by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: Acts 20:28-29]
A. Every serious football fan knows that the backbone of a successful offense is in the offensive line.
B. We need some men and women in the church who have the strength and willingness to “stand in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30).
I. The faithful had to hold the lines from the error.
A. The Galatians had to hold against Judaism (Galatians 5:1-4).
B. Paul charged Timothy to help hold the line in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:1-6).
C. John told brethren to hold against Gnosticism (1 John 4:1-3).
D. Jesus urged the churches of Asia to hold the lines against false doctrine (Revelation 2:2,6,14).
II. We need to hold the lines in the church today.
A. We must hold the line against extremism (Revelation 2:1-4).
B. We must hold the line against liberalism (1 Peter 4:11).
C. We must hold the line against indifference toward sin (2 Peter 2:7-8) and apostasy (Galatians 6:1).
III. Holding the lines requires hard work and sacrifice.
A. There is hard work (and even heartache) involved in the jobs of parents, elders, and deacons.
B. Holding the line also requires preparation (cf. Timothy 2:4).
A. Those who have held the lines in the church for decades will be retired from their service soon (cf. Hebrews 7:23), and it’s time for the next generation to start stepping up and standing in the gaps.
B. There’s a place you can fill to hold the line and move it forward!