DANGERS THE CHURCH FACES
1. What are some of the dangers the church faces today?
2. I spoke about the Nation of Islam – Muslims – being out greatest PHYSICAL DANGER….
A. Our way of life – freedom to worship – death to those around the globe
3. I want to talk about some very serious dangers today
A. From a broad view (the church universal) with a narrow application (am I guilty?)
B. I have seen in other places….some I have seen here …. all I have seen at least seeds of here
4. I am not afraid that the church will go out of existence – the Lord will not allow that to happen – We always have it in “seed” for anyway….
A. But the church is dying…..
B. In my short span as a Christian there is a very noticeable change. I obeyed the gospel in 1965 – almost 40 yrs. –
1) God notes changes in
2) The church – 1st century – spirit filled apostles – then elders ordained in every church – HOW COULD A FULL BLOW APOSTACY ARRIVE IN JUST 300 YEARS?
5. The same that happened then is happening now --- WILL WE LET IT?
Hosea 4:1-6 ¶ Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. 2 [There is] swearing, deception, murder, stealing, and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky; And also the fish of the sea disappear. 4 Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. 5 So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother.
6 ¶ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
John 6:44-45 (Jesus)"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
2Timothy Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
Col 1:9-12 ¶ For this reason also, since the day we heard [of it], we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please [Him] in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
12 ¶ giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
EXAMPLES SEEN TODAY:
Christians who don’t know the books of the Bible; Can’t easily show the plan of salvation from the scriptures; can’t show why premillennialism is wrong; …. instrumental music; ….. prophecies of the kingdom & their fulfillment
“Hire” preachers to do their work for them
Go Back over highlighted scriptures…..
IGNORANCE PLACES THE CHURCH IN GRAVE DANGER
because: 1) Christians who are zealous in some of the work think they are OK…. that they are maintaining the church…..2) but they answer their children wrongly….3) leave bad example for children…..4) They are quick to answer their friends & neighbor’s questions – right or wrong they can’t show from the scriptures
Heb 2:1-4 ¶ For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away [from it.] 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
EXAMPLES SEEN TODAY:
Christians who find time for TV….but not for calling on the sick….. Time for fishing for bass…. can’t find time to fish for men…… Those who have made a great start with their faith….but now hardly remember why……
Read Poem “Tomorrow”
Go back over scriptures….
THE CHURCH IS IN DANGER BECAUSE OF NEGLECTFUL MEMBERS….1) Leave the work of God undone…”God has no hands but our hands….no feet but our feet….no tongue but our tongue 2) You cannot wait until a more convenient season in your life 3) that won’t get the work done that is needing your attention today 4) can’t be left to the few who are working 5) your example of what a Christian is - is far reaching
2 Tim ….(Paul said of Demas)…..Demas,
having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica;
Crescens [has gone] to
Jas 1:22-27 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for [once] he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his [own] heart, this man's religion is worthless.
27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of [our] God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, [and] to keep oneself unstained by the world.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and [also] its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
Gal 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which
I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that
those who practice such things shall not inherit the
Too many Christians who can’t turn loose of the world…..
Read the poem on worldliness & the church
Go back over scriptures…
WORLDLINESS IS ATTACKING THE CHURCH ON ALL SIDES
because…1) It makes a mockery of why Christ died for us in the first place 2) It causes those who try to walk on the fence to justify their actions …. leading others astray and ….. helps justify others in their sins …. few left to speak out boldly against sin
Gal 1:6-10 ¶ I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is [really] not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. 10 ¶ For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Gal 2:11-14 ¶ But when Cephas came to
14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how [is it that] you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
Marriage, Divorce….. Instrumental Music….. Baptism Quotes….
Cozying up to denominations….. ashamed of being different….
Churches who will support men that teach false doctrine…..
Go back over scriptures….CHURCHES ARE DIVIDED AND CONQUORED BY SATAN BECAUSE OF ERROR
1) Justify one error and it justifies all others 2) liberal brethren allowed the door to open just a crack…..look at where it has lead them….those who took those first steps tried later to stop the gushing influx of all other like ideas 3) Why, “this” is just like “that”
Matt 6:1-4 ¶ "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 "When therefore you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 "But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing 4 that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
Too many in the church do – for their own glory…..
WANT TO FEEL IMPORTANT – NEED APPROVAL/ATTENTION\
Want to get up and speak – not to glorify God; but themselves….. too many preachers “have to say something;” instead of “having something to say”
Go back over scriptures…..PRIDEFUL MEN AND WOMEN PUT THE CHURCH IN DANGER….CARE MORE ABOUT THEMSELVES THAN CHRIST
because, the very heart of the church is based upon humility …. Jesus is our greatest example of humility …. not whimpy…. true humility; taking NO CREDIT for your self….. doing for the sake of others, without any recognition
Eph 5:6-13 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light [consists] in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
¶ But when Cephas
Jude 2-4 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.
3 ¶ Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:27 ¶ Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Misapplication of Romans 14 – Compromise –
ERROR NEEDS TO BE CONFRONTED
We worry too much about numbers – not souls
We betray Christ when we compromise His truth for our comfort Go back over scriptures….COMPROMISE IS A TOOL OF SATAN
Luke 8:14 "And the [seed] which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
1 Tim. 6:6-10 ¶ But godliness [actually] is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.
Too many of us care too much about our “things”….
We won’t admit it…. we want to catch up to and overtake the “Joneses”
We are consumed with money – we pressure our kids into Godless colleges – Career oriented instead of family oriented –
Our homes are a spiritual mess…. we have no time to build our families because we are building our careers…..our children learn to be just like us….
“Cats in the Cradle”
Go back over scriptures….THE CHURCH IS OVERCROWDED WITH PEOPLE WHO PUT THEIR FAITH IN MONEY – WE WORRY ABOUT TAKING “IN GOD WE TRUST” OFF OF OUR MONEY…. WHEN WE OUGHT TO BE WORRIED THAT WE DON’T REALLY TRUST IN GOD like we do the money
'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' 14 ¶ "And to the angel of the church in
17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and [that] the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.
The danger is that Lukewarmness, like zealousness, is contagious….. The church today is filled with Christians who can barely stand to get through our services…. want shorter sermons; fewer songs …. fewer assemblies …. Then we want a preacher …. or some innovation to make us feel spiritual…. Preachers and churches are catering to such….. tell all kind of stories to invoke emotion …. dim the lights ….
again…. we leave an example for our children to build on…. and our new Christians follow our lead
Matt. 12:22-30 ¶ Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man [who was] blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed, and [began] to say, "This [man] cannot be the Son of David, can he?" 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons." 25 And knowing their thoughts He said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. 26 "And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? 27 "And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. 28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong [man]? And then he will plunder his house.
30 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
Indifference causes the church to crumble apart when Christians can leave the services having learned they are in error in Bible class or from the preaching of God’s word….compliment the teacher/preacher … with never a thought of changing
read v. 30…. Christians who are not actively working … zealously out teaching in every opportunity …. actively & zealously caring for the people of God … we are not FOR Him….but AGAINST Him
Turn to 2 Timothy…. ; 2:1-2; -17
A church is in deep trouble when it members don’t know the standard of truth…. not just the preacher and elders
Must be passed on IN THE HOME from generation to generation
When we accept our practices based upon tradition….(even if true) that church will eventually die out….. It is the attitude that someone else is to be the keeper of the doctrine….My only involvement is in voicing my opinion of whether I like it or not
It is seen in the unscriptural prayers are prayed – and then parroted by others…. 1) praying to the Father “thank you for dying” 2) Lord’s supper prayers that simply recite the same words….too many times not even knowing that we are to thank God for the emblems
Error is taught from the pulpit and, though recognized, not challenged
1 Cor. 10:1-13 ¶ For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 ¶ Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved. 7 And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY." 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
Read Hebrews 2:10-18 –
I wonder how many churches the Lord really has? How many have long ago given up their identity???
Where are we? What shape are WE in??? Probably in just about as good of spiritual shape as YOU are in.
read & apply Eph. 6:10-18