Enemies to Growth
by Pat McIntosh
The church, throughout the New Testament, is described as the body of Christ. This is true in form as well as in function. Bodies are designed to live, act and work. It is natural for the body to function in such a way as to promote life tomorrow. We must see that the same is true for the Lord’s church.
Our own bodies have enemies that threaten our well-being. These can be internal or external in nature. Internally, we are concerned with viruses and diseases that can harm the body. Cancer is a major enemy that has affected many. We can also be harmed externally, either by accidents or by those who intentionally wish to bring us harm.
The church has similar enemies. There have been those down through the years who have attempted to eradicate the church. This has come in the form of governments, individuals and other religious groups. However, our greatest enemies, and often the most overlooked, are those internal enemies having the capability of destroying the body.
One of the major ways to avoid defeat at the hands of an enemy is that of being aware of who or what our enemies are and the threat they pose. Ignorance, unbelief and apathy are just a few of the things of which any congregation must be aware as they contemplate the health and safety of the local body. A “blanket” enemy to be considered is sin. Satan does not want Christians, either individually or collectively, to be successful. He doesn’t want us to win. We must take great precautions to avoid the enemies that have been effective in ruining works and destroying congregations. We have been promised victory. We must simply seize that which has been provided, through God’s word, to secure that victory.
Sunday A.M. Sermon – Enemies to Growth
Introduction – Rom. 12:4-5
- Ignorance – Isa. 45:20; Jer. 5:21; Hos. 4:6; Isa. 59:8; Psa. 119:97; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:1-5
- Unbelief – Jno. 8:24; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Heb. 3:12; Mk. 9:24
- Apathy – Rev. 3:15-16; Jdgs 5:23; Isa. 32:9; Amos 6:1; James 2:14; 4:17
- Sin – Heb. 12:1-2; 3:12-13; James 5:19-20
Sunday P.M. Sermon – When Discipline is Neglected (2 Thes. 3:6-16)