You will recall in 1 Kings 17:1, “Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As Jehovah, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” Elijah, God’s spokesman, informed Ahab that because of his great wickedness God was going to withhold the rain. Later in 1 Kings 18, after three years of drought, God instructs Elijah to confront Ahab once again. Elijah goes to meet Ahab, “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Is it thou, thou troubler of Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of Jehovah, and thou hast followed the Baalim” (1 Kgs. 18:17-18).
Ahab was accusing Elijah of being a troublemaker. But Elijah informs Ahab who was the real troublemaker. The real troublemaker was Ahab who had “forsaken the commandments of Jehovah.” It was Ahab and his father that had brought great trouble to Israel. Ahab accused Elijah of troubling the people so that the calamity in Israel would be blamed on the true prophet of God, and not Ahab himself.
Today there are a host of false prophets (sissy-boy preachers) in the church who are screaming, as did Ahab, that God’s true prophets (doctrinally sound gospel preachers) are causing trouble in the church. We hear the faithful gospel preacher being called a “hatchet man,” “unloving,” “ultra-conservative,” “divisive,” “close minded,” and a host of other names, because they are sticking closely with the oracles of God, and opposing and exposing that which is false. Who caused trouble in Israel?
Was it Elijah for adhering strictly to the word of God, or Ahab who had forsaken the commands of God, that was causing trouble? It was Ahab! Today, those standing for truth are not troubling spiritual Israel, but those who preach another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), who preach the doctrines of men (Mt. 15:9), who will not contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3), and those whose god is their belly (Phil. 3:19) – just to name a few.
Who caused trouble in Israel in the days of Joshua when they went down to battle against Ai? It was Achan who had disobeyed the commands of God (Jos. 7:20-21)! Thus, Joshua asked Achan, “Why hast thou troubled us? Jehovah shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire, and stoned them with stones” (Jos. 7:25). Here we observe that it was disobedient Achan that troubled Israel and we see how God views troublemakers!
Again, many are accusing God’s faithful proclaimers of truth of being troublemakers, simply because they stand for and herald the truth of God’s word. Is this not exactly what happened to Paul and Silas in Acts 16:20? The magistrates said, “These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city” (Acts 16:20). In Acts 17:6 they were accused of “turning the world upside down.” Why were Paul and Silas accused of being troublemakers? The reason, they had the courage to stand up and proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). These men of God were not going to allow the crying and whimpering of the sissy-boys to keep them from “speaking the oracles of God” (1 Pt. 4:11) – and neither should we! Paul declared, “Am I therefore your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16)
Beloved, the troublemakers in the church are the false teachers, the “change agents,” and the theologically liberal who are promoting and believing that which is contrary to the word of God. Those who stand for truth do not trouble the church – but those who will not stand for and believe sound doctrine.
Those who teach that there are Christians in all the denominations and teach that we are saved by grace alone trouble the church. Those misguided souls who are trying to change a woman’s role in the church and who disregard God’s law of divorce and remarriage trouble the church. The false teachers who espouse that we should have fellowship with the denominations and who want to bring in the mechanical instrument of music in worship trouble the church. Those who ridicule book, chapter, and verse preaching, and who want sermons of love preached each Sunday trouble the church. The list could go on and on!
Friends, it is not those who stand for truth that trouble the church, but those who do not.
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!
Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
1300 East Boynton Street
Hamilton, Texas 76531
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”