Summary: Where does the greatest threat to God’s people carrying out God’s mission come from ? Within! Find out why.
The greatest threat to the Church accomplishing our missionary mandate is not from WITHOUT(powers,principalities, language and cultural barriers,funding etc...) but from WITHIN :
Deception / false doctrine amongst God’s people.
Deceptive teaching in God’s name has led to ’love’(agape) of many to grow cold’(Matt 24:12)leading to the lack of any real involvement (enduring until the end)in World Mission (cf. vv13-14), having been replaced by SELF-LOVE (phileo)(2 Tim 3:2).
In the age we are living in now the spirit of antichrist goes forth trying to deceive even the elect into buying into false theology. The number of the Antichrist is 666 (6 being the number of MAN ....666 screams out MAN,MAN,MAN (Me,My,Myself) - look at John 6:66 (coincidence or what) and you’ll see that when Jesus started saying hard things to His disciples (’eat my flesh’ and the like) many left (their love became cold).
(2) THE CULT OF SELF:
Three main deceptions in the Church today leading to’times of stress’ (weariness, loss of strength and hence lack of involvement in Missions)...
(a) ’Bless Me’ rather than ’Bless Them’ - Genesis 12:2 (Blessed TO BE A BLEESING)
Using passages such as Gen 32:26; 1 Chr 4:10 false teachers justify this false theology,but these passages are saying just the opposite (see if you can explain why!)
(b) ’We Can’ rather than ’He Can’ - Tower of Babel mentality - Gen 11:4-6.
This ultimately makes the mission harder (languages were confused afteer this self adventure).
See Rom 7:18 and Phil 4:13. Truth is ’we can’t’. We have to get out of the way and let Him do it!
(c) Preservation of Self rather than Denial of Self - Matthew 16:24
We don’t need a healthy self image or a good self esteem but Grace Image(I am nothing except He makes me anything). True sucess is measured as to the extent of death to self we have undergone (which will be seen in our actions/ results).
’He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose’ Jim Elliot.
(3) CONCLUSION: Armed only with Biblical truth as outlined above , can we hope to accomplish what God has saved us to do. The church will remain seated in the valley of apathy and compromise and self-seeking unless we choose to humble ourselves and follow the principles outlined above - putting SELF where it rightfully belongs : on the cross, and emerging the other side of the Cross with the powerful life of Christ in us knowing that ’It’s no longer I (SELF) that lives, but Christ that lives in me’ (Gal 2:20).