Who the Real Enemy Is

Series: Deconstruct | Reconstruct | Week 6: What About Church Hurt and Hypocrisy?

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 + Ephesians 6:12 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

1. Who persecuted the Thessalonians?
2. How did they persecute them?
3. In Ephesians 6:12, how is our enemy described?

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul addressed another type of church hurt taking place. Jewish religious leaders had stirred up crowds and harmed followers of Jesus, perceiving the gospel not as good news, but a threat to status quo. Paul stated in a separate church letter that our true battle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s against “evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Church hurt is like an autoimmune disease where the body of Christ attacks itself. We see other believers as enemies instead of as family. As a result, we can reduce who God is to the worst actions of His people. It’s never been outside pressure or persecution that threatens the church. Historically, those are the moments when the church has grown and made the most impact.

What threatens the church is division on the inside. We have a very real enemy behind the scenes doing anything and everything he can to steal, kill, and destroy us, our relationships, our peace, and the church from within. Let’s remember who the real enemy is. Let’s link arms and fight him together.

Is there someone within the church who has hurt you or that you’ve found yourself in conflict with? How does today’s reading change how you view them?
Where do you see evidence of the enemy’s attempts to divide from within, whether in your home, in a relationship, or in the church?
What could you do to combat these attempts? What practical steps could you take to link arms with others and fight the real enemy together?

Pray through these questions, and write down what God is prompting you to do next. Share with a friend, and take a step to apply it.

Want to go deeper? Visit the Traders Point app or this link to see our recommended resources for this week’s topic. If you want to catch Sunday’s message again, you can find it here.

Deconstruct | Reconstruct