Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
The word “beware” is used just twenty-eight times in the Bible, but each time the warning is filled with danger. Some examples are; beware that you forget not the Lord your God; beware of false prophets, of religious scribes and the sin of the Pharisees, of covetousness, of evil workers, of men that spoil you.
II Pet.3:17-18 sums it up this way; “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing that ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen”
Any of us can get caught up in some innocuous issue which is innocent in itself. It may be helping others or standing up for our Christian beliefs, or working around the church facilities, but if it distracts us and takes us away from our own biblical steadfastness it is dangerous. Biblical steadfastness requires a daily intake and meditation in the word of God. This steadfastness requires diligence in keeping from sin. As Heb.12:1 informs us, we are to lay aside every weight [encumbrance] and the sin which does so easily beset us.
Distraction from Bible doctrine is the believer’s greatest besetting sin; the sin of ignoring God’s word; even if one is heavily involved in Christian service.
This particularly and especially applies to the local church pastor. We can become some of the worst sinners in the church by not obeying the command to regularly grow in the grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, II Pet.3:18.
True success in the local church depends very much on the pastor learning and feeding the flock what he has learned from the Bible that week. We can become so busy in service that we are easily distracted from our own spiritual edification like Martha, Lk.10:38-42. Anything Satan can do to get the pastor out of his study he will do, so anything the local church can do to keep their pastor in his study is good in the short term and the long term for everyone in that church. Remember, at the judgment bar of God all believers will answer for the time spent in learning and applying the word of God.
When we are distracted from the word of God little things start to eat at us. We find ourselves daily; chewing on something that we cannot seem to swallow. Something gnaws at us and we can’t figure it out. Peace evades us like shade does a weary hiker in the desert. A frantic search for happiness ensues, and missing out on the word of God becomes easy to justify. The empty vacuum of sorrow and despair that fills the void of God’s presence grows as cosmic influences creep into our minds; minds once filled with joy, hope and godly ambition.
The heart of a believer that ignores biblical warnings will become influenced by doctrines of demons and seducing spirits, I Tim.4:1; I Pet.5:6-9. We cannot be possessed by demons, but the evil they infect in the world that enters our distracted minds, will by association, infect and affect us even more because we represent the Lord on earth. The lost search out many things to amuse and sooth themselves when they are weary and discouraged, but the believer can only find peace when he goes to the Lord’s word. Unfortunately many churches supply the same entertainment for distracted discouraged sheep as the world does for the goats. The local church must never serve as a half-way house for believers who have forsaken the word of God. When we forsake the Lord we lose faith in him to restore our peace, and this is when we get into trouble. Beware!!!