You cannot build a fence big enough to keep sin out of your family or out of a church. You can teach people to have a relationship with God and how to make good decisions that flow from God’s word. If we do not teach them God’s ways, they cannot walk in what they do not know.
Throughout Scripture, we find that truth requires repetition. From the very beginning of Moses teaching the men of Israel how to train their children, it was repetition throughout every aspect of life (Deuteronomy 11:19). Many times as leaders, we think that one great presentation of truth will change the heart of a person and are very disappointed to find out that in most cases, it fails. Teaching is like fine carpentry. You cannot take a hammer and nail and then with one great stroke, drive the nail in perfectly. It requires many repetitively measured strokes to drive a nail properly. So it is with teaching the word of God. Constant small reminders are much more effective in putting truth permanently into the hearts of God’s people.
Young people sometimes ask me what is it like to get older? Well, for the most part, I never feel older and I never think I am old, until I look in the mirror or walk up a set of stairs (hahahahaha). I think like I have always thought. Yes, I sleep a little more and the knee is not quite what it used to be. However, there is one painful thing about getting older. It is watching and knowing what could have been in the lives of people. It does hurt to look at lives and see the talent and hand of God upon them and then temptation, bad decisions and sin reduce their destiny. Satan recognizes that there are people with one talent who receive small responsibilities and seems to leave them alone. He also recognizes the people with the 10 talents who are given great responsibility and
In the world’s wisdom, appearance is everything. Interesting that Jesus purposely was not “star quality” in His appearance. Roman historians write that Paul was “short, bow legged, bald and ugly.” It is not the exterior packaging of our lives that changes the world but rather what/Who is within us.’’ Isaiah 53:2
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.