And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. Romans 16:20
Recommended Reading: ROMANS 16:17-27 –“Avoid Divisive Persons
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Greetings from Paul’s Friends
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.22 I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.23 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— “
COMMENTS: Have you ever noticed growing – thriving churches seem to encounter conflict more than small stagnant churches of a dozen attenders? I can both give examples of churches in community that includes mine. I believe that is because small stagnant churches are not a threat to him while growing churches are. Satan attacks churches and people who are a threat to his goals and plan.
Our church encountered two major times of conflict and a third less significant but still destructive times of conflict. One involved the purchase of a TV-VCR player for youth program. One member donated funds for another to purchase without getting church approval. Second was a misspoken word of one choir member to another causing hard feelings. The third was a difference of opinion between pastor and trustee chairman while working together doing remodeling in church basement and kitchen. Pastor wanted a particular job done one way and trustee chairman; a skilled carpenter insisted on another way believing he knew better. In all three cases, the conflict should have been easily resolved because difference was minor. But those involved let pride and emotions overpower reason and bitterness and harsher – meaner words soon flowed back and forth. As pastor-parish relation chairman, I tried so hard to get parties to forgive each other and even got or District Superintendent involved but to no avail. In all three cases one of the parties chose to leave because that was easier to do than stay and offer and ask for forgiveness. None of them could see the damage they were doing to themselves and to the church. By leaving, the church became weaker and dwindled in size too.
A more recent example is a new church fellowship started in an existing abandoned church building about 3 miles away. Quickly the church grew in numbers with lots of activities and revival services. Numbers of attendees peaked at nearly 100 with consistent attenders of 70-80. But conflict raised his ugly head there over unimportant issues, resulting in bitter words in anger and some leaving. Within a 2-year period numbers shrunk and recently had to close.
How tragic and needless. But if satan can drive a stake between believers and tempt them to say words motivated by anger, then he has done his evil work and the church God dearly loves and pours His life into, begins to die. God isn’t indifferent to such tragedy and is waiting to do a miracle and provide healing if only the people seek His help. IF they would only let Him, He would not only restore and heal damaged relationships, but make the church and its members stronger and wiser and better equipped for the next time satan attacks. They thought each other were their enemy as their real enemy watched in the background as they yielded to his temptations and snares.
I’m convinced, if my church had forgiven instead of leaving those 3 times, we would be a congregation of well over 100 and be thriving in numbers and in spirit today. I’m also convinced the same would be true of that little church 3 miles away. I’m also fearful for neighboring churches that received those who left, for they likely have or will bring conflict into that congregation. I have also seen that happen too because the seed of conflict was not killed and removed.
Paul gives ample instruction of how to deal with conflict and a spirit of division in the church. Conflict from false teacher and false teaching. Division from a spirit of bitterness and lack of love and forgiveness. A spirit of indifference or pride or selfishness or …. The list goes on but the result to the church is a cancer of death.
No congregation is immune or insulated against conflict. Dealing with it properly will make church stronger but healing is best done when guilty parties seek and receive forgiveness and give forgiveness. Have you seen conflict in your church? What was the results and impact of that conflict? Best time to prepare is before conflict comes. Pray God reveals and prepares you for such times. A weak – small dying church without conflict is not a good outcome or solution! AMEN? AMEN!
The apostle Paul ended his letter to the Romans by warning them against false teachers. He wrote, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). He accused the deceivers of using smooth speech and flattering words, but, he said, “Be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil” (verse 19). Then he assured them the God of peace would shortly crush Satan under their feet.
Paul must have been thinking of the first prophecy in the Bible about the coming Messiah when we’re told Christ will bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).
The devil is sowing his lies everywhere, and false teachers show up in classrooms, videos, books, websites, slogans, cable channels, and political campaigns. Sometimes they even climb into the pulpit. But Satan’s lies cannot deceive those who are growing in the knowledge of God, and his attacks can’t destroy those kept by the power of God.
There is nothing Satan can throw at you that you cannot overcome, nor any stronghold he can build that Jesus can’t overthrow.
You don’t have to be the victim because you can choose to live in the victory that God promises you as an overcomer.
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