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Summary: Modern church leaders have often neglected the duties of overseeing the spiritual welfare of individuals and families. Sadly, biblical pastoral oversight is set aside for more promising programs. Instead, programs, facilities, and finances are impersonall

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INTRODUCTION

Savage Wolves: PT BARNUM - THE CIRCUS SHOWMAN - He delighted in showing an exhibit: THE HAPPY FAMILY - Lions, Tigers, and a little lamb. One asked if they had problems, Barnum said “Aside from replacing the lamb from time to time, there’s no problem.”

We all know that there are predators. Not just telemarketers - those in the church - who disrupt the house of God and attack the souls of people.

WE MAY EACH FACE WOLVES - attacking the most vulnerable. Are you committed to walk with Christ? Men are you leading your families; young people are you solid? What would you do for 10,000,000?

We have seen the development in Ephesus. There are at least two kingdom principles we have observed: Opposition offers opportunity and Christ changes culture. The opposition in the synagogue led to two fruitful years of declaration and defense and demonstration of the power of the Spirit in Ephesus. This had the effect that (v 20) “the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” We have also seen the early Order of the Church - they were presbyterial/elder led; and the Origins of our Worship. They met on the first day of the week to break bread. Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian elders.

TEXT

7 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.

18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,

19 "serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;

20 "how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,

21 "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

22 "And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,

23 "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

25 "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.

26 "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.

27 "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

31 "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

32 "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


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