BOB BOVE / SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
The greatest threats to the church throughout church history have been persecution and false teaching. This of course is no surprise as Jesus and the apostles warned us about both as cited below.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. John 15:20
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1Peter 4:12-13
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you,… 2 Peter 2:1
The church continues to suffer persecution today. “It has been estimated that more Christians have been martyred in the last fifty years than in the first three hundred years.”
However, the greatest threat to the church of Jesus Christ in America, at least for the present time, is false teaching. “I am convinced that the Greatest danger facing Christians today has infiltrated the church already. Countless false teachers have prominent platforms in the Evangelical movement; …many evangelicals have concluded no doctrine or point of theology is worth earnestly contending for.”
Thankfully the reformers did not think that way. They earnestly contended for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints and many of them paid the price with their lives. If the greatest threat to the church is false teaching, then the greatest need of the church is the preaching of sound doctrine.
Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:13
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16
 Dr. Everett Ferguson, Christian History Institute, Persecution in The Early Church: Did You Know?” Issue 27, 1990
 John MacArthur, The Truth War, Nashville Tennessee, 2007 p. 170