By R. W. McAlister
The Lord needs followers – of that we can be certain for the Bible tells us, “The harvest truly is
plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
We’re also told that God doesn’t want any to perish, but all for all men to come to repentance (II
Peter 3:9). In light of these facts, it may sound as though God is desperate for any “warm body” to live as a Christian, but in reality, such is not the case. God wants people who have absolute faith in Him and truly desire to live the Christian life (Heb. 11:6; Luke 6:46). There are men that God just doesn’t need in His church. Here are a few examples:
1. The Lord doesn’t need dictators like Diotrephes, who loved to “have the preeminence” (III
John 9). In other words, Diotrephes wanted all the attention and glory for himself and was unwilling to
share it with others. Men like this are often dictatorial and seek to run things by themselves. They’re also sowers of discord, especially when they don’t get their way.
2. The Lord’s church doesn’t need the envious and jealous like Joseph’s brothers (Genesis
37). Joseph was favored by his father and God gave him dreams of dominion. His brothers planned to kill him, but decided to sell him into slavery instead and tried to convince Jacob that a wild animal had killed him. Even today, some are jealous when others are noticed more than they are.
3. The church doesn’t need men of wrath like Cain, who murdered his brother (Genesis 4:8)
because God showed favor to Abel’s sacrifice but rejected Cain’s. Even men today are willing to become angry over the least thing, often threatening to leave one congregation for another or “get back” at the one they feel has wronged them.
4. The church doesn’t need men who love the world more than they love the Lord, like
Demas (II Timothy 4:10). Demas was at one time a fellow worker with Paul, but forsook him, “having
loved this present world.” The world tries to convince us that we can have both it and religion, but the
Lord said, “No man can serve two masters...” (Matthew 6:24).
5. The church doesn’t need those who turn back, like John Mark (Acts 13:13). Many people
begin the Christian life and stay with it for months or years, but turn back at some point and return to the sins they once left behind. The Lord needs men who are willing to begin and to stay faithful until the end.
6. The Lord’s church doesn’t need those who see others faults, but not their own, like
David (II Samuel 11 & 12). David sees Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and takes her. David
tries to hide the affair but cannot so he finally has Uriah killed in battle. Nathan the prophet informs him of a rich man who has many sheep who takes a poor man’s one ewe lamb to feed a traveler. David said the man should be put to death and could see the fault of the rich man but did not see his until Nathan said, “Thou art the man.”
7. The church doesn’t need those who love money more than the Lord, like Judas (Matt. 26).
Many sell out Jesus and the church today through a lack of giving. It’s easy to see how much a person
values the Lord by how much they put in the collection plate relative to their income.
8. The church doesn’t need the self-righteous, like the Pharisee of Luke 18. He was all too
happy to tell God in a “showy” prayer how great he was and how thankful he was that he was “better”
than the publican nearby him.
These types of people are like a cancer to the body and are not needed by the church and the
church must separate itself from them (I Cor. 5:1-5; II Cor. 6:17-18; Mt. 18:15-17). Individuals who fall
into these categories must repent of their wickedness and return to God or risk eternal punishment (Acts 8:22; Luke 13:5). Upon their return to God, they can be a tremendous asset to the Lord’s church with continued study & growth.
- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/