Episode 9: Threats to the Church, Part 1 – Internal Threats

Read 1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 22:37-39

  • Why might someone think these verses contradict each other?
  • Is loving your neighbor loving something in the world? Why or why not?
  • What 3 things specifically does John point out as being everything in the world?
  • What is lust of the flesh?
  • What is lust of the eyes?
  • What is the pride of life?
  • How might someone who loves the world feel reading 1 John 2:17? How might a lover of God feel?
  • Do believers/lovers of God still struggle with things of this world? Why?
  • What does that mean for the body of Christ and the problems we see in it?

Read Acts 6:1-7, John 13:34-35

  • Is this division the first internal conflict we see in the church?
  • How is this different than say the initial conflict of persecution of the church?
  • Is there a type of internal conflict that does not include division?
  • Is division breaking the command from Jesus?
  • Jesus gave us an outcome of following his command, what then is the outcome of division?
  • Which do you think is a greater threat to the church, internal or external conflict? Why?
  • What was the issue causing the division?
  • Of the 3 things John gives that are “of this world,” which are involved in the problem we see here?
  • Does every church issue start with one of, or a combination of those 3 things?
  • What can we learn from the way they handled the issue?

Read 1 John 3:11-24

  • Is there a middle ground between love and hate? Why or why not?
  • What are some examples given here for showing love?
  • How does showing love help resolve division?
  • Is the spirit of division ever from God?
  • Is it possible to identify someone seeking division? What insight might that give us?
  • If we seek resolution, does that always lead to truth? Why or why not?
  • If we seek truth, does that always lead to truth? Why or why not?
  • How can we pray for you?

Need a prayer cue? Try Psalms 133 & 134

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