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January 11, 2021 3:00 am
If the church is going to be powerful and grow and be strong is going to be when we deal with the wayward and we deal with the worried personal because when the wayward get in line and the worry get in on the adventure we remove the impediment of the church is the church grows when the sheep start to care are satisfied with the music, or really with any part of the worship service. Every church has one or two. Maybe more people like that.
Those who make life difficult for everyone else in the congregation. What does the Bible say about those people. How should you respond to them. Find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his look at the Bible driven church with a lesson titled dealing with problem people and now here's John we find our text in chapter 5 of first Thessalonians verses 14 and 15 and I would invite you to turn to that text in your Bible, the church is full of problems because it's full of problem people because everybody in it is a sinner albeit saved by grace but nonetheless with unredeemed human flesh. Consequently, battling with sin. The church grows in direct proportion spiritually to how well it deals with the sin within it. The process of church growth then is the process of the elimination of transgression, the elimination of iniquity, elimination of sin.
Verse 14 and we urge you, brother and admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men see that no one repays another with evil for evil but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men. That's a marvelous marvelous duet of verses because even though the church at Thessalonica was flourishing and growing.
They had problems and whatever they weren't was a result of those problem people now in these two verses as he defines these five groups. He also tells us how to deal with them. Group on the wayward verse 14.
It all right so weird your brother and admonish the unruly little phrase admonish the unruly introduces us to the wayward group 2 is the worried they're not on the edge there huddled in the middle. I don't want to get near the edge there huddled in the middle and he says about them.
Encourage the fainthearted is a very interesting term also used only here it's the term oligarchs across from two Greek words, soul and small the small sold. That's what illustrated was take the opposite word mega blocks across mega means being large, great source talk about them. Lots of costs there. The large sold. Aristotle said the mega lots of costs is the man who has achieved much claimed much, and deserves much huddled in the middle of the church, shivering in fear are the oligopoly costs the small sold.
They hate change they love tradition they want to do it.
Always the same way they fear the unknown. They worry about everything. Bless them. As William Hardy said they see the manure pile in every meadow.
They lack courage. They don't want to dare to do anything that hasn't been done. They love what is safe. They only want to walk in a past that somebody is paved, they only want to repeat an act that somebody has done. They want a risk-free life with absolute security. Usually melancholy. They lack the strength to move out with the church and take challenges strike out a new ministries. They fear persecution don't like to communicate Christ are afraid of opposition usually sad all the time worried very often depressed in despair, discouraged, and surely the little group of them and Thessalonica that everybody was trying to get moving had suffered the most from the two big problems. Problem number one was persecution they were getting persecuted and Paul says she should have expected it. I read that to you chapter you should have expected it not told you, but they were under they were saying no. Oh surely the day of the Lord is here and we've missed the rapture. This is the day of the Lord were all going to be destroyed. So yes, to write and say no it's not the day of the Lord and then they were probably the most deeply wounded by the death of their friends and they were saying all they died in Jesus hasn't come.
They're going to miss the rapture will always be so. Yes, to write and say no no no, the dead in Christ will rise first.
They'll be there.
In fact, they'll get there before the rest of you do. So go get those people and comfort them with these words. But every church has them. They have no spirit of adventure they can rise above their problems there under everything all the issues of life are more than they can bear. And there the crushed souls there like weights so that the pull them around and often if you look to the church is a parade they would be the ones who carried the red flags stop everyone else's moving and they throw the stop sign, because they lack vision.
They fear failure, they lack boldness. I think down deep in their heart, their hero is Indiana Jones. But they'll never admit it. Now how do you deal with these people. He says in verse 14 simply encouraged him beautiful word means to speak to someone by coming close to his side.
See there are any shortcuts sheep.
The sheep folks you know somebody that's fearful and worried and under despair all the time and sad can get above the problems of life.
You know you gotta come alongside and speak to them develop a friendly relationship with them has the idea of coming alongside to consult a comfort to strengthen, to reassure to cheer up. To refresh to sue with is no other way than in a relationship. We can get real academic about discipleship at this what it's all about the ideas of personal intimate fellowship of Christians who were stronger.
This can include the encouragement of for personal fellowship. The encouragement of prayer to the God of all encouragement. The encouragement of the gospel hope the encouragement secure salvation. The encouragement of of God is a sovereign God with purpose and private as to affect his well the encouragement of the love of Christ. The encouragement of the final resurrection. The encouragement of sharing the sufferings of Christ. Whatever encouragement, if the church is going to be powerful and grow and be strong. It's going to be when we deal with the wayward and we deal with the worried personal because when the wayward did in line in the worried get in on the adventure we remove the impediment.
So the church can move. Then there's the week. Verse 14 he simply says help the week. This is category group number three the week. So what you mean the week while we can faith certainly could be an element of it. We have identified by the apostle Paul in first Corinthians 8 through 10 and in Romans 14 and 15, a concept that is called the weaker brother. Remember that all that means is that his faith is weak does have a strong enough faith to experience all of the liberty and freedom that belongs to him or her in Christ. The faith is weak a week faith creates a problem. What is that problem a week faith means that that person is very susceptible to temptation and sin. It's a hypersensitivity to sin.
In fact there so hypersensitive to it that they see things ascend that aren't really sin at all, so they tend to pull back and Paul says you can't push that you can't force that that person was weak in faith to fast or you'll push them into some liberty or some experience that they really aren't ready to handle some temptation.
They're not ready to handle. There were some who were weak, weak in their faith. They couldn't enjoy the freedom in Christ. There were susceptible to a wounded conscience that could lead them to more sin and more weakness. But there's another, and perhaps a more direct group. In view, not those are morally weak. Paul uses this word in the New Testament most often to refer to susceptibility to sin, to just be susceptible to sin. The days of the week.
People that you barely pick them up out of the hole of sin and get them dusted off and there back in it again these are the people that find it so terribly difficult to do God's will. These are the people who keep falling into the same sins over and over and you worked so very hard and there they go again.
I think they are the ones James had in mind in James 514, when he says, is any in the translation sick is usually given but the word is the same as the word we care is a ready week among you go to the elders why because they're strong and they'll hold you and they'll pray for you and if you committed sins. They'll be forgiven you getting there with the spiritually strong when you're spiritually, morally weak. The church is full of these kinds of people. Believe me they are impediments and stumbling blocks.
They retired the development of the church. The growth in the power of the church were we to do with them.
Help help is such a simplistic word for such a magnificent concept in Greek, the Greek word means to hold firmly to hold tightly to to clean to to support to hold them up. Galatians 61 says brother is overtaken in a fault, you their spiritual what pick him up and then it says bear one another's burden. That's the second step hold them up. Hold support how you do that again.
It's intimacy come alongside. This is how the church grows when the sheep start to care the sheet when they start to care enough to go to the wayward and admonish them when they care enough to go to the worried and encourage them when they care enough to go to the week and hold them up.
That means involvement.
Sometimes I can think of one particular young man came to see me who was battling homosexuality given his life to Christ and was just in the terrible throes of massive battles with years and years of past living homosexuality not being able to divorce himself toward finding himself falling victim to certain homosexual acts, and he came in an absolute despair crushed and in tears, and he said I just I can't get over. I can overcome it. I can't. I can't get past it and I said well I want to help you. I said I can't.
I don't have the time.
You know, to just be with you every day, to guard you, but I tell you what I want you to do. Give him a little pad and I said I want you to write down every day of the week on a page and then I want you each day.
At the end of the day to write down all the homosexual acts that you did that day.
Whether you were alone or whether with somebody or whether you were just reading some material or whatever you were doing anything that egg excited your homosexuality. Anything that you feel was a defilement.
I want you to write it down in detail. And then at the end of the week.
I want you to bring it in so I can read all of it. Well, seven days later he came in he came through the door and he wasn't crying.
He was smiling and he said I said greeting to them and I said you have your little pad. He said yes but he said there's very little on it. Just a few times in my mind when I was battling temptation, but I never did anything and I said really I suppose a difference. You said you think I want to bring that pattern here and have you read that while there is. That's a simple way for me to hold him up just by creating accountability you got a hold them up. This is this is the growth of the church. Forget all at either stub or grow a church you grow church men's group for the wearisome. Just be patient with all men. We have to qualify all men the all has to refer to the people with whom we would easily become impatient, be patient with all men. Be patient with all the men who try your patience easy to get frustrated easily get angry to get disappointed discourage exasperated with some people you give so much you give so much to give so much you give so much gets a little I had that happen. You had that happen and discipling relationships. If you disciple enough people for enough time. You know what it is to have a major just disappoint major and the church is full of those people who sit and they get taught they get training to get disciple to get exhorted in the get strength in the get inspired to get motivated to get encouraged and they grow at an almost imperceptible speed. They never seem to be normal in their development. Everything distracts them everything slows them down in the race. They have a very difficult time focusing their undisciplined in spiritual matters on discipline and the means of grace. They can just really be heartbreaking. There are many pastors who have survived the wayward who have even survived the worried who survived the week but been sacrificed on the altar of the exasperating. They've just finally caved into the wearisome people and they finally say to themselves on core my whole life and this thing, and the faster I move the farther ahead.
I become. I can't get them moving there, just not moving on with their train, but they don't do we train them to do their taught, but they don't live but we can't live that's very very difficult. You can hear it in the voice of Jesus as he says in exasperation. To some extent short of sin. Oh you of little faith mean when are you black kids going to get this one as you say were to do with those people. Be patient. You say how patient more patient than you've been. You say how patient as patient says God is with you all that patient.
That's pretty patient we could go to the Old Testament had wee time and study the patience of God. Read Exodus 34 six read Isaiah 63 verse 789 lots of other places. But you know without going to Bible verse how patient God is with you is any. That's how patient you want to be with somebody else Peter said Lord how patient seven times. Lord said no. 70×7 that patient to keep doing the same thing that patient that patient come alongside those people who exasperate you and be patient, be patient. The wayward need admonishing the worried need encouraging the week need support in the wearisome need patience, see what it's saying is, without a deal with each other and compassion, personal love, personal care, I saw the church grows that's out purges itself. Finally, the worst of all the wicked we do with them will let's meet them. First there in verse 15. They are a whole verse just for themselves. See that no one repays another with evil for evil spell. The implication here, of course, is that if God is forbidding vengeance and retaliation. The assumption is somebody did something to you. Somebody rendered you evil because baseness meanness wickedness. This I believe is the most difficult circumstances we as Christians face the severest abuse. The most painful treatment is wickedness, not from the world but from our brothers and sisters. That's the deepest pain in our Christian faith must work at this level, it must so Paul is saying that there people in church to hurt you but do evil to Bill harm you directly with wicked words that attack you face-to-face Bill harm you indirectly by gossip and slander, and evil speaking to others about you they sometimes will harm you directly by shutting you out of their fellowship by eliminating you from their social circle. By keeping you out of their ministry because of jealousy, envy, hate and bitterness or anger. They they may harm you directly by stealing your virtue in sexual sin, breaking up your marriage taking something precious influencing one of your children toward wickedness. They will harm you indirectly by by leading you into sin. There are people in the church. Believe me, who will do wickedness against other people. It's malicious harm happens in the church, gossip, slander, sexual sin, by the way before you do that you need to take a very good look at Matthew 18 because Matthew 18 Jesus says you would be better off with a millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the sea then to harm another believer better off drowned by a millstone than to harm one of the little ones who believe in me that's not a baby that's a believer in fact he says if your hand is doing a harm, cut it off if your footstool and the harm cut it off with your eyes doing the harm ripped it out will hold to the one who puts down the stumbling block to one of the little ones who belongs to me there so precious to me that my angels are always beholding the face of the father, who was looking at his little ones.
And when the father's face wrinkles with concern the Angels go to the aid of the little ones.
So if you are fooling with God's people. You are fooling with those precious to God, but nonetheless went mostly Christians will soon against other Christians and what are we to do about it. How do we treat the wicked. He says see that no one repays another with evil for evil, you don't retaliate. You don't retaliate.
That's a command to the whole church in the plural imperative. There's no place for retaliation anywhere in the church. There's no place anywhere for personal vengeance the only one who has a right to retaliate, assume God was in the Romans chapter 12 which is a very close parallel to this text in Romans 12 Paul says it explicitly. Verse 19. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, though you step into the gap and take your own revenge you leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written in here he is quoting out of the Old Testament. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, I'll take care of that. Not you. On the other hand, if your enemy is hungry, you feed him and if he is thirsty, you give them drink, and in so doing you will heap burning coals of guilt upon his head. Don't be overcome by the evil he does to you, but overcome that evil with the good you do to him see that now you can go back to first Thessalonians, the only one who has a right to retaliate is God you say, what about a 949-0232 than a life or life that was a governmental mandate that the government had the right to punish equally, the criminal, the government had to write the right to exact the life or life and I for nine, a tooth for tooth that was never instruction for personal vengeance. That's what Jesus intended the disciples to understand and the Jews to hear in the sermon on the mount when he said yeah you think you're supposed to hate your enemy.
You perverted the law of God, to that degree. I'm here to tell you you are to love your enemy and your to do good to those that do evil to you. So how do we treat those who do evil to us. We always always always seek after pursue pursue eagerly pursued zealously that which is good, beautiful, noble, excellent. In other words you say will in spite of what they've done to me. I will do everything I can to do it is good to them to do what is noble and excellent to them in an act of love.
I am going to return their hostility with goodness and not just for them but for everybody for old men, especially the household of faith. Paul said elsewhere, but to everyone. A growing flock a growing flock is characterized by movement in faith, love, purity, toward the fullness of the stature of Christ. That's a growing church that growth is impeded by the wayward and the worried in the week and the wearisome in the wicked, and if the church is going to grow is not a girl because somebody figures out some strategy to go around the problem is going to grow because the shepherds and the sheep come together in intimate relationships in which they admonish the wayward encourage the worried hold up the week are long-suffering with the wearisome and render loving goodness to the wicked, and as a church takes that shape and that form it will be a growing and a powerful church.
We need to commit ourselves to being what the church really is and this is in. That's John MacArthur showing you how to deal with problem people in your local church. John Styler current study on grace to you. The Bible driven church. John dealing with problem people that something pastors do a lot of business and I know you've talked before about the church being like a hospital. It's a place where imperfect people can come for healing people can come for help with their problems so is biblical preaching from the pulpit.
The only thing people should need from their churches or is that just part of what we do. I know it's the main thing.
What else do you do as a pastor to help problem people will have the word of God is clear that you are the shepherd of the sheep and the Lord gives a beautiful picture of what that looks like in John 10, where you have the shepherd being the door and as the sheep go in and out. He looks at every sheep he checks every sheep to see where their wounded where they need oil to heal the wound. If one of them goes astray, he goes and finds the sheep and brings it back all those are pictures of pastoral responsibility dealing with problem people is certainly what we do because there are no people other than problem people.
That's right so that would include us, so we wait we all face problems in life and I there's a trend that is really not good in the evangelical church and that is that preachers become sort of the event speakers they show up, come out on stage and give a talk and then disappear back into the darkness, and no one has a connection with them on a personal level that is not what the Bible describes as a shepherd it so your hands on with people. Your binding up their wombs. You're lifting them up and there we can where you're trying to find them when they're wandering astray. All of that is the essence of pastoral ministry. That's why I have no interest in a multiscreen multilocation flatscreen video church. Where's the shepherd you preach the truth and then you live the truth and then you with your own hands and heart and feet. You apply the truth in the lives of the people in your flock and that's that that's a biblical pastoral ministry. Yes it is and friend to make sure you know what God expects from pastors and elders and what God expects from you as you serve in your church. I recommend you pick up John's book titled the Masters plan for the church to place your order. Contact us today. Call 855 grace or go to our website Jide TY.org the Masters plan for the church will help you understand God's design for the church and the role he wants you to have in your local congregation.
The book looks at the foundations of a strong church.
The qualities of an excellent service and how to do the Lord's work towards way to get your copy of the Masters plan for the church shop firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 800 defied rates. Also, let me remind you about our Q&A line if you want to ask John a question about the church theology or really any biblical topic, call our Q&A line and leave your question, John might answer it in an upcoming broadcast the Q&A number is 661-295-6288. That's 661-295-6288.
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Thanks for starting your week off with Grace to you and Peter tomorrow as John looks at why you can know true biblical joy. No matter what circumstances you face. Don't miss the next 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you