Rom. 16:17 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people's faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.
We should be on the lookout for those who divide the church and lead people astray, but it seems like we aren't. We are not too careful about warding off problems amongst us. We don't like to ruffle feathers so we don't confront those who stir up trouble. We then sit back and bemoan the fact that there is trouble within the church.
It is our obligation to stand guard over the integrity of the Gospel and how it is lived out amongst us. The Word of God and holy living are sacred trusts that we dare not mess up. We can avoid much of the internal strife in the church by being more responsible when it comes to squelching those who cause divisions in the church and lead people astray.
The Lord gave us instructions on how to discipline one another for a reason. When we properly follow His guidance, harmony is restored and maintained in the church. Disciplining one another is not an ego or power trip. It should always be done humbly, compassionately, and with the intent of restoration of the offending party's soul to the fellowship of the church. When discipline fails to restore, we are to stay away from them.
We must take very serious the condition of our souls. We must not be negligent when it comes to having fellowship with people who can lead us away from God. We must always strive to keep our souls lined up with godliness. We must stand guard over our souls so that we will not wander away from God. Peace with God and the eternal state of our souls is at stake.