Summary: Four "small" things that kill the body of Christ.

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There was once a fellow who became convinced that he was dead. In reality he was very much alive. His delusion became such a problem that his family finally paid for him to see a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist spent many hours trying to convince the man he was still alive. Nothing seemed to work. Finally the doctor tried one last approach. He took out his medical books and proceeded to show the patient that dead men don't bleed. After hours of tedious study, the patient seemed convinced that dead men don't bleed.

“Do you now agree that dead men don't bleed?” the doctor asked.

“Yes, I do,” the patient replied.

“Very well, then,” the doctor said. He took out a pin and pricked the patient's finger. Out came a trickle of blood.

The doctor asked, “What does that tell you?”

“Oh my goodness!” the patient exclaimed as he stared incredulously at his finger ... "Dead men do bleed!!"

This man was convinced that he was physically dead but he was really physically alive. In the book pf Revelation, Jesus addresses a church that was convinced it was spiritually alive but in reality was almost completely spiritually dead.

Rev. 3:1-6 – “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven

spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of

my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has

ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We’re in our series on church health. Although I have been focused on factors that increase church health, I would be very remiss if I failed to talk about factors that kill a church. Thom Rainer said that unhealthy churches tend to be more concerned about self-comfort – doing what pleases personal taste – rather than the Great Commission and the Great Commandments.

Today’s message is about the mortification factor. The word “mortification” comes from the Latin for “death.” We use other words with the same root word – such as mortician and mortuary. In medical terminology, mortification is a synonym of necrosis – the localized death of living cells caused by infection or lack of blood supply. Another synonym would be “gangrene.”

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