "Will preach for money", and go stand on a corner somewhere.
The sad thing, is I see more and more Christians becoming lazy. They are permitting the scum of society to influence them. Just because society goes a certain way does not give you nor I the authority to follow in its footsteps. The opposite is true. We should march to a different drum than society does.
I'm seeing more and more preachers becoming lazy. They won't go out and sweat. They are not willing to get blisters on their hands from working. I believe that too many modern apparatuses have been bad for us. We need to have some reason to work, to sweat, to get dirty. Some preachers sit back in large, carpeted, air-conditioned offices and have just about left the laboring part of the ministry. Serving God should not be all honey and sugar. There must be some labor and sweat somewhere.
What I am saying is that too many people have come to church and have gotten lazy.
It makes me sick to see a grown man walk at a pace of a duck or a snail. Get some zip in your step. Take vitamins. Do something to show some life. Fake it, if need be. The rate we are going in Christianity technology will have to be created to perform the duties of the early Christians.
Laziness will kill this church or any church. If the membership become slothful and sluggards, then God will write Ichabod on the door.
If there is someone in this church who is lazy or slothful, avoid them. Purge them from your friendship.
III. AVOID THOSE WHO EXALT SELF
This should be avoided whether it be self that is doing it or someone else is exalting themselves. You should avoid it.
"At our last church, I did this..."
"Me - My - Mine."
"I didn't know I was so great."
Someone said, "You really need not think so highly of yourself because you are not all that great."
(Rom 12:3) "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
The story is told of an eagle perched on a block of ice just above Niagara Falls. The swift current carried the ice and its majestic passenger closer to the edge of the great precipice. The cries of other birds and animals warning the eagle of danger that lay ahead were to no avail. "I have great and powerful wings," he boasted. "I can fly from my perch at any time. I can handle it." Suddenly the edge of the falls was only a few feet away. The torrent of water rushed the block of ice over the great falls. The eagle spread his powerful wings to mount up over the impending doom only to discover too late that his claws had become frozen to the cake of ice. Do I have to say more? None of us is immune to the consequences of sin.
Winston Churchill knew that public favor was no proof of real success. Once, after he gave a speech for which 10,000 people came out, a friend asked, "Winston, aren't you impressed that 10,000 people came to hear you speak?"
Churchill replied, "Not really. 100,000 would come to see me hang."
Charles Evans Hughes, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice advised, "A man has to live with himself. He should see to it that he always has good company."
Faults are like the headlights of a car; those of others seem more glaring than your own.
Sometime ago Denalyn, Max Lucado's wife, bought a monkey.
I didn't want a monkey in our house, so I objected. "Where is he going to eat?" I asked. "At our table." "Where is he going to sleep?" I inquired. "In our bed." "What about the odor?" I demanded. "I got used to you; I guess the monkey can too."
We are to exalt Christ. He alone is worthy of recognition. You and I are to be abased, or to deny self. IV. AVOID THOSE WHO SPREAD STRIFE
(2 Tim 2:23) "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes." (2 Tim 2:24) "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,"
(1 Pet 3:11) "Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it."
Romans 13:13 "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."
Galatians 5:19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,"
Galatians 5:20 "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,"
Philippians 2:3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
James 3:14 "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth."
James 3:16 "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
The Bible speaks very condemnatory of any and all strife. You should not be the one causing strife, neither should you be around those who do.
You will always be right if you will take the good side of the matter that is being discussed at church. If something comes up in church and evil and good are being discussed. You choose the good side, and you will be right.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN CHURCH!!!
I. GALATIANS 5:22.
(Gal 5:22) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," (Gal 5:23) "Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Gal 5:24) "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
II. GALATIANS 6:2
Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
III. THE GOLDEN RULE
(Mat 7:12) "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
If you will make these things those of which you involve yourself and avoid the negative group, then you will be a vessel unto honor.