Church Protection (updated 5/1/21)

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Today, everyone is trying to protect themselves from sickness and being the next covid statistic. Most people follow are following the government and HSE guidelines (wearing a mask, social distancing, getting the jab, taking supplements to stay healthy, etc) All of these things protect the physical, but did you know that there is disease that is spiritual. Did you know that we can get spiritually sick as well, and it is through false teachings. These false teachings are spread through false prophets and false teachers. The fact is we live in a world with all sorts of false prophets and false teachers, and there are many Christians who are spiritually sick and may not know it. In the first century the Apostles warned adamantly about this danger. Do you think things have gotten better or worse since the first century?
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy…
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

God gives us a protection from these spiritual diseases through a local church. Each local
church should have a God given pastor and it is his responsibility to study the Word of God and to teach Biblically sound doctrine. It is the responsibility of the church people to also study the word of God on their own so they recognise sound doctrine. That pastor, whom the Lord has given, has the responsibility of being the overseer of the local flock of God. He will one day give account directly to God for how he led the church that God gave him to oversee. Part of a pastors God given responsibility is to protect the flock from false teachers and false prophets. Below are some of the scriptural ways that a doctrinally sound, local pastor is to protect the flock from these ravening wolves.

(1) Pastors and teachers in a local
church are responsible to protect God’s people from false teachings (Acts 20:28-31; Ep. 4:11-16 (These are speaking about the church at Ephesus)).

Acts 20:28-31
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

One of the pastor’s chief duties is to protect the flock. The Apostle Paul was continually burdened about the danger of false teaching (
Acts 20:31; 2 Co. 11:1- 4; Ga. 4:11-20; Ph. 3:1-3, 17-21; 1 Th. 3:1-5; Col. 2:1-4).

(2) False teachers are crafty and pastors must be alert, wise, knowledgeable, and zealous to deal with them successfully (
Epesians 4:14; Titus 1:9-11).

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

(3) The ability to protect the churches from false teaching is a qualification for pastors (
Titus. 1:9-11). Men who refuse to deal plainly with error have no business in the ministry.

Titus 1:9-11
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

(4) To warn and teach about false doctrine is a mark of a good minister of Jesus Christ (
1 Timothy. 4:1-6).

1 Timothy 4:1-6
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
A false teacher and prophet are not going to come to you and say, "Hi, I am a false teacher." Nor are they going to tell you in their YouTube channel descriptions or title. A doctrinally sound pastor has the responsibility of warning their
church. With these things in mind, when you hear a Bible teacher tell you that you do not need to attend a local church, does that align with the word of God? The devil is using them to get you to come out from the protection of a sound pastor.

Some questions to consider…
-Is going it alone, without a local
church or pastor, scriptural?
-How many churchless Christians are there in a Bible?
-What does the word
church even mean?
-Do you believe God is able to provide you with a doctrinally sound
-Are you an active member of a doctrinally sound local
-If you are in a doctrinally sound
church, are you following and seeking your pastors leadership?
-If you teach others they do not need a local
church, have you not become a false teacher yourself? We need to be very careful.
James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we (teachers) shall receive the greater condemnation.
-Have you been deceived by false teachers and prophets?

In a day of apostasy, and the accessibility and speed of internet, it is easier than ever to be influenced by false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing. So what do we do if we find we have been influenced? First we need to repent, turn from this error. Second, confess it to God. Last, find a doctrinally sound church to attend and to be involved in. One with a pastor who takes his job as under shepherd seriously and tries to protect and warn the flock of God.
There are many of these churches across Ireland, and across the world. You are welcome to contact me if you need any assistance in this area.

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(At An Carraig Baptist Church, we take a literal approach to the Bible (AV 1611). We are also a local, independent body of believers, which means we are not subject to any religious hierarchy. Being "Baptist" means we hold to the Bible-based Baptist Distinctives that has been the hallmark of true Baptist churches through the centuries. You are welcome to join us at any of our weekly meetings or schedule to meet for tea/coffee.)