In this sermon, I help prepare people who feel they may have to leave their local fellowship for something better.
Why might you leave a church?
Because you find it’s not a godly fellowship. A church of God is:
- Full of love and good works
- Helps you to hold on to your faith
- Encourages you to stay out of sin
Possible reasons to leave…
- There’s little love (no respect, kindness, honesty, or humility)
- Abuse (spiritually, sexually, or physically)
- False doctrines are taught
- Unrepentant sin
- No support for your offenses
Remember: Pastors, teachers, and prophets are responsible for the atmosphere of a church. If it’s toxic, the leaders are toxic.
Also, the word translated “church” actually means: “called out ones”—people who were called out from the world (1 Peter 2:9). So, if the vast majority of local churches or people around are worldly, that’s not a church of God.
How do you leave?
- Pray for confirmation & strength
- Overcome objections
- Write a letter to notify people (if you feel led)
- Prepare for persecution
Why is finding a godly fellowship so hard today?
God foretold this would happen. We are in the final days:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron … (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3).
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
10 … because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:10b-12).
We also read: 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 where it talks about a counterfeit Jesus, gospel and Holy Spirit. Finally, we’re told to leave such places:
Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her (Revelation 18:4).