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Author Topic: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?  (Read 23268 times)

Dan

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When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« on: July 09, 2003, 08:33:23 AM »
What would be Satan's tactic if he wanted to destroy the church?

Would it not be to deceive believers and convince christians that the church was going apostate and that we should flee because of unfaithfulness?

Something to think about.

Reformer

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2003, 12:00:37 PM »
What would be Satan's tactic if he wanted to destroy the church?

Would it not be to deceive believers and convince christians that the church was going apostate and that we should flee because of unfaithfulness?

Something to think about.

Not really. How could Satan convince believers that the Church was going apostate? Don't you think believers know when the Church is going apostate? Didn't Popery try to convince the men of the Reformation that the Church was not going apostate? But they weren't convinced, were they?

Satan does is convince professing christians that the Church is not going apostate, and that these ministers are ministers of righteousness.

 2 Corinthians 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


Tony Warren

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2003, 10:16:31 AM »
>>>
What would be Satan's tactic if he wanted to destroy the Church?
<<<

Satan destroys the Church by his seducing the unfaithful to worship him there, not by dismantling it. When we carefully study scripture we find that his intention is to reign (rule) in the Church. To be lifted up above God and worshiped there. He is already prince of this world, he wants to be prince of the Church also. There is no need to speculate about his tactics in deceiving, Satan has a long history we can refer to. He will do the same that he's been doing since the beginning. Fomenting lawlessness and inciting disobedience to God's Word. That's his tactic.

Genesis 3:1-4
  • "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
  • And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
  • But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
  • And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
  • For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

Satan uses humanistic reasoning with man to deny God's clearly spoken Word, that they would be beguiled. This is Satan's Modus Operandi. To take God's unambiguous Word, and playing upon man's vulnerability, wrest and distort it so that it's palatable to man, for his own purposes. So if he wants to rule the Church, he says,

..sin in the Church is really not that bad,
..don't worry about sin, God is love and will forgive,
..we're no longer under law, you have liberty,
..you can do it, and you shall have peace,
..follow your Church tradition, and it's leaders,
..you must not leave an apostate Church,
..there will be no judgment on God's Church,
..etc., etc.

This is the ear-candy thatt people want to hear. Smooth things, things which are palatable. Prophesies that are not faithful things, but that are smooth things, deceitful or dishonest prophesies.

And Satan accomplishes this by having "his ministers" appear in the Church as wolves in sheep's clothing, saying Peace, Peace. Declaring how "things are not so bad," and in their building a sub-standard temple with sub-standard material in wood, hay, and stubble, giving them a false sense of security. This is how Satan works.

Ezekiel 13:6-11
  • "They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
  • Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
  • Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.
  • And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
  • Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:
  • Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it."

This is the end of Satan's ministers who attack not the world (his own) but the Church.


Quote
>>>
Would it not be to deceive believers
<<<

Satan cannot deceive the true believer. He has no power over the spirits of saints. When one becomes a child of God, he receivers power from on high to be able to take up that old serpent Satan (Mark chapter 16) and not be harmed. The power Satan has over unbelievers does not work to harm the believers. Spiritually they have Peace and Safety. They are sealed or secured with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 10:19-20
  • "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
  • Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."


Quote
>>>
and convince christians that the church was going apostate and that we should flee because of unfaithfulness?
<<<

That is a private interpretation. Where is any evidence of that in scripture? On the contrary. The evidence of scripture is that Satan works by coming "within" the congregations, buying and selling, convincing people that God's laws can be manipulated, made null and void, ignored, and wrested/twisted to one's own desires and the vain imaginations of his heart. That is Satan's M.O.  It is not to tell Christians to leave the Church, but to deceive them within it. Satan has never worked that way. He tells Christians to worship him "in the congregation." He is the substitute Christ (anti-Christ), he "mimics" the true as a pseudo-Christ. He wants to rule the Church, not get everyone to abandon it.

Isaiah 14:13-14
  • "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
  • I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

Christ warned again and again about false Christs and false prophets coming as wolves in sheep's clothing. That means coming looking just like the Church. The Bible is replete with warnings about those "among us" who will bring in this lawlessness to deceive the people.

2nd Peter 2:1
  • "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

Satan's workings (tactics) are not ambiguous. He wants to rule the Church, he wants to have Christians worship 'him' there, not to abandon it. That has never been his plan. The Scribes and Pharisees didn't leave the congregation, or want others to leave, Satan worked upon them within the congregation. Judas didn't leave the 12 Apostles, he was deceived "therein." A lesson for us all. This is Satan's tactic.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"


Sandy

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2003, 01:21:50 PM »
Matthew 24:21 - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mark 13:19 - For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

Many have given their opinions of what these words spoken by Christ referred to, but again, I simply cannot find agreement with the many differing views.  It seemed to me that every time this topic was spoken of the word “the” was always inserted into the dialog, yet Christ did not use this word “the.”  In doing this many make this a certain time period, or a time at or near the very end of time.  All of the explanations given have already been experienced in the world and in the churches.

As I continued to search the Scriptures for answers I began to realize how the kingdom of God would be established through the building of the corporate church.  Verses of Scripture began to come to mind.

Matthew 11:12 - And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Acts 8:1 - And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Acts 8:3 - As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

2 Timothy 3:11-13 - Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Hebrews 11:36  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  37   They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  39  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  40   God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12: 1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2   Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4   Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Romans 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Through these and many, many other verses of Scripture we begin to see what Christ was speaking of when He said, “then shall be great tribulation.”  If began to occur to me that what Christ was speaking of when He said, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” was establishing the kingdom through the building of the corporate church.  Never before had Christ come to build His kingdom in the world, and after Judgment Day His kingdom would never again be in this sin-cursed earth.  I believe that Christ is warning us that the building of the kingdom of heaven would be met with the greatest resistance.  Christ is telling us that the assault against His church would be like no other assault in all of history.  His church would come against the most formidable foes.  His Kingdom would be built, but not without much suffering, and bloodshed.

Matthew 16:18 - And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:24,25 - Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.   For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Since Scripture clearly tells us that we have been in the last days, or end times since the cross of Christ, we can see very well how great tribulation has come against building the kingdom of God.  In recognizing that we are and have been in the last days, we can also clearly see how God has restrained sinful men, and Satan so that all of His elect could be brought into the Kingdom.  And we can see how and why God has used great persecution against the saint to bring us closer to Christ.  The saints can also discern the times we live in.  We see clearly how church after church has fallen to the wiles and cunning deception of Satan.  We clearly see churches where Satan is sitting on the throne, and we understand that we are to have no part in them.  This is why Christ tells us that when we see churches becoming apostate we must leave those churches to find places of worship that are still faithfully bringing forth the gospel truths.  We are not to look for a perfect church where no sin abounds, for we are imperfect people, and a perfect church has never, and will never exist.  But we need to be among fellow believers, more especially as the time grows shorter.

Hebrews 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21  And having an high priest over the house of God; 22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  25   Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

The attack the church has been under since her establishment will become greater still once Satan is loosed from bondage for his short season.  Christ will be the ultimate victor, but we need to draw strength, assurance, and confidence from like-minded saints.  It is by being with and around fellow Christians that we don’t lose hope, and we keep our gaze on Christ.  Even during a time of the greatest persecution imaginable the child of God can be, and should be at peace.  Look at the example of the martyr, Stephen:

Acts 7:55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.  57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.  59  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  60  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

The corporate church will finally fall altogether from the assaults of Satan, the world, and our flesh, but this will not happen until the end of time, or very near the end of time.  And any saint left in her has the assurance from Christ that he/she will not come under the eternal Judgment the apostate church will face, but will be called to heaven on the last day.

Revelation 18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

John 6:39  And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Matthew 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Revelation 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.  

Erik Diamond

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2003, 02:48:21 PM »
Sandy,

Matthew 24:21 - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mark 13:19 - For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

Please note that the Great Tribulation is not a single day such as Judgement Day.  The Great Tribulation spoke by Christ is a period of time (ie. "in those days"), right before Judgement day.

Erik Diamond
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Sandy

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2003, 02:56:04 PM »
Hi Erik,

Thank you for the post, but you point out the obvious.  I agree that "great tribulation" will occur in "those days" i.e. those days for establishing the kingdom of God.  And I also agree that great tribulation will become exceedingly greater toward the end of time when Satan is loosed. Great tribulation describes the incredible assault against the building of His kingdom throughout the New Testament era, or end times.  

Erik Diamond

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2003, 06:11:33 PM »
Well, you are partly correct that the 'Judgement day' was indeed ocurred but only applied to apostated church.  The world, apart from apostate church, will be judged at the last day - the Judgement Day.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Erik Diamond
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Diane Moody

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2003, 09:32:51 AM »
Am I to understand that you don't see the Church as being Judged before the end of the world?

Sandy

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2003, 10:19:35 AM »
Hi Diane,

Truth is the church has been being judged since its establishment.  This is the great tribulation against her.  (1 Peter 4:17)  Many churches have fallen, and many more will fall before the end of time.  But the eternal Judgment, that comes on the last day will be the time when the church, external, and all the unsaved of the world will be Judged and cast forevermore from the presence of God.  

Jeff

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2003, 08:59:06 AM »
Hi Diane,

Truth is the church has been being judged since its establishment.  (1 Peter 4:17)  Many churches have fallen, and many more will fall before the end of time.  But the eternal Judgment, that comes on the last day will be the time when the church, external, and all the unsaved of the world will be Judged and cast forevermore from the presence of God.  

The Church is also judged before the last day. Clearly revelation shows how God brings judgment upon the harlot Church before the last day. Do you deny that?

Sandy

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2003, 01:41:58 PM »
Jeff,

Since the vast majority of churches throughout the New Testament era, are harlot churches, I would have to agree.  Yes they are indeed judged before the last day.  And many have been removed, but many more have come up in their place.    

Chris

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2003, 08:15:08 AM »
 I am attending a church that is growing more and more wicked by the week. I fear that it has fallen into faithlessness and apostasy. There are those who say that the Church age has ended, and the way my Church is falling, it makes me wonder if that might be coming true. There are no more faithful churches in my area, so I can't just switch Churches.

My question regarding this is, when do you know that it's time to leave the Church that you are attending? When I talk to others in my Church, they seem oblivious to it's wickedness and either give me a funny look, or tell me that I am too legalistic. Any help on this would be appreciated.


Erik Diamond

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2003, 10:14:51 AM »
You should not depend on someone's else opinon to tell you whether you should leave your church or not. Only God will tell you. It is Holy Spirit's working in you.  

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
 
Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Jesus will tell you if you see abomination of desolation taking place in your church, then you will know its time to flee.  If you feel that your church is getting more wicked that bothered you. Pray about it and you could flee to another more faithful church or fellowship.  

Just because someone said that the "church age has ended", does not mean there is no more faithful church out there.  There might be, very few of them. Keep searching for one or find someone of same minded and go from there.  

Erik Diamond
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Chris

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2003, 05:14:08 AM »
You should not depend on someone's else opinon to tell you whether you should leave your church or not. Only God will tell you. It is Holy Spirit's working in you.  

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
 
Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Erik Diamond


Thanks for the reply Erik. But how do I know what abomination is? Is my pastor teaching free will an abomination? Is Infant communion an abomination? In other words I'm asking, what are the signs that we are to leave a church?

Chris

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Re: When Should A Christian Leave A Church?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2003, 05:18:38 AM »
Quote
Chris, do you see anything in this command that even hints that we are to look for a more faithful church? On the contrary, look at the following verses.
Tony S

That has nothing to do with my question. I didn't ask if I should find a more faithful church, I asked when I should leave a church. In other words, what criterea should I use to determine when my church is so bad that I should not stay there any longer.


 


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