Volume: 849 March 7, 2022
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The actual church is the believers of Christ wherever they may be. If a believer is at home, that is where the church is. When the born-again child of God goes to the supermarket, that is where the church is.
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” I Corinthians 3:9“
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” I Peter 2:5“
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” II Corinthians 6:16
However, a physical church is an important place where believers meet to hear the Word of God’s teachings, a place to worship Him, and where they can be encouraged to serve and live for the Lord. The building is a recognized place where most know they should be able to hear what the Bible teaches. Many attend, and because of the preaching and teaching, decide to be born again into God’s family.
There are many dangers to the health and life-changing ministry that pastors and church attendees should be wary. Because of the local church’s importance, it faces many threats that could harm its role to the cause of Christ. Some demolishers that can weaken or destroy a God-honoring and obeying ministry include:
- Using “bibles” that have changed or water-down what the preserved Word of God teaches. There are over 350 different versions in the English language alone, each teaching something different after verses have been altered or deleted.
“Bibles” labeled as “new versions” should signal to a Christian that God is not now just giving us His Word. It has been around since Old and New Testament times. God has preserved it for earlier believers, and it is safely kept for today’s Christians.
For English-speaking people, every word God had prophets, leaders, and men of God pen still has every “jot and tittle” (Matthew 5:18) preserved in the King James version. Changing His words has weakened and destroyed many ministries.
To learn more why the KJV should be used for those speaking English, please view: https://www.openthoumineeyes.com/bible-answers/God%20Kept%20His%20Word.pdf (Use the right arrow key to go through the presentation)
- A lack of unbiblical doctrines taught and preached. A ministry will weaken and not grow if opinions are taught rather than “thus saith the Word of God.” God preserved His Word because it will change lives and even societies. His will and way will never change and it is recorded in His Word.
- A lack of desire and attempts to reach others with the Gospel. One essential goal of a Bible-obeying ministry should be to reach the lost so they can be saved. If they are not sought and taught, there will be little growth in a ministry. Too many churches are spiritually dead, as they are no longer a “saving station” nor a hospital for the spiritually wounded.
- Unqualified or uncalled leadership in a church. The Bible clearly defines the qualifications of church pastors and deacons (I Timothy 3:2-13). Those in charge that should not be instructing or preaching will also weaken and destroy a ministry.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Act 20:28
- Undealt with sin within the church. The Bible warns of sin throughout its pages. When sin is not preached against or is tolerated, the hand of God will be off that ministry!
- Those sowing discord among the brethren. Gossip against the preacher, teachers, and anyone within the ministry can also weaken and hurt a church.
“These six things doth the LORD hate… 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19
- Home Bible study groups. Attending a local church every time its doors are open and one’s personal Bible study should be the primary sources of spiritual feeding. The intention of having extra Bible studies sounds edifiying, but they often can result in being hotbeds for “sowing discord” against the brethren and teaching false doctrines. Even a diet of television and radio preaching can sometimes sow disagreement against what one’s church is preaching from God’s Word. Division can occur in a church because of those influences.
- Covid and other infectious diseases. If you cannot attend because of health issues, do your best to stay in contact with your local church leaders and members. Although we do not want to spread disease to other church members, separation from other believers and being part of a local ministry can weaken and slowly kill a local church. Lack of attendance also discourages the preacher and teachers and disheartens other church members.
A local Bible-believing, Scripture-obeying ministry is an essential need for children of God and surrounding communities. Lives have been improved, souls saved, and sin stopped by a church’s outreach and influence.
A church’s usefulness can easily be destroyed by allowing it to be weakened by many of the mentioned dangers. Do your best to keep its doors wide open so God’s will and way can be preached and practiced. If its doors are closed and its message weakened, how will the nearby people know God’s truths? Who will tell them if the local ministry is too weak to help?
“When the Devil saw that persecution would not stop the church, he changed to a different tactic. He joined the church. He began to hurt the church from the inside. He still does that today. He attacks the validity of the Word of God, and he tries to discredit the Gospel. If that doesn’t work, he tries to discredit the man who preaches the Gospel, as he tried to discredit Paul.”
— J. Vernon McGeePsalm 53:2
The early church had many of the problems our churches have today. In Philippians 3, the church was warned of three particular dangers. The three “beware”s (Philippians 3:2) they were cautioned of were:
- “… of dogs”. Although gentiles were often called “dogs,” it would hardly be likely that Paul, a missionary to the gentiles, would warn the Philippians (many of whom were converted gentiles, to look out for themselves. He may have been referring to the false shepherds (pastors) that were only in the ministry for themselves, as described in Isaiah 52:8-11: “The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, … All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
- “… evil workers”. These may be the same villains who were self-purposing ministers, sowing their wrong doctrines and leading the “sheep” astray. They could have been “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
- “… of the concision …”. “Concision” means cutting off. The Philippians were to beware of those still adhering to the law. Instead of cutting away the sin in their lives as Paul was teaching (Philippians 3:3), they tried to stick to the Old Testament laws to please God.
As taught in Ephesians 6, there is a spiritual war going on. We have to be watchful for the enemy, no matter where he hides. Sometimes we find him operating even in good Bible-believing churches. That is why it is important to read and know the Scriptures for ourselves to discern when false doctrines are taught.
Attendance to any church is NOT the way to Heaven, but it is essential for a Christian’s growth. If one is truly saved, he should:
Wanna Go to Church – The hungry,s born-again person should have a desire to be fed from the Word of God, as the preacher delivers it. He also should desire fellowship with like-minded people.
“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” Ephesians 2:19
“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” I Corinthians 12:25
Wanna Grow – Church is one of the most important places where a Christian can hear God’s Word to find out how he can improve himself, obey God, and learn what God has for him to do.
“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Psalm 92:13
Wanna Obey – We are commanded to go.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
Wanna Pray – Although it is not the only place a Christian can pray, it is a good place.
“And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:13
It makes one wonder when a person, who claims to be saved, does not want to attend church and finds excuses for avoiding it. Not regularly attending church is contrary to Scripture.
“Church: You are not too bad to go in. You are not too good to stay out.”
— Author Unknown