The Word This Week

1 Timothy 4:1...

The enemy has two main weapons he employs in his attempts to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ: divisive people and divisive teaching.

This is true no matter where a church may be located or in whatever time period a church may exist.

In truth, the enemy has a really small playbook, but it has always been very effective because people are so easily victimized.

It is the job of the elders and deacons to make certain this does not occur. It is the reason Paul has informed Timothy about the qualifications necessary for these positions – and also the reason Paul has made personal character the main issue in the lives of those who may serve the Lord in these positions of leadership.

It turns out a LARGE part of the elders’ and deacons’ job is to be protective of His sheep, whom the enemy is always seeking to destroy.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.”

This is why it is so important the voice of Jesus is the only voice being heard in His Church. It becomes the job of those called of God to be elders and deacons to make sure this is so, and to discipline or remove those who may bring competing voices. It is also the job of the elders and deacons to eliminate the presentation of any doctrine by any degree other than the Word of God.

This need for protection from the attempts of the enemy to divide and destroy The Church is one of the main themes of the New Testament, especially in the epistles of both Paul and Peter.

Who these destroyers are described as being is both very interesting and very dramatic. Those who would bring false doctrine are most-often described as ‘savage wolves,’ who would tear the sheep apart and consume them if only they could.

This may not look like what is appearing, so constant and close vigilance is required of those called to oversee His Church. False doctrine always comes in by degree, and it always comes in presented as a means of becoming even ‘more’ Godly. Since the sheep possess an innate desire to be more Godly, they are very vulnerable to false doctrine.

Especially in this regard, the work of the shepherds called to lead His Church is never done, and they can never rest. The savage wolves are always circling and watching for fresh prey, and they are always just over the hill or hiding in the adjacent tree line waiting to pounce.

Pastor Bill