Friday, we began this series on What Destroys a Church. We looked at Persecution and how we can stand against it. You can read that post HERE.
Another favorite tool of Satan that he uses to destroy churches is False Teaching. If he can convince us to follow his cunningly devised lies he can make a church follow his will instead of God’s will. If he can get us serving self instead of God he can destroy a church. This was the problem in Pergamos, “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans,” Rev 2:13-15.
God gave warning after warning:
- I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them,” (Acts 20:29-30).
- But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed,” (2 Peter 2:1-2).
Yet Pergamos floundered. Whereas Ephesus overcame, “’I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary,” (Revelation 2:2-3).
We must ever guard against error while we continue in sound doctrine.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths,” (2 Timothy 4:1-4.)
Beware of preaching that sells you on prosperity and fits more on a show like Oprah than it does challenging you to live in holiness and to seek God first.
Jesus reminds us that there is a standard to which we are being held. “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak,” (John 12:48-49).
For the church to stay living and vibrant, we must not give into the culture of the world nor the influence of Satan, but must remain true to God’s word and His plan.
Our next two posts will look at what I think are even more dangerous threats against the Church today.