Summary: losing out with Christ
Intro: in his book, ministry for a lifetime, Superintendent Thomas Trask has a chapter on the warning signs of spiritual decline. Tonight, I would like to use a few of his, and a few others in scripture, we all must guard against spiritual decline, we can go to the Word of God for details.
WARNING SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL DECLINE
1. Questioning God’s Love—Malachi 1:2—I have loved you, but you have asked, how have you loved us? This is the trap of the garden, when Satan plants a seed of doubt concerning God’s love and care for us. When the storm came on the sea, and Jesus was in the lower part of the ship, the disciples cried out, Master, do you not care that we perish.
Not matter what difficult times you are going through, no matter how dry things have been in your life, we know that God is love, and in him there is no variableness nor shadow of turning.
2. Calling Good Evil and Evil Good---Malachi 2:17—a lost of discernment between good and evil is another sign of a spiritual decline. When someone is sensitive to God they become sensitive to sin.
3. Giving Toward the Things of God—Malachi 3:8-10 –the next sign of spiritual decline is found in our attitude toward giving to the work of God. When someone’s heart is open to God, they have a willingness to give to the church, missions, souls.
4. Weary in Christian service—Malachi 3;13-14—here is a dangerous place to be, saying what’s the use serving God. What does it matter anyway, what difference can we make by serving God. This is a fatalistic attitude toward life, what’s the use.
5. Withdrawal from spiritual battle—II Samuel 11:1-at the time when Kings go to battle, but David tarried still at Jerusalem. This can get anybody, a withdrawal from the fight, moving back from the front lines, at ease in Zion. You see this in the church, when someone begins to get slack, not willing to jump in there and fight the spiritual battles anymore.
6. Lost Compassion For Souls—Jonah 3;3- but Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Jonah had lost his compassion for souls, here is this great opportunity to minister to an entire nation, but Jonah could care less about this entire nation.
7. Dormancy of Gifts and Anointings—2 Timothy 1:6—Paul writes Timothy to encourage him to let the gifts operate in his life that were there at the beginning. It is easy to say, let someone else be used by God, but each of us must stir up the gifts within us, so that our lives will be a blessing.
8. Loss of Prophetic Insight—Genesis 11:1—Lot sat in the gate of Sodom—another sign of spiritual decline is the inability to see the approaching storm. Abraham knows that God’s wrath is about to fall on Sodom and Gomorrah, but for Lot it is business as usual. A while back I heard a kingdom now preacher say, things are going to just get better and better, until we take over.
Close; we must guard our lives, because the bible is written for our ensamples, of those that conquered and those that failed.
Not all entered into the promise land, that heard the promise…