Monday, August 25, 2008

How Does a Church Die?

Pastor John MacArthur answers this important question, in his teaching on Revelation 3:1-6, the church at Sardis:

Death occurs when unbelievers are allowed to take over ministries in the church. It happens when a church becomes more concerned with form and liturgy than it is with life on a spiritual level. Death occurs when a church becomes more concerned about welfare and social ills than it is about salvation. It happens when a church loves systems more than it loves Jesus Christ. And it happens when a church becomes more concerned with material things than spiritual reality. That's how a church dies. It all is a result of sin. . .

What kills a church? Sin--in any form that the church tolerates, whether it is in the members or the leaders. Tolerance of sin begins the cycle; then comes the tolerance of unbelievers in the church until no one cares who is a believer or an unbeliever. The end comes when the man who runs the church isn't a believer. Sins of commission and omission kill a church little by little. When that happens, Christians become carnal. Soon afterwards, unbelievers come into the church, and then a total tolerance for sin exists. The church begins to die, and the people who really love Jesus Christ leave only to be replaced by people who don't know Him. There are many people in our church who can testify to the fact that they have come to a church like ours because they had to leave a church that was dead--it was in the hands of people who didn't love Christ.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Piper on True Discernment

Discernment is not created in God’s people by brokenness, humility, reverence, and repentance. It is created by biblical truth and the application of truth by the power of the Holy Spirit to our hearts and minds. When that happens, then the brokenness, humility, reverence, and repentance will have the strong fiber of the full counsel of God in them. They will be profoundly Christian and not merely religious and emotional and psychological.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Unity in Truth: Spurgeon in Agreement with Luther

Martin Luther said, "It is better to be divided by truth than united by error."

Evidently Charles Spurgeon agreed:
"Where union and friendship are not cemented by truth, I say it again, we must have unity, we must pray for unity, we must love one another, we must never divide over incidentals but it is far, far, far better to be divided by truth than united in error."