Presentation on theme: "Warnings of Apostasy: Paul Warned the elders of the church at Ephesus, Acts 20:28-31. He warned the saints at Thessalonica of a coming apostasy, 2 Thess."— Presentation transcript:
Warnings of Apostasy: Paul Warned the elders of the church at Ephesus, Acts 20: He warned the saints at Thessalonica of a coming apostasy, 2 Thess. 2:1-3. Peter Warned of an apostasy among God’s people, 2 Peter 2:1-2. John said “Many false prophets have gone out into the world,” I John 4:1. Paul expressed amazement at how quickly the saints at Galatia had moved to “another gospel,” Galatians 1:6-7.
Sobering Facts: The History of the Jewish Nation is a history of one apostasy after another! Judges 2:7; 2:10-11; 17:6 21:25. Apostasy does not generally occur instantaneously; Full scale apostasy is the result of trends which over a period of time, lead in that direction. Title of Lesson: “Some Disturbing Trends Among God’s people.”
Clarification: By “God’s people,” I am referring to members of His church, Acts 15:14; Heb. 8:10; 10:30. I Peter 2:9,10: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an Holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy: but now have obtained mercy. “
“The People of God” In I Peter 2:10 Were People Who: Had been born again, I Peter 1:3-4. Had purified their souls by obeying the truth, I Peter 1:22. Were living stones in a “spiritual house,” 2:5. Had been “called out of darkness into His marvelous light,” I Peter 2:9. Were called “Christians,” I Peter 4:16. Were members of “the house of God,” I Peter 4:17.
“Trend” Defined: “The general direction,” “to have a general tendency.” Illus. “Trend line” – a “line on a graph representing a trend.” illus. the economy. Fact: Trends are gradual changes; they are not sudden cataclysms; they may be good, or they may be bad; they may last for years. Example: The Pope of Rome. So crowned in 606 A.D. by the emperor of Rome.
A Disturbing Trend: Removing “Christ” from their Signs! Westside Church Christians Meet Here
Different Designations in the Scriptures: “The church of God at Corinth,” I Cor. 1:2. “The churches of Galatia,” Galatians 1:2. “The churches of Judea which were in Christ,” Galatians 1:22. “The church of the living God,” I Tim. 3:15. “The churches of Christ,” Romans 16:16. – Using this term, one local church would be called “church of Christ.”
The Designation “Church of Christ:” Denotes Possession, that which belongs to Christ, Matthew 16:18, which is “of Christ.” Provides Identification, enabling people to recognize and identify a group, whereas “Westside Church” tells us nothing distinctive about the people meeting at that place.” – Satan has his synagogues, Rev. 2:9, and his churches! The Sign “Christians Meet Here,” in the mindset of modern Denominationalism, tells us nothing distinctive about the people meeting at that place!
The Trend Away from “Church of Christ:” “Hastens the obscurity of God’s people instead of promoting our exclusive identity with Christ and our relationship with him,” J. Price. Reflects an attempt to be non-confrontational. --Yet the Lord’s church from the beginning was confrontational! Acts 2:36; 15:1-2; Rev. 2:2. -- The church must submit to the authority of Christ, Col. 3:17, the most confrontational Person in history! Reflects an attempt to market the church to the world, not an attempt to preach the gospel to the world. I Timothy 3:15
Disturbing Trend “Unity in Diversity” Some say Romans 14 tolerates contradictory doctrinal and moral sins. If that be true, then: – The book contradicts itself! Note Rom. 6:1-4; 13:14; Romans 16:17-18 Truth be known, Rom. 14 & 15 deals with issues about which sincere brethren had scruples, but which were neither commanded nor condemned. These chapters instruct “the strong” concerning how to treat “the weak” whose consciences may be offended, Rom. 14:1; 15:1-2.
Disturbing Trend: Embracing Concept of Ecumenicalism One Writer wrote of “ecumenical churches of Christ,” and “sectarian churches of Christ.” He stated that “ecumenical churches of Christ see themselves as just one part of the church universal and, thus, extend the right hand of fellowship to the Christian community!” This concept: infers that the church of Christ is simply a denomination among denominations!
The Church of Christ in the New Testament: Did not have a Denominational Name. Did not have a Denominational Organization, Philippians 1:1; I Peter 5:2. Did not have a Denominational Creed, 2 Timothy 4:1-2; I Peter 5:11; Rev. 22: Was Completely Undenominational! And instructions were given so as to keep it that way! Colossians 3:17; Galatians 1:8-9; 2 John 9.
The Ecumenical Concept Reflects A Misunderstanding of the Universal Church The Universal church is neither a congregation nor a Denomination; it simply consists of saved people! Matthew 16:18: “Upon this rock I will build my church…” Heb. 12:22-23: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of All, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”
The Modern Universal Church Concept: All Saved People Who are not a part of any church! And All Denominations in Existence!
Disturbing Trend – Tendency to use Less Scripture in Sermons! 2 Timothy 4:1-2: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” cf. I Peter 4:11. Yet some are better at “story telling” and “joke telling” than in preaching the word.
Disturbing Trend – No “invitation” at the end of the Sermon! Many conclude with such words as “if you are subject to the invitation, please come forward.” Without telling the people how to be saved! Peter told the people how to be saved, and he then urged them to obey, Acts 2:36-40, and he was very successful, Acts 2:41, 47.
Disturbing Trend –Using Recreation and Entertainment to appeal to the Young! Referring to churches which have been known as “conservative,” or “non-institutional.” A church in Kirkland, WA advertised a meeting/youth fellowship which included preaching and singing; also “fun social events.” Other churches advertize their “Teens Retreats,” which include more time in “fun” events than studying the Scriptures. We must be concerned about our youth, Eph. 6:4; Prov. 22:6. Local churches must be concerned about the young – classes for different age groups; older members should take an interest in the young and set proper examples, etc. But Let the church be the church, and let it do the work of the church!
What Must I Do to be Saved? Hear the word of God, Acts 15:7; Rom. 10:17. Believe the Gospel, Mark 16:15; believe in God, Heb. 11:6; believe in Jesus, John 8:24. Repent of sins, Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3,5. Confess faith in Jesus as the Son of God, Romans 10:10. Be baptized “for the remission of sins,” Acts 2:38. Be faithful unto death, Rev. 2:10.