Summary: The first church split occured in heaven
A The first church “split” (if you will) occurred at none other than heaven.
1 Before the earth was formed, Adam & Eve created: God & His angels were in heaven.
a In those days Lucifer was one of God’s angels (not just any ol’angel.)
aa Tradition tells us he was one of four archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Uriel)
bb Archangels were heads, chiefs of staff that other angels under their authority.
b Lucifer was the chief of worship (Isa. 14.12).
aa Hillel (worship/praise/adore) Ben (son) Shahar (dawn)
bb Understand that he was the head worshiper leader at the dawn of creation!
cc He was unequally equipped to be creative musically, elevated position in heaven w/ innumerable angels under his authority & influence.
c What more could Lucifer want at that very moment?
aa Position, access to God, gifts, ministry, anointing.
bb Wasn’t enough! (Is. 14.13-14) He wanted more! (Leader, head of heaven, star of Glory)
d The devil could not take the throne by force so he worked covertly.
aa Lucifer somehow convinced 1/3 (12.4) to fire God.
*If I was running this place, I would do some things different.
*This place would really be holy, more spiritual if I was sitting up there.
e Angels who had only gazed on God’s resplendent glory; had seen the galaxies come out of His mouth . . . I think we can take Him.
aa The angels knew God could read their thoughts (nothing hidden from him) but somehow they thought they could out think Him.
bb Remember, God watched the lie spread through out glory.
cc How long? We don’t know.(This division very possibly could have been the first great pain in the heart of God.)
3 It lead to a war in heaven Rev. 12.7-8.
a Lucifer through slander, lies, seduction convinced 1/3 of heavens angels that the very presence of heaven could not satisfy them.
b He’s slick isn’t he!
aa If he can convince angels of God to follow him out of His presence; trade heaven for hell
bb BTW: Hell didn’t exist before the split in heaven (Isa. 14.15; Matt 25.40)
cc Do not be wondering if he has the power to separate/divide/split good friends in a church split here on earth!
4 Lucifer was banished to hell (along w/ 1/3 of the angels of heaven) the war that was started in heaven against the almighty continues still.
a Every time Satan divides another church, he accomplishes part of his goal, which is to strike against the heart of God.
b For the next several Sundays I’m going to be teaching “A House United.”
aa How Christ-Centered unity can end church conflict.
bb It’s kinda of silly to talk about smoke detectors & fire extinguishers after the house is engulfed in flames, so I want to teach, educate & equip while we are in a relatively calm period in the church.
cc Today (5/15) I’ll introduce the material, next Sunday(5/22) talk about recovery & on May 29 I’ll talk about prevention.
I Splits in a church are HELL.
A Church splits are tough, turning & emotional.
1 If you’ve never been through one here are some things you can expect.
a Large groups of otherwise nice Christians are pitted against each other & one another.
aa These otherwise nice Christians will gossip, slander, operate in anger, deception, fear, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, strife, rebellion & pride.
bb If any of these sins isolated where shown in the life of a person then they could quickly recognized & exposed as what it is . . . sin.
b When these sins are committed by a group, en masse they are somehow considered righteous.
aa “Anger” is redefined as “fighting for principles.”
bb Slander & gossip enlist as allies “in search of the truth.”
2 Church splits have an epicenter/ground zero but its shockwaves are felt through out the community.
a Some pastors, churches, church members are excited when other pastors/churches are going through conflict.
aa Some how it validates their own ministry/church.
bb The other route is silence: When sister churches go through splits everybody knows it, we just don’t talk about openly. (Like a family member w/ cancer...it’s something we don’t talk about.)
b Church splits are most often times cancers, malignant life system that’s empowered by anger, pride & ambition instead of meekness & patience in Christ.
aa BTW, a church split that starts a new church isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes it’s bad.
bb Growth is always good, right preacher? Not when it’s cancer. (Cancer cells grow more cancer cells)
cc Let’s start new churches to reach the lost! Really, how about the churches that all ready there just start doing a better job of reaching the unsaved.
1 Often times these conflicts are demonic in origin.