Today’s Reading: Romans 16:10-27
When you’re on the golf course and you see a ball that you just hit is lining up to smack someone a couple of hundred yards downrange, you yell out “FORE.”
When you’re working on a construction site, and you see something falling, you may yell, “watch out,” or “duck,” or, you may even yell, “HEADS UP!”
Whatever it is we say or yell, it’s intended to get the attention of those that are in danger of being hurt by something. It’s intended to grab someone’s attention and put them on guard.
Paul, in these verses (Romans 16:17-19), is telling us, “HEADS UP!” Because we need to keep our wits about us in this world. He’s warning us to keep our eyes open and our minds focused, because not everyone that comes through the church door is seeking God! Not everyone that comes through the church door is looking to serve God! Not everyone that comes through the church door is humble and meek!
Paul gives us some helpful hints of how we ca identify them by their (bad) fruit, Divisions, Offences, Selfishness, Puff Talkers.
The first revealing fruit or sign of those that are contrary, or going against the Word of God, is their propensity, or tendency to always cause division. They are always going in the opposite direction that God is leading His Church. They are always going in the opposite direction of sound Church counsel or the pastor.
Those that are contrary to the Word will cause divisions in the Church. Those that are contrary to the Word will divide friends or even loved ones over big issues and even small and insignificant issues. They raise issues that are contrary, or against the Word of God and they don’t attempt to resolve them.
We need to be careful to be on our guard, both against those who seek to divide, but also to make sure that we keep ourselves in the right place before God.