The Church, The Falling Away, and the Restoration

antique-booksDate written: 22 January 2016

SUBJECT: Church History

TITLE: The Church, The Falling Away, and the Restoration

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will introduce the concept of the church in history and look at the major trends.

OBJECTIVE: That each hearer receives a framework of understanding on how to approach church history.


1. Read: Luke 8:11

2. About the Text:

1) In the explanation of the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us that the seed is the word of God.

2) Seeds are amazing things; they have all of the information in them to produce life.

3) From one kind of seed, you cannot get another kind of fruit: eg: oranges from apples.

4) The word of God is like a seed; it is designed to produce what God desires, Christians.

5) James says, “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

6) “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:23-25).

7) We are concerned about letting the word of God do its work without any corrupting influences.

8) But what happens when men corrupt God’s word and do not let it speak?

9) This is, in essence, the study of Church History.

10) The title of this lesson is borrowed from J.W. Shepherds book of the same name.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   The Church of the New Testament.

1. Jesus said that He would build His church.

1) Matthew 16:18

2) Jesus had a plan.

3) The apostles followed that plan.

4) The result was the church.

5) Acts 2:47 “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

2. The church is Jesus plan for unity.

1) Jesus prayed for unity – John 17:20-23.

2) Ephesians 4:4-6 – “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you[a] all.”

3. Moreover, we know that division in the church is sinful.

1) 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.

2) 1 Cor. 3:3 “for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”

4. We should desire what Jesus desired and we know that through God’s word.

II.  The Falling Away

1. Jesus said there would be false prophets.

1) Matthew 7:15 – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

2) Matthew 24:24 – “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

2. The apostles in the New Testament prophesied of a falling away from God.

1) Acts 20:28-30 “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

2) 1 Timothy 4:1-5

3) 2 Thessalonians 2

3. This is what happened in the church.

4. Listen to the words of Jerome when he recalled the history of the departure: “The presbyter is the same as the bishop, and before parties had been raised up in religion by the provocations of Satan, the churches were governed by the Senate of the presbyters. But as each one sought to appropriate to himself those whom he had baptized, instead of leading them to Christ, it was appointed that one of the presbyters, elected by his colleagues, should be set over all the others, and have chief supervision over the general well-being of the community. . . Without doubt it is the duty of the presbyters to bear in mind that by the discipline of the Church they are subordinated to him who has been given them as their head, but it is fitting that the bishops, on their side, do not forget that if they are set over the presbyters, it is the result of tradition, and not by the fact of a particular institution by the Lord (Comm. Tit. 1.7).”

III. The Restoration

1. The concept of restoration is found in the scriptures.

1) Josiah – 2 Kings 22:8, 13, 23:3, 21-23.

2) Ezra – Ezra 5-6,

2. The concept of restoration is found in the gospel.

1) Mark 9:10 – Jesus talks about Elijah coming and restoring all things.

2) Acts 1:6 – The apostles are expecting Jesus to restore the kingdom.

3) Acts 3:21 – Peter says a time of restoration of all things is coming.

3. When we talk about restoration, we are talking about going back to the word of God and letting it establish the truth.

1) Matthew 15:5-9 – Jesus talks about the traditions of men changing God’s word.

2) 1 Peter 4:11 – Peter talks about speaking as the oracles of God.

3) Colossians 2:8 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”


1. We have briefly looked at the church, the falling away, and the restoration in principle.

2. Invitation