Have you ever wondered why some things were preached and taught in church, and other things were not? Certain things were just lightly touched on, and others were simply avoided.
With most of us, it had a lot to do with trust. It doesn’t matter much to me what some might say or think today. Those of us who were truly born of the Spirit, began with a precious spirit and attitude. We were full of the fruit of the Spirit. It never occurred to most of us, that we were fed, parts of the Truth.
“I wrote unto the church…..” In fact, many of the apostles wrote to the Church. It’s clear in this text, that not everyone received their words gladly, or even followed them.
I never heard much about this man in question. His name was Diotrephes. There are some things we needs take note of about this person. Obviously, he was in some kind of leadership role at this church. It says that he loved to have preeminence, and enjoyed being in first place; no second-fiddle.
The word “preeminence,” means: the condition or fact of being dominate. A position of exalted, widely recognized importance.
It does not escape me and even hurts me too, that somehow we did not get some of the things we needed for this journey. Reading through the New Testament, it does seem that there is a teaching we find throughout the written word there. A basic truth: Do not put more trust in men, than you do in God?
In the four Gospels, Jesus was the first person I ever heard, use the term “commandments of men,” as doctrine.
There were servants of God at that time who traveled around sharing the gospel and instructing believers on how they should live. And these brethren were good people, they were full of love and truth and they genuinely cared for others.
This man however, decided that nobody was going to tell him what to do. These traveling brethren were very gifted and went everywhere edifying the body of Christ. They did mighty works through the Spirit and were also full of wisdom. But this person, didn’t want any of these guys there.
Somehow this all seems very familiar….. Only did he not receive them, and he also forbid anyone else to. Again, he wouldn’t have them ministering there. He cast out anyone in the church who wanted to fellowship with them.
In this I suppose, I have to admit seeing some of this in the Church, even when I was very young. In certain circles, you could not just have any minister speak at your church. It did not matter whether that person believed, taught and lived the very same thing you did. Disobey the rule, and your telephone rang.
First of all, we have no right to put people out of the church. Unless they are seriously disruptive or some kind of danger to others.
I read this passage once before, but it was brought back to me so strongly now. Perhaps we might have been well-guided enough and led by the Spirit enough, to ask simply, whose Church is this anyway?
We could go on and on about the “who’s who list.” I think more importantly, we must give true note to those like this man, who decided to stop the true flow of the ministry, by denying and resisting the true order of it all.
Yes, by putting called people out.
Driving people away because they do not measure up to our rules and regulations, is evil.
Paul said that all of this kind of operation in the Church was wicked. He said strongly, don’t follow after such.
The spirit of the Pharisees, has continued on. How dare the Lord eat with tax collectors and sinners. How did they know they were sinners? Was it by the way they looked or dressed, or they were not part of the righteous group.
Christ said, He did not come to call the righteous. Healthy people, don’t need a physician! The Father’s house was to be a house of prayer for all people. Is it His today.
~ Robert Blackburn