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There comes a time in the life of every church when the pastor and the congregation must part paths.
1. THE PAST
A. They had been through a lot together.
(Acts 20:18-21) And when they came to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time – serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews – and that I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching it to you in public and from house to house I testified to both Jews and Greeks about the repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.
B. We have been through a lot together.
2. THE FUTURE
A. The time comes for pastor and church to move into the future.
(Acts 20:22-25) “And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. And now I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will ever see my face again.”
B. Paul went on to bless even more lives.
C. The church in Ephesus grew even more effective.
D. God is going to make FBCPf more effective than ever before.
3. THE WARNING
(Acts 20:29-31) I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.
A. Don’t let folks divide you against each other.
(Revelation 2:1) “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:… (4-5) But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first.
B. Don’t abandon your love for the Lord OR for each other.
1) Don’t leave the church.
2) Don’t criticize leadership.
3) Don’t live in the past.