DivisionBro. David Chancellor
6/8/2003 6:00 PM
1 Kings 12:20-33
And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak unto Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They hearkened therefore to the word of the LORD, and returned to depart, according to the word of the LORD. Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
There is something here that should concern us. There was a division taking place because of the sin of Solomon. The kingdom was divided. God will put judgment on sin and things that are wrong. Solomons many wives and idol worship was contrary to what God had commanded. Sin will always bring a division between Gods people and those that live in sin. Sin is what causes the division.
Consider what Jereboam did. God had allowed Jereboam to become king over the ones that were separated from Rehoboam. Jereboam knew that the people would still go to Jerusalem. He introduced idolatry to keep the people following him. This was a sin in the sight of God both the idolatry and his trying to draw the people to himself. There are still some today who would draw people to themselves. When people do this in the name of God, it is unacceptable with God. If a man tries to pull you apart to himself, it pulls you away from God. Our goal in teaching the gospel is to bring others to God. Having your private teaching is doing what Jereboam did. Get what God intended and dont be following man.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Paul was speaking of those that would cause division. We may not have a correct understanding of everything on every point, but this isnt the main problem. The problem is the ones who would create their own little group. We are to be one in Christ. Were all brethren and should love one another accordingly. If there is a spirit trying to cause you to join a group, be wary of it. When the party thing begins to work, the spirit is not of Christ.
If you share the love of God you wont ever run out. Some, though, have their own interests in mind. They use good works and fair speeches to draw people to themselves. When it becomes apparent that you wont go along with them, the good works and fair speeches run out.
The child of God desires to serve God and do everything that he says to do. Our obedience to God should be visible to others. This establishes what and who we are. If we see others that live for God, we ought to be together with them. Shun the evil and seek the good. If we keep our eyes on God, and stay obedient to him, we can bruise Satan under our feet. Our obedience to God will have an impact on others. Dont follow men. Follow God.
The word of God draws his children together. The child of God seeks what is right and is willing to discard what is wrong. Because of this, doctrine will agree. The people of God will come together. It may take working through some things, but because they are all seeking the truth, they will find it.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-8
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
Withdraw from the ones that walk disorderly. The tradition was to keep yourself in line and not to take advantage of anyone or draw them to yourself. Pauls interest was that people be drawn to Jesus, not to Paul. The people of God wont be out taking advantage of others. You life will be regulated by the word of God. People serving God want to do right. They dont want to do anything to hinder Gods cause or influence on others. The Spirit of God in us will cause us to seek out what is right.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
We should be concerned for everyone we meet. We should be interested in being a help to others. We are concerned with the company we keep in this regard: Be careful of keeping company with one who claims to be a child of God, but who is being sinful and wicked. We dont want people to say that they are a Christian and live a sinful life. That is contrary to all that Christ came to do. If someone claims to be a child of God, but is a sinner, there is no unity there, and we dont want to put our approval on what they are claiming. If someone is endeavoring to serve God, they will flee from evil. There is no oneness with a person who claims God but lives a sinful life. This doesnt mean that we dont care about the person, but it means that we dont approve of the evil and the wrong. If we treat the sinner as a brother (or fellow Christian) it will confuse others about what God accepts. Sin will keep a division between a sinner and a child of God. It doesnt mean that we arent kind, but that theres not a unity or closeness there like there is between two of Gods children.
Its not enough to be called a Christian. Sin will cause a problem between those that live in it and those that have been freed from it. We want to share the one that has made the difference for us. We dont want to be party to anything that takes away from God and his cause. The love of God can help the ones that serve him to grow and increase by coming together.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Walk worthy of Jesus Christ. Dont take his name lightly. If you would claim to be a Christian, be a Christian. Walk in all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering and forbearing. Christians should be able to work through a problem. Take time to hear both sides of the story. Dont try to get people to take a side. Try to work it out and come to an understanding. Desire to know if youre wrong, and be willing to change if you are. Love will help you to work through things. Forbearance doesnt put approval on sin. Sin is doing what you know is wrong; not being misinformed, but knowing that its wrong, and going ahead anyway. Seek to know what is right.
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace Love causes us to want to solve the problem that comes. It causes us to want to help people. It will pull people together, and will cause things to work out for the best. We can come together in our seeking after God. The Spirit and the power of God will make us one because we are seeking what is right and leaving sin behind. We are seeking after God and right. We want others to know God. The endeavoring is desiring to see people have a love for God and truth. We dont want to turn away from anything God says. You have to keep God first in order to overcome. Keeping God first brings people together.
When God comes in, he makes a change in the life. We continue to learn and to grow, but we arent making excuse for doing wrong. We want people to be pointed to God. The Spirit of God in the heart is what makes us one. Our testimony will be strong if we stay close to God. Keep your life clean. Be careful of attitudes. Where God points, go. This will keep your right with God and together with his people.