8 min 1 mth

3.2 Savage Wolves
Paul’s Urgent Admonition: Vigilance Against Internal and External Threats to the Church
Read Acts 20:27-32. What specific warnings did Apostle Paul give to the church leaders of Ephesus regarding the upcoming apostasy?
In these verses, Apostle Paul gives specific warnings to the church leaders of Ephesus concerning the upcoming apostasy:
  1. Ravenous wolves will come: Paul warns about false teachers or leaders who will infiltrate the church like wolves and deceive the believers. These “ravenous wolves” symbolize those who will not spare the flock and spread false teachings.
  2. Men will rise from among you: Paul warns of internal dangers, namely that men from within the church will spread false teachings. These individuals will try to draw the disciples away from true doctrine and lead them astray.
  3. Guard yourselves and the flock: Paul admonishes the church leaders to guard themselves and the flock of God. They should be vigilant and protect the church from false teachings and seductions. Paul’s advice and warnings remain relevant today. In a time when false teachings, heresies, and seductions are widespread, it is crucial to be vigilant, study the Scriptures, and remain steadfast in faith. Church leaders and believers should encourage, admonish, and ground each other in the Word of God to resist the temptations and deceptions of apostasy.
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12. How does Apostle Paul describe the coming apostasy? What characteristics should the Thessalonians watch for?
In these verses, Apostle Paul describes the coming apostasy as follows:
  1. The mystery of lawlessness is already at work: Paul speaks of an already existing power of lawlessness that is at work in the world. There is an increasing departure from truth and obedience to God’s law.
  2. The lawless one will be revealed: A time will come when the “lawless one” or the Antichrist will be revealed. He will appear through the power of Satan with signs, wonders, and seductions to lead people into unrighteousness.
  3. They did not receive the love of the truth: A key characteristic of the apostasy is that many people will not accept the love of the truth and will be seduced by lies. They will believe in heresies and unrighteousness instead of the truth of God’s Word.
  4. God sends a powerful delusion: As punishment for their rejection of the truth and their delight in unrighteousness, God sends a “powerful delusion” so that they will believe the lie and be judged.
Paul’s warnings are both timeless and relevant for today. He admonishes believers to be vigilant, to love and accept the truth, and to guard against the seductions and heresies that are prevalent in the world. It is crucial to remain steadfast in faith, study the Word of God, and stay in prayer and fellowship with other believers to resist the temptations and deceptions of apostasy.
What kind of compromises do we see in the church today? And more importantly, what compromises might you be making? Is this sometimes done by mixing truth and error?
Compromises in the church can be diverse and often happen unconsciously. Here are some of the most common types of compromises we can observe in the church today:
  1. Moral compromises: A slackening in teaching about moral and ethical issues, such as marriage, sexuality, and the sanctity of life, to appear more popular or contemporary.
  2. Theological compromises: The tendency to dilute or alter fundamental theological truths to make them more acceptable to a broader audience.
  3. Cultural adaptation: Adapting church doctrine and practice to cultural trends and norms instead of aligning them with the unchanging Word of God.
  4. Ecumenical compromises: Making compromises in doctrine or practice in the interest of unity with other churches or religious groups, even if they contradict biblical truth.
  5. Social and political compromises: Adopting a political or social agenda that may not necessarily align with biblical principles to increase acceptance or influence in society.
More importantly, it is crucial for all of us to engage in self-reflection and examine the compromises we might be making in our own lives. This can happen by mixing truth and error, being influenced by culture, or giving more room to our personal desires and inclinations than to biblical truth.
It is important to practice regular self-examination, stay in prayer, study the Word of God, and be encouraged and admonished by other believers. By remaining vigilant and strengthening our relationship with God, we can recognize and resist the temptations of compromise, and we can ensure that we preserve the truth pure and unadulterated.

The connection between these biblical warnings and our everyday life in faith is clear and immediate. The warnings of Apostle Paul and other biblical authors are not just historical notes but timeless principles that are relevant in every generation. Here are some key points that illustrate this connection:
  1. Vigilance: As Paul emphasizes, it is essential for every believer to be vigilant. We live in a world that is constantly bombarded with various ideologies, opinions, and distractions. It is easy to lose focus and deviate from the truth. Therefore, it is important to regularly study the Word of God, stay in prayer, and be in a community of believers who encourage and admonish one another.
  2. Self-examination: As Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, we should “hold fast to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.” This means that we should regularly examine our lives and beliefs to ensure they align with Scripture.
  3. Compromise and purity of doctrine: The warnings against false teachers, moral compromises, and cultural adaptations are particularly relevant to us today. In a world that is constantly calling for change and adaptation, it is easy to be led astray from the clear and unchanging doctrine of the Bible. It is important to stand firm and preserve the purity of the doctrine.
  4. Community: The importance of community with other believers cannot be overstated. In a time of apostasy and confusion, it is crucial to connect with others who stand firm in the faith and support one another. In conclusion, the biblical warnings about apostasy, seduction, and compromise remind us that our life of faith is a constant journey of vigilance, self-examination, and steadfastness. By adhering to these principles and letting ourselves be guided by the truth of God’s Word, we can resist the temptations of apostasy and lead a life that honors and pleases God. 

Vigilance against false teachings and compromises is key to preserving pure doctrine and fellowship.

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