Summary: The angel at the tomb said, ‘why seek the living among the dead?’ And many are finding it true as they seek a church. Corinth was a defiled, divided, and thus disgraced place, but there was hope! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
How to Kill a Church
“Jesus, yes! The church, no!” That was a popular slogan in the 60s...or so I’m told. And it seems to be a revived notion today as many are put off by organized religion. I believe that could have been the sentiment in AD 56 in the city of Corinth where we see Paul’s 2nd epistle being written to because that church was in serious trouble. I share this new series with you not because we have big problems but because we don’t! Let’s keep it that way.
It was a defiled church, full of sexual immorality and drunkenness. Some lived very worldly, taking God’s grace and forgiveness very lightly.
It was also a divided church with differing cliques and factions vying for leadership.
And so it was a disgraced church. Not only were they not glorifying God, they were hindering the progress of the gospel all around.
Now, none of us are perfect. Actually very far from it. We cannot be sinless but we can sin less. If you knew me like I know myself you wouldn’t listen to me. But hold on, because if I knew you like you know yourself I wouldn’t talk to you!
Positionally in Christ we are seen as perfect, but the world is watching us outwardly and they see something far different. They aren’t even looking for perfection, just ‘reflection’ of Christ. They want to see results, an effort, a change, something relevant for them...hope!
This church was a “Church on the Rocks”. This church was not doing all that they were supposed to be doing. There were some in the church that were really hurting it. In fact they were allowing the devil to use them to destroy the church.
Rom. 1:18-32 is Paul’s record as he looked out the window while there. It lists what he saw. [read]
Satan wants to kill this church, but he’ll use people to carry out the dirty deed. He wants to use you! Sardis was a dead church. Some die and close their doors, but many have meetings and yet are dead.
The angel at the tomb said, ‘why seek the living among the dead?’ And many are finding it true as they seek a church.
If you want to kill your church, let me show you how.
The first way to kill your church is by killing the unity within the church. There are 3 ways to kill the unity within the Church listed in our text.
1. Forget Whose You Are: Once you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you are no longer yours but God’s. When you forget Whom you belong to, you stop acting like a child of God’s and start acting like a child of the devil’s.
2. Forget Who You Are: As a Christian, you are a representative of God here on this earth. When you forget that, you are prone to live opposite of what God wants you to.
3. Forget Your Mission: Why does God leave us here on this earth after we are saved? Is it to critique the pastor, the sermon, the church, the music, etc? No, it is to lead the lost to Jesus Christ.
In order for the Church to be able to reach out to the lost, we must have unity within our congregation. The devil is going to try to cause you to forget whose you are, who you are, and what your mission is so that he can destroy the ministry of this church.