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Why God Allows Trouble in the Church and How to Deal With It (Part 1)

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Watch the video of this sermon on YouTube: Why God Allows Trouble in the Church and How to Deal With It (Part 1)

The outline is attached at the bottom of this page.

To listen to or watch the next sermon in the series, click here: (Part 2)
For a sermon series on church discipline, click here: Church Discipline

Why God Allows Trouble in the Church and How to Deal With It

I. God is sovereign and is in control of all things (Dan 4:35; Isa 46:10).
1. God knows all things (Psa 147:5; Joh 21:17), so therefore nothing happens without God permitting it to happen.
2. It something happens, God allowed it.
3. If trouble in the church happens, God allowed it.
4. Though God permits it, He does not cause people to do the sinful things that cause trouble in church (Jer 7:31).

II. God allows trouble to arise in true churches.
1. Trouble in a church doesn't mean it's not a true church.
A. In fact, it's evidence that it is.
B. Satan is going to attack true churches.
2. True churches with immature members sometimes develop strife in them (1Co 3:1-3).
3. True churches sometimes have false doctrine in them, such as:
A. another gospel of works salvation (Gal 1:6-7; Gal 5:1-4).
B. the doctrine of Balaam (Rev 2:14).
C. the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which Jesus hates (Rev 2:15).
4. True churches sometimes have heresies arise in them (1Co 11:19).
A. Hymenaeus and Alexander were delivered unto Satan for their blasphemous heresy that had shipwrecked their faith (1Ti 1:19-20).
B. Hymenaeus and Philetus were essentially preterists who taught that the resurrection was past already in the first century and had overcome the faith of some in the church (2Ti 2:17-18).
C. The church in Corinth had heretics in it that denied the bodily resurrection of the saints (1Co 15:12).
D. Heresies often arise from within the church (Act 20:28-30).
5. God allows lying spirits to put lying words in the mouths of false prophets to deceive people who want to believe a lie or do something foolish.
A. The Lord did this to king Ahab when he wanted to go to war with Ramoth-gilead.
B. Ahab had already determined to go to war against Ramoth-gilead (2Ch 18:3).
C. In order to appease king Jehoshaphat, Ahab went to the prophets to get a rubberstamp on what he already decided to do (2Ch 18:4-5, 11).
D. Ahab didn't want to hear contrary advice (2Ch 18:12-17).
E. Micaiah revealed to Ahab why all the prophets prophesied that he should go up against Ramoth-gilead -- because God had permitted a spirit to be a lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets to entice Ahab (2Ch 18:18-22).

III. Why does trouble arise in a church? Some possible causes are:
1. Pride (Pro 13:10; Pro 28:25; 1Ti 6:3-5; 3Jo 1:9-10)
2. Envy (Pro 27:4; Mar 15:10; Act 7:9; Act 13:45)
3. Bitterness and resentment (Heb 12:14-15)
A. Bitterness needs to be cut off at the root before it springs up.
B. If bitterness is allowed to fester, many will be defiled (1Co 5:6).
C. Bitterness will cause the heart to turn away from God and to not believe His word which promises that punishment will come (Deu 29:18-20).
4. Backbiting, whispering, talebearing (Psa 41:7; Pro 16:28; Pro 18:8; Pro 20:19; Pro 26:20 2Co 12:20)
5. Desiring to be the pastor when one isn't called to be (1Ti 1:6-7).
6. Excess time on one's hands (1Ti 5:13; 2Th 3:11)
A. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.
B. Those with not enough to do often find themselves in trouble.

IV. Heresy in the church
1. Why God allows heresy in a church.
A. Heresies will reveal which Christians in the church are approved of God and which are not (1Co 11:19).
B. Those who have studied will show themselves approved when a heresy is being spread in the church (2Ti 2:15).
i. The heart of the righteous will study to be prepared to answer the heretic (Pro 15:28).
ii. Pastors and church members that have been meditating in the word of God will show themselves to be profitable to others when a doctrinal crisis arises (1Ti 4:15).
iii. They will not be carried away with every wind of doctrine like the rest (Eph 4:14).
iv. Those who have not studied sufficiently and are not sound in God's statues will be ashamed when they get swept away in a heresy (Psa 119:80).
C. God's ministers show themselves approved when they endure a heretic with patience (2Co 6:4).
D. God may use a heretic to test young Christians who have grown up in the church and who have not yet had to experience the high cost of discipleship.
E. They will have to choose between the heretic and God's truth in the scriptures.

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