How many sermons have we heard preached on strife; not strife among non-believers, but believers? Do we know how many times the word strife, was mentioned in the Bible? Since so many like to quote scriptures to other people, how many can we quote on this topic? Is it even possible, that we do not realize how many books of the Bible talk about this word; this condition. But what about just the New Testament, where was it mentioned?
On short observation, I found the apostles talking about strife in Romans, both letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, the letters to Timothy, in Hebrews and James.
If we notice, many of these were churches and quite often, it was spoken as correction. One example, is in 2 Corinthians; strife is found right in the middle of debates, envyings, wrath, backbiting, whisperings, swellings and tumults. Paul said to one church, that they were carnal; he had fed them milk, and they still couldn’t take meat. He told that group, that they were unable to receive what he said.
Well. Perhaps, it’s time we defined the word “strife” – heated conflict or disagreement, contention or competition between rivals; a clash or even a struggle between people. The apostle, spoke openly about bringing up questions and such, that were only going to cause strife and division. He said that some, even preach Christ for the wrong reasons. What we never wanted to hear, that some even Fast, for the purpose of bringing division. I wonder why we never heard about all of this very much. We all saw it.
See, here is where you get accused of judging. Most of us learned, that the church in Corinth, came behind in no gift. We hear some talk about how some were committing sexual sin; even after receiving the Holy Ghost. But we don’t know much about that others of them, were full of contention and they were causing strife among themselves. This is why, I find it hard to see that so many seem to be arrogant, heady and high-minded. We seem to look down on those who do not believe as we do; point fingers at those who make mistakes, shun our own kin; arguing over doctrine and baptism.
Do we know, that strife, is a work of the flesh. Most may know some of the fruit of the Spirit; but, how many can quote the works of the flesh? We like to talk of Christ coming back after a church, without spot or wrinkle; and that’s what He said. One church mentioned in Revelation, did not even see their wrinkles; they thought they looked great; yet they were blind, poor and in rags. Jesus said that. We need to stop this strife among ourselves and against others. Tears and sorrow are truly coming. That is not negative; that’s the truth. To truly love as He loved, all strife, will have to cease.
~ Robert Blackburn