Never underestimate the power of cultural pressure combined with the yeast of false doctrines to change the hearts of a local church. We must keep people focused on Jesus.
Never allow unchallenged influences in the lives of our children or people we provide leadership over. We should keep open dialogue flowing. When we hear false doctrines flowing to their lives, we should gently take them to the Word and instruct them from the scripture.
The tactic of “poisoning the minds” from Acts 14 not only worked on unbelievers, it worked on the believers in Jerusalem. Someone had “carefully instructed” the Jerusalem believers in three slanders regarding the apostle Paul, thus, destroying his ability to minister to them. Why was this slander unchallenged? Paul knew of the slander, thus, asked the believers in Rome to pray that his ministry would be accepted in Jerusalem.
A church that has been “leavened” is fairly easy to recognize. It is a church that is attempting to live in two worlds and has multiple unchallenged influences in the spiritual lives of the people.
It is amazing how eight years, new leadership, strong cultural pressure, and the yeast of false doctrine can make a church a very different people. The difference in the church from Acts 15 to Acts 21 is amazing.
The church in Jerusalem was destroyed in the second generation because “yeast” of the Pharisees was allowed to remain in the church. When Jesus says to be careful, we must learn to be careful. No wonder, Paul commanded Timothy in the second generation of Ephesus, to command false doctrine to stop. False doctrine is not harmless, it grows , permeates, and destroys.
We have talked a great deal about goals lately. Many Christians confuse a God-given goal that grows within them with human obsession. First of all, God-given goals guide us in life. Human obsession only drives us to empty future. But maybe, the greatest difference between the two can be seen in our present. It is required to sacrifice things in our present for a future goal but we will never neglect current responsibilities for a future goal. God expects sacrifice but he also requires faithfulness in the present to receive the future.
Jesus lived a life that we should imitate. He lived a life in which He could say ” I always do what pleases him.” John 8:29
Living a life that pleases God is not legalism nor it works program. It is understanding that we have a relationship with God. In every relationship with those we love, we desire to discover what pleases them.