By Brother Frank Welch
The church is described as a body.
Romans 12:4-5 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
The body is designed to live. We do today what it takes to live tomorrow. The church is designed the same way. Life today promotes life tomorrow. It’s sad to say, but the human body has enemies. (Diseases, Cancer, Arthritis, etc.) Accidents and even self destruction are other enemies. These enemies can damage and even kill the body. In the same respect, the church has enemies which prevent it from moving forward. Enemies can damage and even kill it. We must be prepared to fight if we are going to move forward.
Discussion Number One *The enemy of ignorance- This enemy comes in many forms.
Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; Draw near together, You who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image, And pray to a god that cannot save.
Nothing has changed since the Bible days. Many people worship nature, idols, and ancestors.
Jeremiah 5:21 ‘Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not.
Individuals with a stubborn ignorance refuse to listen to God. They don’t see, hear, or think.
Hosea 4:1-6 Hear the word of the Lord, You children of Israel, For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.”
By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. Therefore the land will mourn; and everyone who dwells there will waste away with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air; even the fish of the sea will be taken away. “Now let no men contend, or rebuke another; for your people are like those who contend with the priest. Therefore you shall stumble in the day; the prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Many people are ignorant of God’s Word. It is possible to be destroyed by lack of knowledge? What does ignorance cause?
Ignorance Causes: *A person to miss salvation. *Not to be obedient to God’s Will * A person to practice religion instead of “Biblical Truths.” *Us to fail in God’s purpose for us in this world
One of the most dangerous of all is the ignorance of God’s Word when it comes to wizardry and witchcraft, (Such things as Harry Potter). There are many Scriptures warning against witchcraft & sorcery. Here are a few. Leviticus 20:6, Deuteronomy 18:14, 2 Kings 23:24, Acts 19:19, Galatians 5:20-21, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Proverbs 5:1-10, Revelations 18:23
Leviticus 19:31 Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God.
Discussion Number Two *The enemy of Unbelief-
John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
This is a matter of eternal life or death. People will die in their sins without faith in Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
While being blind is bad, being spiritually blinded is devastating. Satan can blind people (deceive them) to the glory of the gospel. Unbelief can keep the church from moving forward. (How can this be?) Yes, we can know the Word of God, but not believe the Word. Some people believe that God doesn’t care about the way they live. God does care. *How we worship daily. *How we reach the lost. *How committed we are.
We must be like the man in Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Discussion Number Three *The enemy of Apathy- A man asked, “Do you think the world’s problems are caused by ignorance or apathy?” His wife replies, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Jesus rebuked on the church of Laodicea.
Revelations 3:15-16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
Being lukewarm is apathy. I’m not talking about the “Whatever” attitude. We cannot afford to be lukewarm about church, the lost, or the Fruits of the Spirit!
Discussion Number Four *The enemy of Sin- The most obvious enemy. Ignorance, unbelief, and apathy all lead to sin. If the body practices sin, how can we remain the church? Let us look at a few verses!
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
We must shake off the weight of sin, so we can run the race for Christ.
Hebrews 3:12-13 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
We need each other.
James 5:19-20 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Sin can kill the soul. We need each other to stay on track- A prayer partner provides us with accountability. What holds the church back??? Key- It starts with each part of the body. *Personal Sin *Sin in the family *Sin in the church
While sin remains, challenges will not be met! An old saying: “We have seen the enemy and he is us.” The government, economics, prejudices, and many other things work against the church, but we can be one of our worst enemies. Ignorance, Unbelief, Apathy, and Sin are all the enemies we can do something about! Are you under attack today? Hang in there. Fight! Don’t lose the battle. Enlist help.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—