by Pat McIntosh
Very few words or phrases get our attention like “look out!” or “danger!” These words are designed to call our attention to something that will bring us harm or put us in harm’s way. In the movie “Hatari” Red Buttons was working on a contraption to trap monkeys. At one point he ran out of the shop screaming “Hatari!”, which is Swahili for “danger.” Immediately people began running, which is good as an explosion followed. Whether it is a sign warning of poisonous snakes or one indicating “high voltage” such things are designed to get our attention to avert consequences attached to an area of danger.
In our on-going series on the church “reaching forward,” we want to consider dangers that must be avoided if we are to thrive as individual Christians and as a congregation. As we begin to institute plans and programs that will affect those of future generations, there are dangers that will attempt to thwart whatever those efforts may be. A major “cure” for these dangers is the recognition of such dangers. If we see them coming, they will be less likely to bring about harm, either individual or collective.
These dangers can take different forms. For example, false doctrine is a danger to be avoided. We have seen throughout biblical history the results of false doctrine. Souls will be lost due to those who teach that which is contrary to God’s will. Whatever their motivation is for so doing (some believe what they are teaching is true) the effect on others does not change.
Other dangers include division, extremism, over-reaction and numerous other problems. May we be those who keep our eyes focused on the goal and recognize these dangers when they present themselves. May we deal with such things swiftly, realizing that doing so will prevent the harm inherent in such dangers.
A.M. Sermon – The Church Reaching Forward (3): Dangers to Avoid
1. False Doctrine – Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3
2. Division – Rom. 14:1; 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:10-12; 11:17-18; Matt. 12:25; Jno. 17:20-21
3. Extremism – Matt. 23:23-24, 27-28; Acts 20:20-27
4. Over-reaction – 1 Cor. 1:10
P.M. Sermon – Flight from Duty (Jonah 1:1-3)