Divers You will Deal With
But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
As you serve the LORD, you will find that everyone will not always agree with you. I have been serving the LORD for over four decades. Since a teenage young man, I have learned that some people will hear for a moment and then leave for different reasons. God said this would happen. He said there were divers from whom you will have to separate. The word divers means several. God shows us three types of people you will deal with in your Christian walk.
The first type are those who are hardened about the way of Christ. These are desensitized to Christ’s way because they are more in tune with the world. The way of Christ will not move the hardened, and it would not matter if Christ Himself preached, these who are hardened will not respond. You can get frustrated with these who are hardened, but you must understand that only God can deal with them.
The second type of person you will deal with are those who believed not. In other words, they heard the truth, but they didn't believe it and kept their own false way. You must understand that these people have heard the same thing you have heard and are among you, but they didn’t let their faith grow; instead, they let their unbelief squelch the ability of faith to do a great work in their lives.
The third type of person you will deal with are those who spake evil of that way. Again, these were among you, but they left and spake evil of our way of serving God. These looked like us at one time, but now they are criticizing, mocking, and viciously speaking evil of the old paths.
However, there is another group that you will deal with that is not addressed in this verse. This other group is not hardened, believes in the old paths, and speaks good of that way. My friend, this is the group you should desire to be and the group to whom you should give your attention. It is easy to stay so focused on the other three groups that you don't give the proper attention to the group doing the right thing. Be careful that you don't get so focused on trying to change those who don't believe like you that you don't train those who are like you. There are three things you must do to avoid being influenced by the three groups.
First, don’t have to have the approval of peers. Do not live your life being concerned with what others around you think about you. Being concerned with what your peers think of you is one of Satan's greatest tools to draw believers away from the truth. Never be concerned with what your peers think of you, but be concerned with doing the right thing.
Second, don’t let unbelief affect your belief. Just because others don't believe does not mean that you should stop believing. Unbelief is contagious; it will affect your faith in God if you spend time with those who do not believe.
Third, don’t let evil speakers shame you into changing the way. The answer to not letting these three groups affect your thinking is to depart from them. Separation will keep you away from allowing the evil speakers to draw you away from the truth. Always remember that you won't change the evil speakers, but they will change you.