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Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 1:26-33
Why Will You Discourage Your Brethren?
1. Discouraging others is sin; setting stumbling blocks in the path of little ones trying to come to the Lord, Matt 18:6-7.
2. Discouragement “melts the heart” instead of strengthening it with courage. We must encourage one another, Heb 12:12-13; 3:13; 10:24.
3. Why will you discourage your brethren… (Num 32:7)
I. WITH COMPLAINING? Deut 1:26-33
A. The Nature of Complaining:
1. It is a lack of faith, Deut 1:32; 9:23; Psa 106:24.
a. Lack of faith in the word of God, 1:20-25 (Num 13:1-2).
b. Lack of faith in God’s power to bless, 1:25; Jer 32:17.
2. It is fueled by fear, 1:29.
3. It starts in private, but rarely remains so, Deut 1:27.
4. It hinders obedience and production action, 1:26 (Gal 5:15).
5. It is rebellion to complain against the Lord, Deut 1:26.
a. Complaint can come in the form of “self-righteous indignation” to cover our own sin, Jno 12:3-6.
b. Complaints should be verified or cease, 1 Tim 5:19-20.
c. Murmuring and disputing is sin, Phil 2:14.
B. Why Complaining is Rebellion against God:
1. It rejects God’s way for man’s way, cf. Jer 18:11-12; Num 14:1-4.
2. It is impatient with God’s way (purposes), Num 21:4-6.
3. It disregards God’s blessings, Num 11:1-6 (21:5).
II. BY NOT FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH? Num 32:5-7; cf. 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 2:4
A. There is a War to be fought against the World, 1 Pet 2:11.
1. Christians who dabble in the world discourage their brethren! Jas 4:1-6, 7-10
a. Social drinking: “One drink isn’t so bad!” 1 Pet 4:3
b. Gambling: “It’s just for fun!” Col 3:5
c. Dancing: “Nobody is thinking bad thoughts!” Gal 5:19
d. Ungodly entertainment: “It’s not as bad as other things!” 1 Ths 5:22
2. Letting our light shine means we stand for something! 1 Jno 1:5-7
B. There is a War to be fought against False Doctrine, Gal 1:6-9.
1. Some say: “Brethren have never agreed on that subject; why are you saying we must?” Eph 3:3-4; 5:17; 4:3
2. Some say: “Doctrine isn’t so important; what’s really important is having the right heart!” 2 Tim 1:7-8
3. Some say: “Why do you always preach against error? That’s so negative and discouraging!” 1 Kgs 22:13-14; 2 Tim 4:2-4; Tit 1:9-11
4. Truth of the matter: We should be encouraged when truth is exalted and error is brought down; that means Jesus is honored and Satan is exposed as a liar! Jno 8:44
C. There is a War to be fought against Spiritual Complacency.
1. By not participating faithfully and fully in our assemblies, cf. Heb 10:24-25.
a. Bible classes: Ready and willing to teach, eagerly prepare yourself as a teacher and as a student.
b. Worship assemblies: Distractions, disruptions, disrespectful.
2. Christians in name only: These refuse to conform their thinking, words and conduct into the image of Jesus Christ, Col 3:9-10.
3. Christians who are critical of the sincere, diligent faith of others (covers up their own sinful hearts and actions), Heb 12:3.
III. WE MUST ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER, Rom 1:11-12.
A. By Each Other’s Faithful Words and Deeds, Acts 4:36-37.
B. By Hearing and Learning God’s Word, Acts 15:30-31; 1 Cor 14:31.
C. By Knowing of and being with Faithful Brethren, Acts 11:23; 1 Ths 3:1-5; Phil 2:19.
D. By Working Together in the Lord, Eph 4:16.
1. God expects you to encourage your brethren!
2. We all need encouragement, cf. Joshua, Deut 1:38.
3. May our words and actions encourage others to be faithful to the Lord, and never discourage another soul from serving the Lord!