When Is It Time to Leave a Congregation? (Episode 14)

When Is It Time to Leave a Congregation? (Episode 14)

 
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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

The question we’ll be considering in this episode was submitted via email:

When is it time to leave a congregation?

When difficult situations, challenges, problems, etc. affect our local churches, we often wonder if we should stay or leave to become part of another congregation. Besides this, even if we aren’t experiencing challenges or problems in our local church, we may sometimes wonder if it would be better for us to leave and become part of another congregation – for various reasons. In this episode, we’re going to consider some principles that will hopefully help us answer our question.

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Measuring the Love of God

Measuring

Midway through Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle described a prayer that he offered to the Father (Ephesians 3:14-21). Part of this prayer emphasized the greatness of the love of God.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Paul began this chapter by describing what God has given – His grace in the gospel (v. 2-3), a way to understand His will (v. 4), salvation to the Gentiles (v. 6), His wisdom revealed (v. 10), the church (v. 10), and His eternal purpose carried out in Christ (v. 11). All of these were part of the demonstration of the love of God. As Paul said, God’s love “surpasses knowledge” (v. 19).

Paul described the greatness of God’s love in terms of measurements – breadth, length, height, and depth (Ephesians 3:18). What do these measurements mean? Some commentators suggest that God’s love is described in this way simply to emphasize the fact that it cannot be quantified. However, each of these terms mean something and the New Testament shows how they apply to the love of God.Continue Reading

Regular Christians (Part 11): Diotrephes

Regular Christians

Diotrephes was one who fell away because he wanted to have the preeminence. The only time we read about him in the New Testament is when John warned about him in his third epistle.

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them [have the preeminence, KJV], does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).

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Why Would Christians Follow Diotrephes?

Leader

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).

In John’s third epistle, he warned about a man named Diotrephes. We often talk about this man and his desire for preeminence, his rule over the church, and the trouble he caused. However, we usually do not talk about his followers. In this article, we will consider the followers of Diotrephes and why they would follow him.Continue Reading

Mark and Avoid

X-mark

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18, KJV).

At the close of his letter to Rome, Paul told the brethren to “mark” and “avoid” certain people. In other words, he was urging them to observe these individuals and be aware of who they were so they could not keep company with them.

Why would the apostle tell these brethren to do this? What was this to accomplish? What would this look like in practice? It is important that we understand what Paul was teaching here. We can answer these questions from the word of God.Continue Reading

“Woe to the Rebellious Children”

Babylonian Siege of Jerusalem

‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ declares the Lord, ‘Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation’” (Isaiah 30:1-3).

In the passage above, the Lord condemned the people of Judah for making an alliance with Egypt. The Lord made four points to them:Continue Reading

Who Is My Brother? (Sermon #20)

Who Is My Brother? (Sermon #20)

 
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Who Is My Brother? (Sermon #20)

We’re in between season 7 and season 8 which will start on October 24th. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on August 20, 2017 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

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