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Scripture Reading:  1 Thessalonians 1:1-7

What Can Destroy a Local Church?

What Should Not Destroy a Local Church?


1.  Churches in NT experienced tremendous tests of faith. Some persevered when tested; others faltered (Rev 2:9-10; 3:15-17).

2.  Just as each Christian must face trials of faith, churches will, too (Jas 1:2-4).

3.  Having studied things which can destroy a local church, turn attention to things that should not destroy a local church.



  A.  Persecution for the Sake of Righteousness.

    1.  Galvanizing and cleansing effect (Could use today), Acts 5:40-42; 6:1, 7; 8:1, 4.

    2.  Tribulation, suffering, prison, death - Crown, overcome, not hurt, Rev 2:9-11.

    3.  Strengthened in persecution, 1 Pet 5:10.

  B.  Being in the Minority and/or Isolated from Faithful Brethren.

    1.  Christians always minority, Matt 7:14 (Lk 13:24).

    2.  Lord stands by us – Enough, 2 Tim 4:16-18.

    3.  Even where Satan's throne is, we can be strong, cf. Rev 2:13 (Rom 8:31, 28).

  C.  Sin Problems (When Solved with/by the Word of God).

    1.  Unrepentant sin. Discipline, to protect the church and save sinner, Acts 5:5, 11, 13-14 (1 Cor 5:5-7).

    2.  Murmurings, Acts 6:1-6. Apply truth and solve the problem.

    3.  Disputes over truth, Acts 15:1-2. Establish truth (15:24-29), preach it only (15:30-35), turn away from those who teach error (Rom 16:17).

  D.  Being Sound in the Faith.

    1.  Some no longer like such designations ("tradition") – Want to be "progressive", "on the move" and "exciting" – Euphemisms for not be content with sound doc­trine.

    2.  Timothy – Titus: Sound doctrine, words, speech, faith – “Healthy, wholesome, uncorrupt.”

    3.  Charged to remain "sound"; words of Jesus Christ, 1 Tim 1:3; 6:3; 2 Tim 1:13.

    4.  Soundness in the faith is required, Titus 1:13.

    5.  Those wanting soundness will still obey the gospel, Acts 5:13-14.

  E.  Financial Distresses (Poverty).

    1.  Poor, yet rich in faith, Rev 2:9.

    2.  Lord supplies needs - First give ourselves to Him, 2 Cor 9:6-11 (8:1-2, 5).

       a.  May lose building and property.

       b.  Preacher support (other churches).

       c.  A matter of trusting the Lord! Money must never be the measure of success or failure of any church of Christ.



  A.  Submission to Divine Authority, Col 3:17.

    1.  Divine pattern for doctrine, worship, work, etc. must be faithfully followed.

    2.  Departure means destruction.

  B.  Devotion to Christ and His Truth in our Daily Lives, Lk 9:23 (Jno 8:31).

    1.  Christ must live in us, Gal 2:20.

    2.  His gospel must direct us, Jas 1:22.

  C.  Submission to One Another, Eph 5:20-21; Phil 2:1-4.

    -Humble service and deference to each other strengthens the bonds of love and unity.

  D.  Bear Good Fruit, Rev 3:15-16.

    1.  Fruit is individual, Jno 15:2.

    2.  It can also be congregational, Phil 4:14-18.

       a.  Spread word, edify, aid needy saints.

       b.  Fellowship those doing God's work.

    3.  Fruitful in work, confident of entering heaven, 2 Pet 1:5-11.



1.  How important is this church to you?  Is it im­portant enough to allow nothing to disrupt its fellowship with Christ, its unity and its usefulness to God?

2.  If so, respect divine authority, devote yourself to Christ and bear fruit.

3.  Then, nothing will destroy this church.