Poisoning the Church

Vision 2018: Forward Book of Acts Blueprint Psalm 127:1 Introduction: I. A. Courage overcomes Fear. a. You find throughout the New Testament they didn’t allow fear to overcome the message of the Gospel, Christ or the cross. Jews & Greeks were being born again, so they were preaching the same Word, the same message encouraging people to believe in Jesus Christ. b. Whoever we share the Gospel with the message must NEVER be diluted or compromised. B. In war, you would not willingly admit the enemy in to infiltrate your camp & spread lies to the soldiers. Yet, much of the church-world has welcomed the weakening of its message by accepting a “Socialized-Gospel.” C. Jesus contended with the Religious leaders who debated His teaching. He did not waiver to please the crowd & build a larger following. People followed Him because He taught truth. a. There is poison in the water & it slowly kills people while they think all is well. b. This is not a 21st Century battle, it’s been going on since Genesis 3. Acts 14:2 (BIBLE) Acts 14:2But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. NJKV Acts 14:2Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. NLT II. Poisoning of the Church Remember the application: Learn to comprehend the warning signs. A. Poison of Jealousy Acts 13:8But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. a. The Church tends with this spirit everyday as it continues to present distractions, misdirections & fables. It may be the choice of TV rather than Word or Facebook posts rather than prayer. b. Acts‬ 13:9-11“Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.” ‬ NKJV Eyes are symbolic of intelligence, this man was walking around in spiritual darkness, the blindness was the manifestation of that deceit. c. Note, Paul was filled with the Holy Ghost when he looked into the eyes of this man commanding blindness. The Body of Christ needs to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 13 & 2 Corinthians 10 2 Corinthians 10:3We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. NLT The ongoing narrative is people believe when they witness standing for truth & the power of the Holy Ghost demonstrated. aac B. Poison of Ill-Directed Glory a. Paul commands a man crippled from birth to “Stand up!” The man jumps up & starts walking. The miracle caused the people to believe they were gods & wanted to sacrifice to them. I wonder how many today would have been happy to receive that kind of honor? It is a poison in the Church. The forgotten message is, “This is about Jesus.” In defending the truth Paul & Barnabas end up being stoned & left for dead. b. Read the Song of Moses which relates the great victory at the Red Sea. Nowhere in that song is Moses, Aaron or Miriam mentioned. God is referred to as a “Man of War” displaying the glory of the victory belongs only to Him. The spirit of the world, the poison which has seeped into the Church is the person by whose hand a miracle or some great accomplishment comes is exalted more than the Living God. C. Poison of Religious Doctrine a. The doctrine of the church was poisoned with man's ideologies and trying to force man-made laws on to the Gentiles. Some Jews said, Acts 15:1“Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” At the Church meeting Peter rebuts with this word, 11We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” NLT b. The Church must learn to disciple not destroy. We must teach not intimidate. c. Jesus loves as we are, we come to Him under the covering of grace & we grow in Him under His mercy. Doctrines of man & religion hinder spiritual maturity. Acts 15:8God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. NLT D. Poisoned Discernment a. Once again Paul has an opportunity to be built up in his self by this demon possessed girl following them around promoting his ministry. But Paul had proper discernment to know this girl was not from Yahweh & casts the devil out of her. b. The closer we draw to the rapture of the Church the more hellish, demonic attacks are coming. This girl seemed to be saying the right thing. How often do we hear the “right” thing but it is deadly wrong? c. Every Child of God has discernment, you must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit when He shows you truth. III. Overcoming Poison A. How does the Church defeat the poison? a. Ephesians 6:10-18 (BIBLE) b. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (BIBLE) B. Jesus cleansed the Temple, casting out everything which did not belong in Father's House. Matthew 21:12-13 (BIBLE) C. The reason we can do this is because of the resurrection of Christ. - He asks us to: * Repent * Live by Faith * Be Baptized * Be Filled with His Spirit Conclusion: PRESENT THE GOSPEL FOR SALVATION – EVERY WEEK – AND THE NEED TO COME FORWARD IN PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE OF CHRIST
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