BIBLE READING: ACTS 20
28 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.
It has always amazed me that anytime our country seems to have some kind of attack that comes against it from an outside enemy, our country seems to briefly unite together. I even remember after 911, watching bipartisan congressman and Senators standing together and singing “ God Bless America”, and even joining in prayer to pray for victims. But before long, things get back to normal. you see, I believe that America is most susceptible to attacks from inside the country, than America is from outside the country. We have defense mechanisms in place to guard us from outside our borders, but our country continues to divide and destruct itself from the inside.
Paul wrote about that here. He was warning the church at Ephesus to be very careful. He said:
* 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.
Notice the words “among you”. Notice the phrase, “of your own selves shall men arise”. Paul was warning them that the largest danger to the church was for division to rise up from the inside that could then damage and destroy the entire church. that is so true of every church. The world doesn’t really damage our churches as much as the members of those churches do. Gossip, bitterness, sin, and apathy from inside the church have ruined more churches than drinking, smoking, partying, and adultery from the outside ever has.
So Paul gives this advice, “therefore watch, and remember”. Why did he say that? He said that for two reasons. First, to make sure that you do not let someone cause that kind of damage to your church. Second, to make sure that we watch ourselves, that we never become the person that Satan could use to damage your church. We must always watch and remember. Let’s guard our hearts and our minds, and guard the influences that impact us. Make sure you stay away from the “grievous wolves”.