If the church were a “building”, or if church was a “meeting place”, or if church was “flesh and blood”, then “church” is as easily destroyed even by as small an “enemy” as the tiny flame of a candle or the thin blade of a sword.
But the Church is not a house of sticks and stones or brick and mortar.
Church is a body of “called out ones”, of temporal physical beings made eternal and spiritual by the regenerating power of God’s Holy Spirit. The Church is an organism of members that began with the first human being whose belief resulted in his indwelling by the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, and then completed with the last believer at the sound of the trumpet announcing the arrival of Jesus Christ riding the clouds coming to take up His saints.
However, the supremacy of Jesus Christ over His Bride, the Church, has not discouraged the Enemy from trying to destroy her. While His Church is not flesh and blood, neither is the Enemy seeking to devour and destroy her:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
One of the tools of the Enemy has been (and continues to be) heresy. A more familiar term is “false teaching” or “false doctrine”.
For example, there exists in the 21st century the very same heresy being contended with by Jude between 66-80 A.D. There is false teaching today by godless teachers who have wormed their way into the Church saying that after we become Christians we can do just as we like without fear of God’s punishment, forgetting that the Lord saved a whole nation of people out of the land of Egypt and then killed every one of them who did not trust and obey him.
Heresy: the Tool of the Enemy
Here are just a few of the heresies used by the Enemy in his mission to keep non-believers from becoming believers, and to make believers unbelievable!
Among contemporary heresies includes what is called:
- The Issue of Second Repentance
Here are some of the “Apologists” who defended against the heresies that invade the early Church:
- Justin Martyr (c.100-165)
- Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 135-202)
- Tertullian (c.155-230)
- Clement of Alexandria (cir. 150-215)