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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
What Should Not Destroy a Local Church?
What Can Destroy a Local Church?
1. How important is this church to you?
a. Not talking about the building…saints, cf. 2 Cor 11:28 (1 Ths 3:6-8).
b. Demonstrate our concern through our efforts to promote the welfare of the local church, 1 Cor 12:25-27.
2. Death could not prevent Christ from building His church, nor can its power prevail against its mission, Matt 16:18.
3. But, local churches can be destroyed:
a. Fellowship with Christ can be broken, Rev 2:5.
b. Unity can be disrupted, 1 Cor 11:18.
c. Usefulness (effectiveness) in work and worship can cease, Rev 3:16.
4. First, what can destroy a local church? Next lesson: What should not destroy the local church?
I. THINGS THAT CAN DESTROY A LOCAL CHURCH.
A. Allowing Divisions over Men to Exist.
1. Harmony in disrupted, Christ dishonored, carnality present, 1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:1-3.
2. Variety of forms: Over preachers (1 Cor 3:5-7); Over/among elders (1 Tim 5:19); Family (1 Tim 5:21); “Diotrephes" (3 Jno 9).
3. “Personality conflicts” (can cover up sinful attitudes), Jno 13:34-35.
B. False Doctrines (Col 2:8).
1. Removes us from God’s grace, Gal 1:6-9 (2:5).
2. Corrupts, 2 Cor 11:2-4 (2 Tim 2:16-18).
3. Unless we guard against error we will succumb to it (church work and worship; MDR; fellowship sinful; deity of Christ, etc.)
C. Binding our Personal Consciences on Others.
1. Binding morally indifferent issues splinters and fractures churches.
2. Use liberty without condemning, causing stumbling or violating conscience - follow peace and edify each other, Rom 14:1-6, 10, 13-14, 19, 21-23.
3. cf. Women wearing slacks; women working outside home; worship service schedule; etc. / Hobby riders (2 Tim 2:23).
D. An Unfaithful Eldership.
1. By not guarding themselves or feeding church, it is exposed to destruction, Acts 20:28-30.
2. Pure motives crucial to avoid abuses and injury to the church, 1 Pet 5:2-3.
3. Follow no man into sin!
E. Failure to Practice what we Preach (Hypocrisy).
1. Such hinders conversion, dishonors God and makes our message vain, Rom 2:17-25.
2. Churches have influence just as individuals do, 1 Ths 1:7-10.
3. Just as individuals, a local church must “take heed”, 1 Tim 4:16.
F. The Infiltration of the World.
1. Sin, when left alone in a church, will permeate and defile it, 1 Cor 5:1-2, 6-8.
2. Issue of the heart: When values, dress, conduct, language, conform to the world, we are worldly! (1 Jno 2:15-16)
3. Come out, cleanse and perfect holiness, 2 Cor 6:16-7:1.
G. Weariness with the Whole Counsel of God.
1. We need all of God’s word, Acts 20:20, 27.
2. We are headed for destruction when we grow weary of what needs to be preached and instead seek only what we want to hear, 2 Tim 4:3-4.
H. Allowing Love for Christ to become Secondary.
1. Against Christ, fallen, sin, Rev 2:4-5.
2. Must keep Christ first place in everything we do, Matt 10:37-39.
3. Churches tempted to put others things ahead of Christ and His gospel: Reputation; Physical complex; Unauthorized works and worship; Ease and comfort...
4. This sin is a lack of reverence for the authority of Christ, Matt 28:18; Col 3:17
1. For this local church to survive and be accepted by Christ we must be sound in doctrine, pure in life and diligent in service.
2. Local church is only as strong as the people in it.
3. Ask ourselves: If every member was just like me, how strong would this church be?