Today, statistics show the average productivity of a Christian's spiritual life is
less than three years.
February 18th, 2001, Sunday Morning
"Hindrances to Christian Growth and Maturity"
Warning signs to alert you of stunted Christian growth
OPENING: Galatians 5:7-9, KJV
Today's message is meant to bring encouragement to those who are side-tracked
and to strengthen those who are on the right track.
1 Peter 5:8: The devil is constantly looking for victims. We
get caught up in too much of the world to notice this.
The world is our adversary and our own flesh is our greatest adversary.
The devil and the world work together to stunt Christian growth ... and it will continue
to hinder your growth until you acknowledge GOD's grace to set you free.
2 Corinthians 6:2: You don't know what day or hour you're going
to leave this world. Tomorrow is not promised. Statistics report every two seconds
someone dies. It's just a matter of time before it reaches you. Therefore,
that is why RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is the accepted time of salvation.
Galatians 5:7-9: In this opening passage, we see Paul begging
the saints in Galatia, "you were off to a great spiritual start! What/who caused you to
- To the teens: When you finally grow up to adulthood and move out on your own--to
make your own decisions--did your spiritual growth stop? Was it a teacher? TV?
SIX COMPONENTS THAT HINDER GROWTH
- #1/6: Worthless, useless doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
- It's not politics but the Word of GOD that belongs behind the pulpit. In
other words, it's man's philosophy and agenda that's replacing the Bible when preachers
marry homosexual couples in church, or when churches have their own specific membership
requirements that are not listed in the Bible.
- Leviticus 18:22: GOD WILL NOT BLESS A HOMOSEXUAL
- Today, people don't want GOD's teaching but lies--and are willing to pay for
them! How would someone in their right mind pay money to hear lies? Hollywood movies,
soap operas, tabloid magazines, PSYCHIC HOTLINES, etc.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-3: This doesn't need to be proven. This prophecy
is already coming true.
- It is widely accepted that just because a practice has existed for several
years that it's blasphemy to change. Like heritage, it's tradition to continue a long-existing
practice--it's hard to break! However, the first heritage (being a lost soul) is easy
to cast off because you never had one! Once you become
saved, it's tradition to BEGIN ANEW.
- Titus 2:1: Today, we need to get back into The Book ... not
into commentary or man's tradition.
- Titus 2:2-3: Listen to the elderly people of this world.
They have experience, leadership, and they set the example. For they are not easily excited.
- Colossians 2:8: Once again, just because it's man's tradition
and man-made heritage doesn't mean it's right to follow.
- #2/6: Wicked desires prevent spiritual growth
- Galatians 5:16-18: You cannot please GOD and yourself at the
same time. This is contrary.
- 2 Timothy 4:10-11: Paul needed faithful, dependable help. We
see here one of Paul's faithful servants, Demas, used to be a faithful servant but
soon fell for the temporal, material things of this world.
- While it is a good thing to save for retirement, you should not be consumed
with retirement but rather where you're going to retire.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation you WILL EVER face will be
so great you cannot withstand it. Therefore, all temptations you give in to will be your
own fault and cannot be blamed on others.
- #3/6: Worldly deceptions
- 1 Timothy 6:6-11: "For the love of money
is the root of all evil". Power, money, and prestige is gain but not great
gain. Just as this scripture says: we're going to exit this world the way we came in.
- ASIDE: Back in the days of Egyptian pyramid construction, pharaohs
wanted to be buried inside their pyramid with all their money because they believed they
would need it when they "go to the other side of the river." In addition, they believed
they needed their servants so when the pharaoh died, his servants were killed so they could
be buried with him. Yet to this day, the money is still in the pyramid!
- REFRAIN FROM ANY JOB OFFER THAT TAKES YOU AWAY FROM GOD.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10: King Solomon of Israel tried it all... all
the money, all the women, all the wealth and power. His conclusion: FEAR GOD AND KEEP
HIS COMMANDMENTS. No matter how much money one has, when's the last time you heard someone
say, "I have enough money."
- Many rich and powerful people are not happy while those without a dime in
their savings account have not a care in the world!
- Matthew 13:18-23: This is Jesus' parable of the sewer
Key in on verse 22. This is what happens to the seed when the world is allowed to dominate.
- #4/6: Deceit in riches
- Today, it is widely believed all you need is a bunch of money and you'll be
- 1 Timothy 6:10: Again, "the love of money is the root of
all evil". Is it possible to have enough money?
- #5/6: Worldly distractions
- Ecclesiastes 1:8: "We cannot never get enough," is what this
scripture says. Gossip, romance novels, soap operas (which is just adultery with
organ music), etc. When will it be enough?!
- #6/6: Dull hearing -- the greatest hindrance to Christian growth
- Hebrews 5:11: A person who doesn't want to hear the Word of GOD
stops his ears of the truth. You didn't get anything from this morning's church sermon?
I wonder why!
Matthew 12:36: The Word of GOD applies to everyone--whether they accept
it or not. For you and I will have to give an accounting of every word we speak on
So at one time you were serving GOD and loving it! Then what took you from
GOD's word? Was it a friend? Job? Child? Husband? False teacher? A more entertaining
- TV evangelists are no substitute for being in church.
- You're not fellowshipping with real people
- You cannot interact with the preacher
- The only time the preacher interacts with you is when one of his support staff calls
to ask you why you're slipping in your financial support!
Are you on GOD's or the world's schedule?