To Kill A Church
Rev. 3:1 Church at Sardis was a dead church
A. Tells us that churches can die
B. Two ways that a church dies:
1) Ceases to exist (disbands, breaks up)
2) Dies inwardly, yet still looks alive outwardly
C. We should be aware of what can kill a church because any church that dies is a victory for Satan.
1) "..in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes." 2 Cor 2:11
2) We'll look at some things that can kill a church.
A. We should expect it
1) "All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." 2 Tim. 3:12
2) It's evident the early church was already experiencing it.
a. 1 Ptr 5:6-9 (read)
3) Shouldn't surprise us if he still does today
a. 1 Ptr 4:12 (read)
B. What matters is how we respond to it.
1) Some are silenced by it.
a. John 12:42-43 (read)
b. Has this ever been you?
2) Some rejoice in it.
a. Acts 5:40-42 (read)
b. How could they do this? Why would they think it would be a benefit?
1. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." James 1:2-3
C. How we each react to it determines our future as a church.
1) Matt. 5:11-12 (read)
2) We need to be like those sand-filled dolls that kids punch & keep bouncing back!
II. False Teaching
A. Satan has used this tactic well over the years
1) Rev. 2:13-14 (read)
a. Why would they hold to these things if they hadn't been TAUGHT them?
b. How could they fall for this?
B. Infiltration from within
1) Acts 20:29-31, 2 Ptr 2:1-2, Jude :3-4 (read)
2) How did they get in?
a. They were servants of Satan disguised as servants of righteousness. (2 Cor. 11:14-15)
C. How we can guard against error.
1) Test everything!
a. "Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.." 1 Thes. 5:21
b. 1 John 4:1, 6 (read)
2) Hold to sound doctrine
a. 2 Tim. 4:1-4 (read)
b. My job is to teach & teach TRUTH
1. That includes negative & positive preaching
c. Beware of men who just want to entertain you & make you feel warm & fuzzy!
1. "Good preaching should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
A. What is worldliness?
1) Simply loving the things of this world.
a. 1 John 2:15-17 (read)
b. Can include anything from immorality to materialism.
2) Is rampant in capitalist society
a. We are taught that we cannot have happiness unless we have the latest, greatest gadgets, fashions or comforts.
3) It chokes the work of the word in your life!
a. Luke 8:14 (read)
b. Too many Christians don't bring fruit to God. Too busy trying to bring fruit to themselves!
B. The answer? - Lay up treasure in heaven.
1) Matt. 6:19-21 (read)
a. How? Make spiritual matters priority OVER material!
2) Rom 12:2: Don't be conformed to the world!
1. Because the world is passing away - 1 John 2:17
2. Friendship with the world makes us enemies of God - James 4:4
3) Where is your treasure? Where is your heart?
A. This is a subtle yet very effective tactic of the devil.
1) Goes back a long way
a. Ephesus - Rev. 2:4 Laodicea - Rev. 3:15-17
B. "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
1) We don't have to oppose the church to kill it
a. Just be lazy and indifferent!
C. Symptoms of indifference
1) Irregular attendance at services - Surprise!
2) Lack of participation during services - Bible study, giving
3) No personal devotions (Prayer, Bible study)
4) No effort to win folks to Christ
D. The ONLY antidote? - FERVENT SERVICE!
1) Don't get tired of doing good.
a. Gal. 6:9-10 (read)
b. "The measure of a person is not the # of servants he has, but the # of people he serves."
2) Be diligent
a. Heb. 6:11-12 (read)
b. If you believe the promises of God, ACT on them!
c. 1 Cor. 15:58 "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding..."
3) Encourage one another
a. Heb. 10:23-25, 3:12-13 (read)
b. "We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day.." John 9:4
Though there are more ways than this to kill a church, these are certainly effective. Persecution False Teaching Worldliness Indifference
A. Doesn't matter which one devil uses, if it works, that's all he cares about!
1) 100 ways to skin a cat. Doesn't matter to the cat: the end result is the same!
B. What about this congregation?
1) May not be persecuted, may even be known as a "sound" church.
a. But are we worldly and indifferent?
b. Is our lack of diligence & concern taking its toll?
C. Let's be honest
1) If this lesson applies, apply it. If not, pray that those who need it will apply it.
2) Don't let the deceiver succeed!
By Zeke Flores
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