ANOTHER PANDEMIC?

Avoiding a Satanic Scheme

I know we are all tired of the pandemic—whether it’s the adverse effects on health, the politics surrounding it, or the disruptions caused by it—we are ready to move forward (and thankfully, in many ways we are).

However, there is another pandemic working itself across our nation. The Church—while possessing the power to be immune from it—can easily become sick by it.

This is a pandemic of disunity and division.

The Church is created and designed by God to be unified around the essentials of our faith—the Gospel, Christ-centered teaching and worship, and a commitment to fulfill the Great Commission.  However, Satan would love nothing more than to see the Church divided over non-essentials (and many churches are experiencing this). The enemy would love for the Church that Jesus died to create to become divided into tribes and factions that are in reality nothing more than a special-interest group sharing a false unity based on what we are against, who we can blame, and what we are angry about.

However, this would not be a church, but a satanic gathering marked more by the following:

  • Unforgiveness, anger and fear (versus love for neighbor and firm trust in God)
  • A false gospel built around positions on current events (versus the “of first importance” true and only Gospel of Jesus crucified, buried and raised to reconcile sinners to God)
  • Seeing people as part of a “group” that is either “with us or against us” (versus seeing all people as made in God’s image and in need of His amazing grace);
  • Rage at “what is happening” (versus steadfast hope in what God has promised).

How can we avoid becoming infected by this sickness?

1) Never graduate from the Gospel and never lose one’s “first love.”

At Rock Bridge, we’ve resolved to ensure that the Gospel remains the central element and the fuel that propels us forward in faith, hope and love. We recognize, however, that we are forgetful, we drift, and we leak; in other words, we move away from the Gospel and allow other things—lesser things—to become more central and more important.

So, every week we want our corporate worship services to be “Shechem” moments (you can watch that message here).

Daily we want to read God’s Word and allow it to read us (subscribe to Time with God by texting TWG to 888-744-0761).

Frequently, we want to gather for the Lord’s Supper (First Wednesdays and monthly during a weekend service) to be reminded of His love for us and empowered to love others with that same love. Being loved by God makes us immune to this pandemic and to Satan’s schemes. Being loved by God in His Gospel makes us truly one (Colossians 3:11) and makes us “more than victorious” (Romans 8:37-39).

2) Become a disciple of Jesus in the area of love.

This is what our current series, “Bottom Line” (click here for messages) is all about. Many of us have been a student of Jesus in making a big decision or getting through a tough time. but maybe we’ve been a student of the world, or our past, or of Hollywood in how we love (or fail to love) others. We believe now is the time to invite Jesus to teach us how to love others, even those who are different from us in any way … and yes, even our enemies (Matthew 5:44-46).

3) Fight for the faith we cherish, fight against sin and evil (in ourselves and in the world), fight for justice, and fight to make Jesus known to the ends of the earth.

We fight from His love and as His beloved family. Therefore, we do not wage war like the world. We fight with compassion, gentleness, kindness and humility. We fight with hope that can survive anything because the Kingdom of Jesus will outlast everything. So yes, we fight, but we fight FROM victory, not for it!

The best is yet to come … but at the same time, we have the best because through the Gospel we have Jesus as our King and Savior and His Spirit lives in us!

Staying healthy in the faith with you Rock Bridge!

matt

About Matt Evans

Matt Evans hand lifted at Rock Bridge Community Church_res (4)

Matt Evans is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Rock Bridge Community Church in Dalton, Georgia. Matt and his wife, Beth, grew up in the Dalton area and saw the need for a church that would reach the lost, broken, de-churched, and spiritually wounded. 

1 Comment

  1. Karen Babb on Mar 2, 2022 at 9:26 PM

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs! Keep writing!!
    I few years ago I left the Baptist Church I had gone to for many years. I had raised my three children in this church. I loved the church and the people there, and some were not so easy to love! I taught Sunday school and led the Youth group. I really loved those kids! I went to their softball games and football games. I enjoyed them! “My” kids were there, so I went to cheer them on! I gave them birthday parties at my house, on their birthdays. I took them on Retreats. We called them our Spring
    Flings. They were so fun. We were gone a week. The kids paid towards some of the expense, and church members also paid the rest of the expense. We had great Bible studies, talent contest, prayer, and sharing our hearts.. Those are precious memories!

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