Acts 20:28-29 “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.”
Why do we ignorantly believe that the church would be immune to the attacks from within? From the ranks of twelve men, chosen by the Lord Himself; one arose who betrayed Jesus.
From without and from within, the church has sustained attacks from all sides. From the top to the bottom, all are susceptible. Until we are taken away from this old sin-sick, sin-cursed world will we be free from the attacks of Satan and those influenced by him to destroy the church.
Let me be specific – not some denomination – His church of called-out believers; those saved by faith and faith alone. Let me ask this question:
“Can a saved person become a wolf?”
There have been some who are not grounded in what the Bible teaches. Someone with no other teaching other than faith in Jesus Christ for salvation is open to be deceived regarding the things of God. Their ability to listen and obey the Holy Spirit in them depends on the discipleship they receive once they get saved.
Jesus left us with what we commonly call The Great Commission:
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Unless we, the church, are diligent about teaching everyone the “all things” He commanded, we could be bringing in the very wolf that will tear our church apart. When you study wolves, you will begin to understand the way they hunt.
They will first make you familiar with their presence. No harm. No attacks. Just friendly banter. This is the first stage – survey the lay of the land.
Then they will gain your confidence. We relax around them and allow them to share our confidence, and hospitality. They become a familiar name. They volunteer to work. They are faithful.
Seeing they are hard-working and faithful, we then give them a position. They work to gain your respect. Soon they have many who will look up to them – a following. Then, somehow Satan whispers in that one’s ear how they can be found to expose the weaknesses of leadership and gain a greater following. Or it might be they have a pet doctrine they teach.
Our enemy works tirelessly to find ways to destroy the integrity and the influence of the church. It began way back in the garden when the devil whispered to Eve; ‘Hath God said…?’ and has cast doubt in the hearts and minds of those willing to listen ever since.
The surest way to drive out the wolves is to remain constant in the areas of evangelism, discipleship and preaching that incites, excites and convicts. When we, who lead, constantly and consistently maintain our personal walk with God and draw others to do so as well, we will see the wolf coming.
A leader who is not a faithful witness for Christ, is no leader at all. They have forsaken the very first command of Christ to GO and TELL. It is easy for everyone of us to grow complacent in our witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. We must be on the lookout in our own lives first.
I am convicted if I haven’t given the gospel to someone in a week. There are lost souls all around us. It isn’t very hard to find someone who hasn’t heard the gospel for us to be able to show them the way of salvation.
Sometimes we make wolves with our lack of discipleship and maintenance of our followers and our leaders. Often, one does not choose to become a wolf – they are deceived; seduced and drawn away to false doctrine.
The church as a whole must embrace evangelism and discipleship. It must be lifted up and promoted heavily to expose and drive away the possibility of wolves entering in. No matter how diligent we become, we must be aware that wolves can and will try to enter.