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  • Allen Domelle

Sources that Hurt a Church

1 Corinthians 11:16

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

It is critical, for the lost to be saved, that we make sure we do nothing that would hurt the church, the vehicle God uses to propagate the Gospel. I am afraid that so many believers do not realize how critical the church is to people being saved. Christ started the local church because He understood that it would rally believers as one to reach the world with the Gospel.

Moreover, Christ loved the church so much that He died for it. One would think that someone would consider hurting the church, considering how close the local church is to the heart of Christ. However, because Christ loves the church, Satan hates it. Therefore, Satan will do anything he can to hurt the church. Often, Satan uses God’s people to hurt the church, and sadly, many of God’s people don't realize they are a tool of Satan to hurt the local church. 1 Corinthians 11 shows four things that hurt the local church.

Contentions are the first source that hurts the church. Contention is simply letting disagreements hurt the church. Everyone has opinions, yet many people have allowed their opinion to hurt the church, which hurts the propagation of the Gospel. When we get more focused on our opinions than the Gospel, contention turns the church's focus from soul winning to fighting each other. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, but never forget that your opinion is not worth causing contention in the church, and it is not worth pushing so much that it keeps souls from getting saved because of the contention it causes.

Unfaithfulness to church is the second source that hurts the church. Verses 17 and 18 talk about assembling as a church. Some may not hurt the church by causing contention with their opinions, but they hurt the church by not being faithful to all the services. A church will never be the tool Christ wants it to be in spreading the Gospel when only a few are faithful to the church. The advancement of the Gospel in reaching the lost around the world would be so much furthered if every believer would be faithful to all the church services and faithful to soul winning. Unfaithfulness has likely hurt more churches than contention or division has ever caused.

Divisions are the third source that hurts the church. Paul said that he heard there were divisions in the church of Corinth. This church rallied around personalities instead of rallying around Christ. There is nothing wrong with loving the leadership personalities in the church, but we must never let our love for a personality cause us to rally around them instead of rallying around God. When you get groups of people who fight each other over the personalities that God is using to lead the local church, it hurts the church’s ability to be unified in reaching the lost for Christ.

Heresies are the fourth source that hurts the church. Paul also understood that there were heresies in this church at Corinth. Heresy always hurts a church. We must all be careful not to be carried away with false doctrine. It does not matter if our doctrine is wrong in one small area; one small area of false doctrine is a cancer that perverts all doctrine. All it takes for the Gospel to lose its power is to let it be perverted with false doctrine. Pure doctrine keeps the Gospel powerful so that we can reach the lost for Christ. Let’s be sure to keep our doctrine pure.

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