Summary: I want to present a Biblical answer to the perplexing problems we face as a Church, the body of Christ, who are endeavoring to do a work for God in this godless age.
2Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 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.
My prayer in these lessons is that God will use what we say to open the eyes of the blind, who are in great danger, and without which would, as Charles Spurgeon has put it, “never awake out of sleep until a clap of thunder of judgment shall startle them out of presumption into endless horror.”
I want to present a Biblical answer to the perplexing problems we face as a Church, the body of Christ, who are endeavoring to do a work for God in this godless age.
Why is it that it is so difficult to evangelize the lost?
-that doors in Mission fields are closing
-that we have a woeful lack of spiritual power in our churches?
-That we churches like ours struggle to have sufficient funds to do what we need to do for Christ?
When we consider how the early Church carried the Gospel all over the Roman world in 30 years and won so many to Christ…
And we can’t even win our neighbors to the Lord???
What is the answer???
2 Thess 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work
Here in the NT God begins to reveal things… mysteries, that had not previously been known.
He uses mostly the Apostle Paul to reveal what he wants his church to know.
1 Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Paul tells young Timothy
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
BUT at the same time that God is revealing these things…
It has also brought down the wrath of the devil upon Paul and other NT writers whom God is revealing things to.
Why? Because it is the CHURCH which is Satan’s only great antagonism.
You see, one day it will be the CHURCH which will crush the serpent’s head
Rom. 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
It is the CHURCH that God’s glory is seen though… Eph. 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory
1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Now when we say the CHURCH we are not speaking of the local assembly which has become
- a denominationalized,
- sectarian body of people in America
- for the most part, shorn of its spiritual power like Sampson when seduced by Delilah.
We are not speaking of the outward, visible thing we see today, for the most part
No.. we’re talking about that mystical body.. that living organism called the CHURCH!
It is this church that is Satan’s greatest antagonism.
Creation was a wonderful thing, a great work of God…
But the Church is God’s greatest work HE has done and ever will do
Because it is HIS CHURCH that HE is preparing for a Bride for his Son!!!!
The whole Bible focuses on the end time and moves steadily forward to the grand objective of all the ages…
Namely the beautiful wedding and the
Happy home throughout eternity!
When the curtains fall on this magnificent drama at the end of this world, we will truly be able to say…
“And they lived happily everafter!”
THAT is Satan’s greatest antagonism!
In the OT… the devil is somewhat active, but he really comes to life in the NT…
And the real drama begins with the words…
“There was in the days of Herod the King” and from there the devil jumps to his feet in fierce opposition to God by the slaughter of the infants of Bethlehem.
And from there on… the devil is actively involved in his attempts to thwart God’s plans
And such… Satan’s greatest plan is the Mystery of Iniquity.
It is his great masterpiece
And it will culminate with…
1. the false church (the worldly church)