What Can Kill A Church
There are many factors of what can kill a congregation of God’s people.
But most important for us to know is the fact that it only happens if they let
For most congregations all they have to do is continue what they are now doing.
Which is next to nothing.
If they expect to continue, that has to change.
In Revelation 3:1, the church at Sardis was described as a "dead" church.
Even while they continued in their existence.
This reveals that churches can die - and they often do.
We might be so arrogant to consider that our congregation would never cease operations,
but that would be naïve.
When it comes down to it, we must know that there are reasons congregations die
and cease working together.
In these lessons, "What Can Kill A Church", we will examine four things
that can jeopardize any congregation of God's people.
Each of these are tools of Satan working to destroy the church.
The tragedy is that the members allow it to happen.
So far we have examined two problems that can kill a local church.
They are: Persecution and false teaching.
Let us examine another factor that causes congregations to die.
This happens when we place anything of this world as more important than God.
We could call this a form of idolatry.
It takes many forms.
All the forms fall in the category we read about in 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. 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. And the world is passing away, also its lusts; but the
one who does the will of God abides forever”.
Immorality is the lust of the flesh.
Materialism involves the lust of the eyes.
And of course pride is so very dangerous because selfishness takes control.
When members get involved in this worldliness, it hinders the work of the church
that God has asked us to perform.
Immorality has made havoc of many churches today.
Materialism has drawn many Christians away from their service to the Lord.
Churches are hindered when their members are conformed to the world and rendered
fruitless by worldliness.
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”.
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which
is good and acceptable and perfect”.
A church that is "sound" on certain issues can still be a dead or dying
church if worldliness is allowed to infect its members.
This is what happened to the church at Ephesus:
Revelation 2:2-5 “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and
that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves
apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance
and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have
this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from
where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else
I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless
When we obey the gospel, Christ calls us to change our former ways.
Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which
you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince
of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the
desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even
as the rest”.
This was our condition before we obeyed the gospel.
Colossians 3:5-7 “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as
dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to
idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,
and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
Romans 6:11-13 “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive
to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that
you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body
to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those
alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:17-18 “but thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin,
you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were
committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
1 John 5:2-5 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we
love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep
His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born
of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our
faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus
is the Son of God?”
James 4:4 “ You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world
is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world
makes himself an enemy of God”.
Hopefully we can see that this is the problem for us and many churches.
This life in this world is so precious to us that we cannot focus upon the life
of a Christian in the spiritual world.
Jesus was not kidding when he taught that we cannot serve God and anything else
at the same time.
Conclusion (part three)
There are many factors that can kill a church.
We must be resolved to not allow this to happen to us.
We must be strong in the faith.
We all must be strong in the faith (not just a few).
Worldliness is bad, but if we allow Satan to keep us from serving God the way
we should, he wins and our soul will be lost.
Do not let that happen to you.
By Carey Scott
Return to the Sermon
Home / Bible
studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General
Articles / Non-Bible Articles /
Sermons / Sermon
Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith
The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence
Courses / What is the Church of Christ /
Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me