Preacherís Pulpit                      Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: Revelation 3:1

SUBJ: What Can Kill A Church

Introduction:
The church at Sardis is described as a "dead" church.

That means that churches can die.

Where are the congregations we read of in the New Testament?

At some point in their history, they died.

There are at least two ways a church may die.

It may cease to exist or it may die inwardly, even while it still lives outwardly.

We all understand that as Christians, we have an enemy.

This same enemy desires to destroy the local church as well.

Satan can use many things to destroy a church. We want to consider a few of them.

I. False Teaching

A. Satan has used this tactic to threaten many churches

1. The church at Ephesus was threatened by it, but they overcame.

(Rev 2:2) "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:"

2. The church at Pergamos was threatened while handling persecution faithfully, they were floundering with error in their midst.

3. Both Paul and Peter warned of the danger of error.

(Acts 20:29-30) "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

4. There is always that danger of false prophets and teaches entering in to a Bible believing church.

(2 Pet 2:1-2) "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as  there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable  heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. {2} And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."

B. Two things will guard against error.

1. We must not turn away from sound doctrine

(2 Tim 4:3-4) "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; {4} And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

a. Sound doctrine involves preaching the Word, which includes both negative ("rebuke") and positive ("exhort") elements.

(2 Tim 4:1-2) "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; {2} Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

b. We must beware of "Hollywood" preaching which simply entertains rather than instructs

2. We must not support those who teach contrary to the doctrine of Christ

(2 John 1:9-10) "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. {10} If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:"

II. Indifference

A. The most effective weapon used by Satan - Indifference!

1. It jeopardized the standing of the church at Ephesus, who had left their "first love"  Rev 2:4

2. It is what characterized the church at Laodicea, making it repulsive to Christ. -  Rev 3:15-17

3. We do not have to oppose the church to kill it, just be indifferent!

(Mat 12:30) "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

B. Symptoms of indifference

1. Irregular attendance of services

2. Lack of participation in the services

3. Consistently arriving late to services

4. Lack of participation in outreach and ministry.

5. Lack of faithfulness in areas of stewardship.

6. Failure to pray consistently and be involved in personal Bible study.

C. Fervent service is the only antidote to indifference.

D. We must replace our indifference with involvement.

(Gal 6:9) "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

Conclusion:
What can kill a church?
False doctrine, if we embrace it.
Indifference, if slip into it.
Are you killing your church today?

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