MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (December 21, 2020)

Last week, we began a discussion about the visible Kingdom of God, i.e., the Church. We saw from Matthew 13 that it is a “treasure” hidden in a field, which literally means “a storehouse or treasury”. We found that the Kingdom of God is the depository of the truth – as Paul tells Timothy, it is the “pillar and ground” of the truth.

Today, we want to discuss the fact that not only is the church the depository of the truth, but it is also the defender of the truth.  Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).  “Contend” means to fight for something, as a combatant; Paul admonishes Timothy to “war a good warfare” (1 Tim. 1:18), and reminds him that he himself (Paul) has “fought a good fight” (2 Tim. 4:7).  It is a battlefield, not a playground! And we must be diligent to defend our territory from the enemy.

Paul knew that problems would arise within the church, and that it would need men and women to defend it from both doctrinal and moral error.  As he bade farewell to his friends at Ephesus, he warned them:  

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.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.  Acts 20:28-31.

Paul is reminding us that we must be diligent to protect the church from those who would lead it astray.  Notice that he said, “watch” and “remember.”  By this, he is admonishing us to keep a guard posted who can determine error when he/she hears it, and to combat that error by remembering what the word of God says about the matter.

Again, hear the Apostle Paul:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  2 Tim. 4:1-4.

Let us not forget that error can creep into the church both from a doctrinal standpoint and also from a moral standpoint!  The Corinthian church had both doctrinal error – e.g., the heresy of non-resurrectionism – and also moral error – e.g., the man who was blatantly living in fornication.  In both cases, Paul strongly admonished the church to deal with the matter swiftly and directly.

The teachings of scripture are clear:  “Anything Goes” is NOT the theme song of the church!  Moral error is characterized by Paul as “leaven”.  He warns that it will corrupt the church if left unattended:  “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”  1 Cor. 5:6.  We must defend the body against such moral error (1 Cor. 5:7-8).  No pastor or church member enjoys exercising church discipline, but if the church refuses to deal with moral sin that is open and rampant within the body, it will soon find itself corrupted and losing the battle against worldliness in the church.

Remember the man in the parable who found the treasure in the field?  When he found this treasury, he went and sold all that he had in the world, and bought that field.  What he had found in the Kingdom of God – the Church of the Living God – was worth more to him than all the gold in Fort Knox!

Beloved, we are that man!  Although sin-slain and lost in nature, through the quickening power of the Holy Spirit, we have found the church, God’s storehouse of treasures in this world.  Let us love it, work for it, cherish it, pine for it, attend it, support it; it is truly the Kingdom of God on earth.

If you’re looking for a church that strives to uphold and defend the truth, and tries to promote and encourage the moral walk of its members in this world, then we invite you to worship with us at Zion Primitive Baptist Church.

Eld. Chris McCool