Friday, July 4, 2008

Why the Conflict? (Part 5)

"God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time," 1 Peter 5:5-6

It is almost inevitable that after Nicolaitans seize a church, the attendance goes down. They do not humble themselves by admitting that something is wrong, because they feel that since they are in power, things are going well. And they do not submit to authority; rather, they seize it. Since God is resisting them, their various plans and programs cannot reverse the decline of the church.

Soul-winners, on the other hand, cause church growth. Sometimes, they slow or even reverse the church's decline. But, inevitably, the soul-winners see that the Nicolaitans are cancelling them out. By submitting to authority, soul-winners receive the promise that God will exalt them at the proper time, which often means that they have to separate from a Nicolaitan church. The Nicolaitans then blame the soul-winners (instead of themselves) for the decline in attendance. When the soul-winners explain what happened, the Nicolaitans accuse them of bad-mouthing the church, and heap further blame on the soul-winners for the church's decline.

Soul-winners do not always get exalted to leadership positions. Instead, God elevates them to be better soul-winners. And since God cares about their new converts, He often leads them away from Nicolaitan churches.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Why the Conflict? (Part 4)

We have seen that the Bible promises blessings on those who humble themselves. 1 Peter 5:5 tells us "Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Submission to authority produces humility, but Nicolaitans reject the idea that they, personally, should submit to authority.

Some months after I arrived in Mexico, I noticed something. Christians who were working for somebody else were getting results. Christians who "only answered to the Holy Spirit" weren't accomplishing anything. And Christians who concentrated on fighting their way into leadership were doing more harm that good.